Division I move leaves student-athletes feeling uncertain about future


Photo by Eva Laurens

Lindenwood University’s Hyland Arena sits empty on Tuesday, May 3.

Eva Laurens, Reporter

Lindenwood’s decision to move from Division II to Division I created excitement around the university, but also mixed feelings among the student body.

“Initially I was excited because that’s a huge accomplishment for the university as a whole,” wrestler Abner Romero said. “But then I remember there’s always a transition period when these types of things happen.”

“When I first heard of the news I was upset and shocked,” wrestler Jake Harrier said. “I’d have to part ways with a team I knew I wanted to be on because I wouldn’t be able to wrestle a postseason if I stayed here.”

Women’s volleyball player Audrey Weber, who was already thinking about leaving, took that announcement as a final decision to not be a student at Lindenwood anymore.

“I was actually pretty mad when they announced we were going D1,” Weber said. “I was already on the fence about staying at Lindenwood, and that was kind of just the last deciding factor.”

Rumors were going around before the official announcement, which helped some students like Harrier, to start thinking about other colleges he could transfer to that could let him compete at the Division I level.

“Fortunately I put my name in the transfer portal early due to rumors about the division change so I was able to talk to college coaches,” Harrier said. “It made it a smoother transition.”

The NCAA transfer portal helps students find another school that would match what they are looking for in a college that would suit the vision they have for their future as student athletes.

Romero was one of the many student athletes impacted by this move.

“It affected me more so negatively than positively,” Romero said. “I knew I would be impacted as soon as they let us know”

Even if being a Division I player would not be a problem for some athletes, it is not what they wanted when they first committed to Lindenwood.

“I like to think I would have had a chance as a D1 player, but that’s not what I wanted,” Weber said.

Weber took that decision as a choice taken away from her.

“I had the chance to go D1 and chose D2 for a reason,” Weber said. “It felt like that choice was taken away from me.”