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GREENVILLE, S.C. – McMurry University has been accepted for membership in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) beginning in the 2012-13 school year, it has been announced. The War Hawks’ athletics programs – which also begin provisional status for NCAA Division II this coming Fall – will hold dual affiliation in the two national collegiate organizations.

“McMurry University is delighted to have received notification of our acceptance into the prestigious National Christian College Athletic Association starting on July 1st,” McMurry Acting President Dr. Paul Fabrizio said. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to join with Christian colleges throughout the nation in competing for athletic championships.

“The NCCAA speaks of the importance of winning ‘the game of life’ in focusing on both the athletic and spiritual needs of student athletes. The mission and core values of McMurry align nicely with the NCCAA as we view ‘Christian faith as the foundation of life’. We look forward to this shared connection with other Christian colleges as we compete on the athletic field.”

McM will be immediately eligible to compete in NCCAA championship events in 2012-13, as well as for post-season academic and athletic awards from the organization. (The War Hawks, as a provisional member of NCAA Division II, are not eligible for those championships and/or post-season honors until the University reaches full NCAA Division II membership status, which is typically two years).

McMurry will compete on the NCCAA’s Division I level. The NCCAA offers post-season competition in all of the sports which McMurry sponsors, with the exception of men’s and women’s swimming. The NCCAA permits its dual-affiliated members to opt out of NCCAA post-season play when qualifying for the NCAA and NAIA championships.

There are 110 NCCAA-affiliated colleges and universities for 2012-13, 67 Division I and 43 Division II. All are either strictly NCCAA members or have dual affiliations in NCAA II, NCAA III or the NAIA.

There are currently 17 NCAA Division II institutions (either full-member or provisional) which also hold NCCAA membership. Among those are Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) – winners of eight-straight NACDA Learfield Cups (for all-around athletics superiority) in the NAIA from 2005-12 – and California Baptist University, which earned the NCCAA’s “President’s Cup” as the organization’s top athletics program in 2011-12.

War Hawks cross country head coach David Chandler believes the affiliation offers McMurry student-athletes a unique opportunity.

“Our student-athletes love to compete and honor God with their ability which is a natural fit with the NCCAA,” Chandler said. “Being members will give us an even better opportunity to develop the mind, body, and spirit of our student-athletes. I look forward to being involved with the community service projects at their national championships, as well.”

All NCCAA championship events require competitors to participate in a community service/outreach project. These are designed to have the student-athletes from opposing schools working together on a common goal, prior to competing in the venues of athletics events, putting proper perspective on sports in relation to “real life.”

“The NCCAA is excited to welcome McMurry University into its membership,” NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood said. “We look forward to partnering with McMurry to impact our culture through the use of intercollegiate athletics as we assist our student-athletes in developing their own personal ‘Game Plan 4 LIFE’.”