The NCAA Division II Membership Committee has recommended the membership application for Oklahoma Baptist University, the school announced on Friday.
OBU now begins a three-stage process of becoming full NCAA members including a membership in the Great American Conference. OBU has been competing at the NAIA level and has won the last two Learfield Sports Director’s Cup trophies as the best overall athletic program in the NAIA.
OBU could become a full member of Division II in as early as three years if the completion of the three-stage process goes successfully. OBU will remain in competition with the Sooner Athletic Conference of the NAIA for the 2014-15 school year.
In the second and third years, OBU will compete in GAC league play and the National Christian College Athletic Association for national competitions. After the three-year period, OBU can become a full member of Division II.
OBU will be the 12th member of the GAC and the sixth from Oklahoma.
Several other Oklahoma schools have also advanced in the process of moving up to Division II. Oklahoma Christian and Northwestern Oklahoma State successfully completed Year 2 of the process, Rogers State completed Year 1, and the NCAA recommended that Southern Nazarene be moved into full membership.
The NCAA Management Council’s decision on SNU will be announced July 22. If SNU is approved for full membership status, the Crimson Storm would be eligible for postseason play in both the NCAA and Great American Conference. The men’s soccer program would also be eligible for MIAA postseason play.