The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III has accepted Pratt Institute into its provisional membership process after one year as an exploratory member. Starting September 1, 2019, Pratt will become a provisional member of NCAA Division III and compete against some of the 450 Division III institutions from around the country. The NCAA designation makes Pratt the only school in the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) to achieve this athletic level.
“Pratt has a rich history in intercollegiate athletics,” Athletics Director Walter Rickard remarked. “NCAA membership will allow our students to continue to build upon our vibrant history at a higher level. It will elevate the student-athlete experience, and reinforce the Institute’s position as a leader among its peers.”
Currently, Pratt Athletics sponsors 14 men’s and women’s teams across seven sports, including basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, and volleyball. The most recently added varsity sport, equestrian, will operate under the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), as equestrian is not an NCAA sport at this time.
The NCAA Division III prioritizes academic excellence, and Pratt’s inclusion supports the Institute’s long history of promoting athletic participation as part of the college experience. In Pratt’s early years, the athletics program often saw players forming teams representing their disciplines, including an early 1900s men’s architecture basketball team. Later campus additions, such as a new gymnasium, supported the expansion of school-wide teams in baseball, gymnastics, swimming, and tennis. By 1959, Pratt’s varsity soccer squad won an NAIA National Championship and in 1962 lost in the national championship game. In 1977 and 1979, the men’s basketball team competed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship. Since 2000, the Pratt Cannoneers have won 19 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) championships. Pratt also had the first woman, Cindy Meserve Bono, ever to play on an NCAA men’s basketball team.
The first game to take place under the new standing will be a women’s soccer game against SUNY Cobleskill on September 1 at Randall’s Island in Manhattan. The first contest on campus will be women’s volleyball against Rutgers-Newark University on September 5 at 7:30 PM in the ARC. The NCAA membership process is a four-year process, and once full membership is reached Pratt will be able to compete in Division III championships.
Learn more about NCAA Division III.