View Full Version : OKC University takes another step closer to NCAA Division 1

02-13-2007, 01:19 PM
OCU plans to offer women’s wrestling; updates Division I progress
By Stefanie Brickman - 2/13/2007

Oklahoma City University President Tom McDaniel announced today the school will be adding women’s wrestling to its list of competitive sports beginning in Fall 2007.

The private university will be among six other U.S. colleges offering women’s wrestling, said wrestling coach Archie Randall. Randall will coach both the men’s and women’s teams.

Last year, Oklahoma City University began a feasibility study toward joining the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I.

“Our commitment toward excellence is one that we take very seriously,” McDaniel said. “As part of that march toward excellence that we all hold so dear here, today is another step in that direction.”

The privately hired consultants recommended OCU upgrade its current facilities as well as offer 14 varsity sports. In the last three years, the school has added rowing, women’s volleyball and men’s wrestling to bring its total to 11 that count toward Division I.

Athletic director Jim Abbott hopes the women’s wrestling program will follow a similar track to the rowing program. Four years ago, Abbott said, OCU did not own an oar. In the fall of 2006, the school hosted the second or third largest regatta in the U.S. with Star rowers competing alongside schools like Harvard.

“We can do anything we set our mind to at OCU,” Abbott said.

The consultants also told OCU administrators the athletic department would require between $4 and $5 million per year every year to compete.

In order to raise those funds, Abbott said, OCU plans to approach the City of Oklahoma City about including the school in a possible MAPS3 project.

“We don’t have a Boone Pickens,” Abbott said, referring to the Oklahoma State University graduate who has shared portions of his oil and gas fortune with his alma mater.

Without a large donation, the school could also establish a significant endowment to provide the revenue annually.

“There is no specific timetable,” Abbott said. “We are not rushing. However, there is not a lot of failing with (President) McDaniel.”

02-13-2007, 06:57 PM
Great news. I was actually considering suiting up for the Stars but the Guard won't pay for private tuition. I'm currently looking to play for UCO, who I think needs to take notice of OCU's progress. I'm not saying it will happen, but if OCU can go from NAIA to NCAA Div I, there's no reason UCO can't move from Div II to Div I. OU will always be king of the OKC area, but it would be nice to have more DI teams representing Oklahoma. I love attending big time college sporting events, so this would be a nice addition if OCU could pull this off. Thanks for staying on top of things as always, metro.

02-13-2007, 08:46 PM
Yeah, I hope OCU can get DI status. Didn't know women's wrestling was a college sport, but anything that gets OCU there is good to me. Tulsa gets notice with its namesake private U, so OKC should get some exposure with its.

02-13-2007, 10:15 PM
You know, I was thinking the same thing but didn't want to come off as ignorant or chauvinistic. I think the quickest way to getting DI recognition is to field a football team, but that of course, takes time...not to mention a field. Let's hope OCU can benefit from MAPS in terms of funding and building new facilities.

Here's a question. Can Oklahoma City use our tax dollars to fund a private university? I'm uneducated on the financial matters of colleges and universities. I know our tax dollars are pumped into the state schools, but what about private institutions like OCU?

02-21-2007, 02:48 PM
Football = uh huh no never! In case you haven't noticed, OCU has been adding sports that don't take a lot of cash. Which I still don't understand why they don't bring tennis back...or why they ever got rid of it.

Football is incredibly expensive and it would take a LONG time for it to be a money makey effort. Plus there's the cost of a field and all that crap. I would bet they would partner with OKCPS and rework Taft since its so close. There's no way they'd build a football field on campus...its just not worth the cost to take up more land like that for something that would get so little use. They would just have to alter the soccer field for use with football as well.

Public monies CANNOT go to private schools. I'm an OCU alumni, and that came up a lot in roundtables with state reps. and senators. Everyone recognizes that a great school OCU is and how it helps the city/state, but they are all frustrated that they can't help push more because they can't send funding to the school. OCU always wouldn't get any MAPS money either because of the same thing.

02-21-2007, 04:00 PM
Yeah, being a private university affiliated with the United Methodists, the city would not be able to fund them in any way.

If they were still going to be NAIA, football wouldn't be so far fetched (SNU has it and OBU is considering it), but NCAA DI football is out of the question at this point, IMO.

02-22-2007, 07:33 AM
Well the whole reason for adding these sports is to meet NCAA requirements for Division I. If they were going to stay in NAIA, none of this would be happening.

02-22-2007, 08:13 AM
I know, that's the point.

03-15-2007, 12:39 PM
I think OCU can do much better to promote its offerings to the public and use that revenue to support itself.

There is a nice school of drama and music there, as well as wonderful sports teams. There should be concerts, plays, and performances as well as games available to the public and this should be advertised/promoted as JUST ANOTHER OPTION of something to do in the wonderful metropolis of Oklahoma City.

Im not saying that the public does not support OCU or go to events there - but how many of you on this forum have EVER gone to a play or concert at OCU??? How many of you even KNEW there was a new concert arena and a performing arts theatre with a school of drama "company" that offers fine performances yet a little cheaper than going downtown.

Well, if the university promoted its events better to the city and metro it could use the marginal increase in revenue (aka profit) to fund its quest for BIG TIME name recognition in the NCAA. I think they should play their basketball games home court at the Cox downtown (maybe play big ones like against OU/OSU or other rivals in the Ford Center). That would make sure we utilize the arena of the Cox and have MORE EVENTS/things to do downtown.!!!!!

I would think it would just need to do a HEAVY advertising campaign for about a year or two, then once the public gets "used" to attending events at OCU and the school gets its Basketball team healthy and wins games in the NCAA - the whole thing should take care of itself off of the momentum created.

But yes, we should market events going on at OCU as an entertainment option to city/metro/state residents and tourists to the city alike. It is yet another way to keep Oklahoma City on the minds/conscious of people around the nation. (just like the NBA)

OKLAHOMA CITY, ....... I can't wait to see that on a markee NCAA Basketball game or tournament (men's or women's or both).

03-16-2007, 03:42 PM
Good ideas. I have gone to events there, I did know about all the new buildings, performing arts, etc. The thing is it is a private Methodist University so the City of OKC would have a conflict of interest promoting events regularly. Now if OCU would get a better Marketing Director with a more aggressive proactive approach, then yeah I think the idea could really take off......

04-01-2008, 03:41 PM
While watching the NCAA basketball tournament, How nice would it be to see Okla. City University playing the little school trying to knock off the big schools??

The school Davidson said to only have 2000 students and they made it to the Elite 8 and took Kansas to the last shot of being in the Final Four.

I know that mayor Mick has said before that he would like to see OCU in Div 1 of the NCAA, but how close is this to happening??

04-01-2008, 04:04 PM
Yeah, being a private university affiliated with the United Methodists, the city would not be able to fund them in any way.

If they were still going to be NAIA, football wouldn't be so far fetched (SNU has it and OBU is considering it), but NCAA DI football is out of the question at this point, IMO.

I disagree. OCU could use the new 100,000 seat stadium with the retractable roof which should break ground any day now.

04-01-2008, 10:21 PM
Oh of course. I forgot about that. ;)

04-03-2008, 06:39 PM
Davidson actually sent a rep to see me while I was in high school. (It's a very selective school, so I suppose I had more of a reputation than I deserved back then.) Enrollment is around 1700 these days.