University was looking to have teams join the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association
UPEI’s application to join the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) for 2014-15 has been denied.
ACAA chairman Ron O’Flaherty said it is currently undergoing a review of its membership criteria, assessing its financial resources and evaluating its strategic plan.
“This process requires the organization to focus on these areas of concern at this time, and as a result members were not prepared to accept expansion,” he said.
The decision has not deterred the university from wanting to be part of the association.
“We remain committed to the student-athletes to try and gain membership in the ACAA,” UPEI athletic director Billy Schurman told The Guardian on Wednesday. “We will be applying in May unless some factors come forward that we don’t see at the moment.”
The application in the spring would be for the 2015-16 academic year.
Students approached administration in the athletics department earlier this year with a goal of forming a volleyball team that could compete with other institutions. The department received support from university administration and applied in April.
The university would have to compete in three ACAA sports. It was looking at volleyball, cross-country, badminton and golf as options after having interest from students for those sports.
It is not unusual for schools not to get into the ACAA on its first bid.
“There are many examples of schools that have taken many requests to get in,” Schurman said.
We remain committed to the student-athletes to try and gain membership in the ACAA. Bill Schurman, UPEI athletic director
The Holland College Hurricanes were accepted in 2006 after twice failing to gain approval from the association.
The ACAA has nine member institutions, including Holland College, Crandall, King's College, Sainte-Anne, Mount Saint Vincent, Mount Allison, St. Thomas, Dalhousie Agricultural College campus and the University of
New Brunswick at Saint John.
Schurman delivered the “disappointing” news Tuesday night to the volleyball team.
“I didn’t enjoy having to do that because I know how keen they are,” he said.
But he is encouraged by the team’s willingness to do what it takes to gain entrance.
“They’re committed to stay the course.”
Committed — you can say that again.
Meg MacKinnon, a third-year arts student from Charlottetown, said it has been a tough, but rewarding process.
“I’m very excited we have gotten as far as we have,” she said. “This setback is not going to stop us. We’re still going to push as much as we can. We’re going to fundraise and get our name out there and get to as many exhibition games as possible.”
A meeting will be held Friday at 4 p.m. in the sports centre for those interested in cross country at UPEI.