Omaha Public Radio News
12:07 pm
Sat March 26, 2011

UNO switches athletic conferences

Omaha, NE – It's official. The UNO sports program will move from NCAA Division 2 to Division 1 effective July 1, 2011.

The NU Board of Regents met Friday morning on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The conference realignment was the only issue on the agenda. Board members heard commentary and concerns from the public before voting unanimously to move UNO to the Summit League. Mario Morgan, a UNO student wrestler was upset about the way the team was told their program was being dissolved, "We have three seniors that won the national championship this year and we worked really hard for that. Our team battled. We didn't know we were going to win a national championship until the final matches were over. And our seniors came through in a clutch and we won. And we went back to our hotel and we celebrated for about an hour. And some of us found out through an e-mail, before our coach could even tell us, that our program had been dropped."

Rita Henry, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UNO, said though the change would be difficult, ultimately it would be a positive move for the university, "While I am saddened by the loss of the football players, wrestlers and coaches who have to leave UNO, I am excited by this move into Division 1 knowing what a tremendous impact it will have to UNO over the long-term."

Trev Alberts, Director of Athletics for UNO, said the move to Division 1 will bring financial stability to UNO as well as greater visibility and prestige for the university.