Volume XXIX, No. 28 • July 22, 2005

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Welcome to Black Hills State University - top

  • Barb Ridgway, secretary, Grants Accounting

Retirement - top

  • Jim Bechtold, custodial crew leader, Facilities Services

BHSU will add women's softball, not soccer as originally planned - top

Black Hills State University will add women’s softball, not women’s soccer as previously announced.

According to Steve Meeker, athletic director at BHSU, the university decided to switch sports because recent changes in the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) would make scheduling soccer games more difficult.

Last spring when BHSU announced plans to begin a women’s soccer program, four other universities, Si Tanka-Huron University, University of Mary, Jamestown University and Mayville State University, in the conference had women’s soccer teams. In addition, Dakota State University had plans to add soccer which would have made BHSU the sixth team in the conference to offer women’s soccer.

Since then, Si Tanka-Huron University has closed amid financial difficulties, and the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., left the DAC for the NCAA Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Dakota State is no longer considering adding women’s soccer which would mean only two schools in the current eight team conference would offer women’s soccer.

According to Meeker, it is now more feasible for BHSU to form a women’s softball team because other conference schools have the sport and will provide nearby competition. BHSU will be one of seven universities in the conference to offer women’s softball.

“From a scheduling standpoint, women’s softball is a better choice for us,” Meeker says. He also noted that softball, as a spring sport, will allow for more dual sport athletes such as volleyball-softball players. Softball competition is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2007.

The DAC remains a strong eight-team league that is pursuing additional institutions to join the league or even considering options including a move to NCAA Division II or Division III affiliation.

The addition of women’s softball is one of several changes planned following a statewide Title IX review. BHSU will begin their first year of women’s golf competition this fall. The university prepared a three-year Title IX plan following a review conducted at the request of the South Dakota Board of Regents. Other state universities are working on Title IX compliance plans as well.

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools both in academics and athletics. Since it was passed, Title IX has influenced athletic programs at the high school and college level.

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