Updated: February 1, 2016
UC San Diego could be going Division I. An article by Kriti Sarin in the UCSD Guardian last week outlined the plan for students to vote during Week 8 of this quarter (I’m thinking like late February or early March?) on whether to increase student fees by $289.38 per quarter, though that rate would be gradually worked-up to over the course of three years.
As a UCSD alumnus and someone who watches a lot of Big West Conference sports (the conference the Tritons would presumably compete in), this is very exciting.
I loved my time at UCSD. I’m proud of the high academic standards there. Being so close to the beach was amazing.
During my sophomore year at UCSD, the Tritons made the move from Division III to Division II. With the facilities and wide array of sports that UCSD offered, the move didn’t seem like a huge step at all. Now, with a Division I opportunity looming, the Tritons could continue to raise their profile.
While they probably can’t make any guarantees or promises until the Division I move is complete, the Big West Conference would be an ideal landing spot for the Tritons.
In 2013, the conference thought it had San Diego State lined-up before the Aztecs pulled out of the agreement. Currently, the West Coast Conference (Univeristy of San Diego) and Mountain West Conference (San Diego State) have schools in the second-largest city in California. The Big West would be crazy not to covet UCSD as the tenth team in the conference — which currently has nine members for sports like men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and softball.
If you’re wondering whether schools like UCSD are already Division I, the answer is yes. Well-established, long-standing Division I athletics programs like Cal and UCLA aside, the Big West actually holds four UC schools that are much like UCSD in many ways. UC Irvine is the geographically closest. UCSB is a long-time Division I program. UC Riverside is the team UCSD replaced in the CCAA in 2001 and UC Davis was a brief CCAA Division II rival before the Aggies made the jump in 2004.
Six of the nine University of California campuses not in San Diego are Division I already. Do you think UCSD most resembles UC Merced, UC San Francisco, and UC Santa Cruz? Or, does UC San Diego look a little more like UCI, UCSB, UC Riverside and UC Davis?
With an enrollment of more than 30,000, UCSD is already at a place in-line with other Big West schools. The campus is the best in San Diego. The facilities are D-1 ready — most are better than some of the current facilities at some Big West schools.
When I talk to friends who went to schools like UCSB, UC Davis, or even Cal Poly, one thing I’m constantly reminded of is the student life aspect surrounding being able to attend Division I games and rooting for my school. It’s the only thing about my decision to attend UCSD that I might go back and do differently.
I’m hoping to explore the current climate at UCSD from student and staff perspectives in the electronic pages of this website in the next few months, but in the mean time, it’s time. Let’s do it. Division I.