Pratt Institute is excited to announce that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Membership Committee accepted the Institute's application into the NCAA Division III provisional membership process effective September 1, 2019.
Pratt has been a member of the United States College Athletic Association (USCAA), while successfully completing the exploratory-year transition to join the NCAA during the 2018-19 academic year. The Cannoneers are currently members of the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) and the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC).
"Pratt has a rich history in intercollegiate athletics," said Walter Rickard, director of athletics. "NCAA membership will allow our students to continue to build upon our vibrant history at a higher level. It will elevate the student-athlete experience, and reinforce the Institute's position as a leader among its peers."
Division III is the largest in the NCAA with more than 450 participating colleges, universities, and institutions across the country, including 15 members based locally in New York City.
Starting in the 2019-20 academic year, the Pratt Institute athletic program will have 15 varsity teams - seven men's, seven women's, one co-ed - and approximately 175 student-athletes. The teams include men's and women's basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Pratt athletics also sponsors a co-ed equestrian team that competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA), as equestrian is not an NCAA sport currently.
"I am thrilled and grateful to the Pratt athletic department team for this momentous opportunity to strengthen the educational experience for Pratt students through participation in Division III of the NCAA," said Helen Matusow-Ayres, vice president for student affairs. "We have all worked hard to accomplish this goal and we look forward to achieving more milestones together in the future."
Pratt student-athletes, coaches, and alumni all shared similar excitement regarding the news:
- Carter Boliek, recognized as the 2018 ACAA Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the year, and a member of the ACAA First-Team All Conference: "I think that it means our hard work has paid off. It means we are moving into a new and exciting time for the school. I can't wait to see what this athletic program can accomplish and I'm excited to be a part of it."
- Melanie Kania, a three-time HVIAC Women's Tennis champion and a two-time HVIAC Player of the Year: "This is amazing for Pratt. Over the past four years I've seen our program grow, change, and overcome the stereotype that sports and art schools don't mix. I'm proud to have been a part of this process and I hope future Cannoneers continue to promote and improve the athletics culture at Pratt."
- Griffin Levine, recipient of the 2018-19 ACAA Men's Basketball Rookie of Year award, and a member of the ACAA First-Team All Conference: "The energy and excitement that the administration has regarding the NCAA DIII opportunity is contagious and was a big factor in my decision to attend Pratt Institute. I am thrilled to be a part of this growth and I know we are all committed to the success of the athletic program."
- Jessica Donohue, head coach of the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs: "Joining the NCAA opens up doors for ambitious athletes and coaches to take their programs and their sport to the next level. As a former Division I athlete, being a part of the NCAA meant more opportunities, higher goals, and bigger challenges. Pratt athletics is ready to chase after those opportunities, set higher goals, and face larger challenges."
- Tommy Clyne, former men's basketball player, class of 1979: "I am most certain that the Pratt student-athletes' experience will be enriched both academically and athletically, as it returns to the NCAA. The Pratt student-athlete has had a long and storied impact at the Division III level and it will be very rewarding for current and future Pratt student-athletes to compete at that level. I wish the athletes and the school good luck and continued success as you all will have the opportunity to enhance the Pratt academic and athletic legacy."
(Courtesy Pratt Sports Information)