The Purchase athletic program spent the past four years as a provisional DIII school, participating as a full member of the Skyline Conference last year, but was not eligible under bylaw for NCAA tournament play -- a rule that cost Purchase a chance to participate in the women's soccer tournament in 2006 after the Panthers won the tournament championship in their previous league, North Eastern Athletic Conference.
As an active institution, Purchase will now be eligible for all NCAA tournaments, and all NCAA Division III enhancement resources. The transition from provisional status to full membership takes five years to complete, but the NCAA was so impressed by Purchase's commitment and its completion of required tasks over that time, that they combined years four and five -- a not so common practice for the NCAA when it comes to provisional programs.
"We are extremely pleased to have been granted active NCAA DIII status," said Purchase Athletic Director Ernie Palmieri. We've spent a great deal of time and energy to ensure successful completion of all the requirements. We are looking forward to competing in NCAA tournament play."
Purchase College features 13 intercollegiate varsity sports, and is in the process of adding a men's golf team and men's swim team for 2009. Athletic program goals also call for the addition of men's and women's lacrosse teams by 2010.