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Long Island University to unify all sports programs into NCAA Division I, including wrestling


Long Island University will combine each of its sports programs at its two campuses -- LIU Brooklyn, and LIU Post -- into a single NCAA Division I program as part of a "One LIU" initiative announced Wednesday at the New York Athletic Club.

All intercollegiate sports programs at LIU Post in Brookville, NY, which now compete in NCAA Division II -- including the wrestling program -- will now participate in NCAA Division I, effective in the 2019-20 academic year, according to Newsday.

Starting next fall, the LIU wrestling program -- and all other athletic programs now in existence at either or both campuses -- will compete under the name "Long Island University", and wear uniforms with a blue and gold color scheme. Students and alumni will help decide a new nickname, the school said.

LIU Post wrestling will maintain its competitive schedule already announced for this fall.

Under the "One LIU" initiative, no sports will be eliminated. In fact, LIU is adding women's ice hockey and women's water polo to its roster of intercollegiate sports.

"This is an exciting step forward for Long Island University," said LIU Board of Trustees Chairman Eric Krasnoff. "Athletics plays such an important role in bringing people together and promoting educational values. As we elevate the LIU brand nationally through academic excellence and world-class research, our athletics program will unite our entire community and compete at the highest levels."

"Today's announcement regarding our athletic program's enhancements will allow us to focus our resources on improving opportunities for our students while continuing the tradition of excellence of our university," LIU Director of Athletics Debbie DeJong said. "This is an exciting beginning to the next chapter in LIU Athletics."

"Long Island University is a nationally recognized teaching and research institution," said LIU President Kimberly R. Cline. "We understand the importance of athletics in enhancing our brand nationwide by unifying our university community and our 200,000 alumni around the world. Our student-athletes competing at the highest-level plays a major role in this. We are extremely pleased that the NCAA has embraced this vision for our university's future."

Among the changes as part of the "One LIU" initiative: a new LIU Multi-Purpose Facility. According to the school's athletics website, this new, state-of-the-art multi-purpose athletic facility for the LIU athletic department will include a modern fitness center, new academic spaces, store fronts and expanded parking. http://athletics.liu.edu/

At its website LIU describes itself as "a nationally recognized teaching and research university. Since 1926, LIU has provided high-quality academic programs taught by world-class faculty. LIU offers hundreds of accredited programs to approximately 16,000 students, with a network of over 200,000 alumni, including leaders in industries across the globe."

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