INDIANAPOLIS – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s 21st President, Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, began a four-year term on the Division II Membership Committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on September 1, 2023.
“I’m excited to serve on this important committee as the landscape of collegiate athletics is always changing,” Newsom said. “Our university’s involvement in NCAA Division II goes back for nearly 30 years and serving on this committee shows our commitment to Division II as it continues to grow and evolve.”
SE joined the NCAA and Division II prior to the 1995-96 academic year. Newsom is the lone president on the committee and is one of two representatives from the Great American Conference, joining Commissioner Will Prewitt, whose term expires next August.
Newsom holds a special interest in collegiate athletics, as he was a football and baseball student-athlete at Austin College in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He worked in sports information at Austin College, Baylor, Northwestern State, and the Southland Conference and is both the son and father of student-athletes.
The Membership Committee reviews and considers issues pertaining to Division II membership requirements and membership compliance issues. The committee establishes policies and procedures for prospective member institutions and conferences to achieve membership status in Division II and has the authority to approve or deny a prospective member’s request for membership.
The committee also handles NCAA Convention tasks related to Division II business, which include examining the credentials of Division II delegates. The committee also has the authority to conduct an audit of an institution’s fulfillment of membership requirements if the institution is placed on probation for failure to fulfill more than one membership requirement during a 10-year period.
Division II currently includes 311 NCAA colleges and universities that provide thousands of student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a high level of scholarship athletics while excelling in the classroom and fully engaging in the broader campus experience.
Division II schools are located in 47 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the District of Columbia. The division also features the NCAA’s only international member university (Simon Fraser in British Columbia, Canada) and three schools in Puerto Rico.