KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo will add club sports to student activities this fall semester – offering competitive men’s basketball and women’s volleyball with an eye on joining the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) by fall 2012.
“We are excited to introduce athletics as a dimension of student life,” said Chancellor Michael Harris. “We believe that this move will add spirit, a sense of community, enthusiasm, and pride to our campus. It also will bring community involvement.”
Men’s basketball and women’s volleyball are the first of sports to be offered, as campus officials plan to add multiple sports teams in the future.
“Having college athletics is very beneficial for students as well as the university,” said Nida Zia, student body president. “Students want something to do outside of regular school work. Club sports and then joining NAIA will make IU Kokomo more attractive to high school students and will bring a more spirited campus life.”
Amanda Shoultz, president of the IU Kokomo Alumni Association, said she is ecstatic to hear the news of adding the club sports, and the possibility of becoming a member of the NAIA.
“I believe this to be a great opportunity for the campus to bring back its graduates for sporting events, as well as bringing a sense of pride for those who can watch their alma mater in action,” Shoultz said. “What a fantastic way to enhance student life on the Kokomo campus, and spread the spirit of IU throughout our region. We definitely have a passion for basketball in the Hoosier state and now we can cheer on the Cougars close to home.”
Jordan Ousley, assistant director of the Student Union Board and a senator for the Student Government Association, said he plans to be involved in athletics one way or another, and is considering playing basketball.
“I’m really excited for it. Students will see this as more of a traditional college campus,” said Jordan Ousley, a senior majoring in secondary education. “I think it helps open more doors and will get students to come out to events. It will help students get involved with friends from school and create a school spirit. I am really looking forward to having sports on campus.”
Campus leaders are currently talking with NAIA officials to make sure all criteria is followed in order to assure future membership.
“Chancellor Harris appreciates the value of intercollegiate athletics and what it can bring our university,” said Jack Tharp, vice chancellor for student services. “The NAIA best fits this campus, and athletes will benefit from the institutional compliance requirements, where student academic success is paramount.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.
Media Contact: Marie Radel
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