Seattle University hasn't scrapped its discussion of moving up to Division I sports, but it won't be joining the West Coast Conference any...

Share story

Seattle University hasn’t scrapped its discussion of moving up to Division I sports, but it won’t be joining the West Coast Conference any time soon.

Presidents of the WCC’s eight universities have decided not to expand the conference now, or in the foreseeable future. The news was delivered this week to Seattle U. by WCC commissioner Mike Gilleran.

Seattle U. began a formal review last October to consider moving from the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference, to Division I.

“We’re a little bit disappointed, mainly because we weren’t able to finish our own process,” said Rob Kelly, vice president for student development at Seattle U. and co-chair of the athletic alignment study task force. “We’re looking at Division I regardless. But one of the conferences that we looked at most closely is the WCC. We’re disappointed they’re not interested in expanding at this point.”

Kelley said the task force will meet with the university’s Board of Trustees in May to determine if Seattle U. will proceed with a formal request to the NCAA to seek Division I membership.

“That’s still on the table, just not the WCC now,” Kelly said. “We’re still going to continue with our own process. We knew this [WCC decision] was always a possibility. Nothing was a done deal. It is up to them, up to the presidents of West Coast Conference schools. We were focused on doing our study.

“I think mainly we’re looking at the athletic program and alignment and what is the best place for us. [Division I] remains a possibility, but staying where we are is, too.

“What we’re looking at is: What is best for us? What is best for student life?”