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.