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Bellarmine considering move to Division I

Photo: Bellarmine Magazine

Is Bellarmine finally making a jump up to Division I?

According to WDRB’s Eric Crawford, they’re at least talking about it internally.

“Discussions of these aims have been moving forward since Dr. Susan Donovan became the university’s fourth president two years ago,” WDRB reports. “Now, the discussions have turned to athletics. Bellarmine isn’t talking specifics. But two sources close to the university’s athletic programs say that the school is mulling a jump to the NCAA Division I level in all 22 of its varsity sports.”

When asked by Crawford about a potential jump, Bellarmine director for athletic media relations John Spugnardi declined comment, but did release a statement about a “strategic plan” the school has moving forward.

“In January 2018, Bellarmine began developing a new strategic plan to shape the university’s future,” the statement reads. “In addition to a number of academic and administrative priorities, the plan calls for the university to review its athletics conference and divisional alignment. The goal of this review is to ensure the university is maximizing student opportunities for leadership and growth, alumni engagement, and the reach, visibility and impact of Bellarmine both regionally and nationally. This process is under way, with opportunities for continued input from the Bellarmine community.”

Bellarmine’s men’s lacrosse team already competes at the Division I level, joining the Southern Conference back in 2005.

Under head coach Scott Davenport, the men’s basketball team has become a perennial powerhouse, regularly finding itself ranked No. 1 overall in the nation, making the Final Four in 2017, and winning the NCAA Division II Tournament national championship trophy in 2011.



Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

12 Comments for Bellarmine considering move to Division I

  1. ibescootch
    11:44 pm April 18, 2019 Permalink


    • Ridge Runner
      8:26 am April 19, 2019 Permalink

      Cmon man.. ya gotta get to recognize your states schools! —Always good but not required for that one prostitution institution too.

    • Fitz
      4:25 pm April 19, 2019 Permalink

      You got to kidding, don’t follow state college hoops, or in a cave the last decade. Go Knights. When Bellamire first started it was tabbed as the Notre Dame of the South. Never came close to that status, but a darn good school and an excellent basketball program.

    12:15 am April 19, 2019 Permalink

    I always thought it was odd UK never plays Bellarmine. UofL hosts them regularly in Exib. games. Hell, if they make the jump to DI, Cal needs to make that happen. Playing Transy is nice, but it’s really just a walkthrough practice…pretty pointless. Bellarmine might actually make Cal sweat…for a half anyway.

    • Fitz
      4:33 pm April 19, 2019 Permalink

      Ditto, KYFAN especially since Cal is a devout Catholic and thought he would like to see an in-state Catholic institution like Bellarmine get a big pay day.

  3. Wynn
    2:17 am April 19, 2019 Permalink

    K N I G H T S yessss

    • Fitz
      4:26 pm April 19, 2019 Permalink

      Why? Not necessary to have football to be D-1.

  4. TB112162
    4:36 am April 19, 2019 Permalink

    They need to get football if they make the jump

  5. kjgouk
    5:20 am April 19, 2019 Permalink

    I graduated from there back when it was just a “college”. Don’t see them getting a football team. They don’t even have a football field.

  6. Ridge Runner
    8:23 am April 19, 2019 Permalink

    All 22 of their sports is kinda bold.

    • Fitz
      4:27 pm April 19, 2019 Permalink

      Why so, EZ? I bet they will surpass NKU in hoops witching five years.

  7. Eazy
    12:37 pm April 19, 2019 Permalink

    This would be a debacle for bellarmine. They aren’t anywhere close to an NKU type university athletics wise.