The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Management Council announced that SUNY Canton has officially completed its provisional membership process and will become full-time members of NCAA Division III, effective Sept. 1st.
“This is a tribute to the hard work the SUNY Canton Athletics staff have done to make sure that our programs meet and exceed the expectations of the NCAA,” said SUNY Canton President Dr. Zvi Szafran. “Our student-athletes consistently demonstrate their outstanding dedication in their sport and their studies.”
SUNY Canton completed its provisional status in just three years. Colleges typically must go through four years of provisional status along with an exploratory year before they are recommended for active membership. SUNY Canton applied for and was granted a waiver to consolidate years three and four of the process.
“We are thrilled with the NCAA’s decision to accept us as full members of NCAA Division III,” said SUNY Canton Athletic Director Randy B. Sieminski. “It has been a group effort from our coaches, student-athletes, staff, faculty, administration, College Council and numerous departments campus-wide. This is a huge step for our student-athletes and teams as we now become eligible for NCAA postseason competition during the 2015-16 academic year.”
In the past four years, SUNY Canton has added five new sports to their athletics program offerings. The athletics department has seen tremendous growth during this time, doubling the number of female student-athletes, and increasing its total number of student-athletes from approximately 150 to nearly 300. The college sponsors intercollegiate teams in men’s and women’s soccer; men’s and women’s cross country; women’s volleyball; men’s golf; men’s and women’s ice hockey; men’s and women’s basketball; men’s baseball; women’s softball; and men’s and women’s lacrosse.
Sieminski added the membership process encompasses nearly every area of the college, and the Athletic Department greatly appreciates the efforts of colleagues, administrators and professionals campus-wide.
“I’d also like to thank all the outstanding people we work with from the NCAA, especially Director of Division III Louise McCleary, Assistant Director of Academic and Membership Affairs Jean Orr and our NCAA Mentor Joe Walsh from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference,” added Sieminski. “They’ve been extraordinarily helpful and welcoming in guiding us through this process. It’s been an outstanding and rewarding process.”
Sieminski also expressed his appreciation for the SUNY Canton leaders who helped to start the transition to the NCAA, including College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, Dean of Academic Support Services Molly A. Mott, Vice President of Student Affairs Courtney B. Bish, former President Joseph L. Kennedy, former Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach, former Vice President for Student Affairs Daniel J. Sweeney and former Athletic Director Diane J. Para.
About SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses, as well as 10 exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.