MUSTANG HOOFPRINTS: NCAA considering new eligibility requirements

Hello Mustang Fans!

Representatives from the SMSU Department of Athletics traveled to San Diego, Calif., on Wednesday for the 2014 NCAA Convention.

At the convention, we will attend professional development sessions on all topics surrounding the operation of an athletics department. The staff will continue to learn more about the 24 legislative proposals that we will be voting on during the NCAA Division II Business Session on Saturday morning.

This year, Division II has new legislation on the table called, “Path to Graduation.” It could impact incoming freshmen and transfer students by changing the eligibility requirements to participate in athletics at the Division II level.

The Path to Graduation could also affect our current student-athletes at SMSU by increasing the number of credits earned in a semester, as well as changing a number of other criteria for annual certification.

The NCAA has done extensive research and believes these changes will enhance the graduation rates of Division II student-athletes.

On Friday, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) will have a variety of meetings for its leadership.

The NSIC is in the middle of putting together a five-year strategic plan. Both SMSU president Dr. Connie Gores and I were selected to participate with the NSIC Strategic Planning Committee. The five-year strategic plan will be one of many topics the conference will be discussing at the convention this year.

Gold Rush Raffle

We are just a little less than a month away from the Gold Rush Raffle, which will be held Feb. 14 in the Conference Center Ballroom.

Last year, the Gold Rush Raffle raised a little more than $53,000. This year, the committee has set a goal of raising more than $75,000 with all proceeds going to aid the Mustang Booster Club’s effort to support SMSU athletic scholarships.

The Mustang Booster Club contributed $100,000 to athletic scholarships in 2012-13.

The SMSU Department of Athletics and the Mustang Booster Club look forward to hosting the mid-winter social event everyone looks forward to attending.

Social on Saturday

The Southwest Minnesota State Mustang Booster Club will host a postgame social this Saturday night at The Hitching Post in Marshall, following the SMSU women’s and men’s basketball games versus Upper Iowa.

Appetizers and beverages will be provided.

The event is open to all Mustang Booster Club members and potential members.

On the Web

For all your information on SMSU athletics and the Gold Rush Raffle, visit our website at

Upcoming SMSU athletic events


The SMSU wrestling team (5-2 overall, 2-0 NSIC) earned a huge win over Augustana College on Tuesday. The last time the Mustangs beat the Vikings was during the 1998-99 season. SMSU handed Augustana its first NSIC loss.

The Mustangs trailed 14-12 heading into the last match of the dual before heavyweight Cole Wilson secured the victory SMSU with an 8-2 decision.

SMSU is back in action Saturday at the Midwest Duals in Kearney, Neb. The Mustangs will compete in four duals at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, beginning at 9 a.m.

Men’s Basketball

The SMSU men’s basketball team (10-6 overall, 7-3 NSIC) will play at home Friday and Saturday, when the Mustangs welcome two NSIC South Division teams. At 8 p.m. Friday, the Mustangs will face No. 16-ranked Winona State University (15-2, 10-0) at the R/A Facility. At 7 p.m. Saturday, SMSU meets Upper Iowa University (7-9, 5-5).

The Mustangs are coming of a 1-1 NSIC road trip last weekend, losing to St. Cloud on Friday and beating Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday.

SMSU is currently in third place in the NSIC overall and in the South Division standings.

Women’s Basketball

The Mustang women’s basketball team (2-12 overall, 0-10 NSIC) suffered two losses last weekend on the road versus St. Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth.

The Mustangs are at home at 6 p.m. Friday to battle Winona State (8-6, 4-6). At 5 p.m. Saturday, SMSU faces Upper Iowa (4-10, 3-7) at the R/A Facility.

Indoor Track and Field

The SMSU men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams had impressive showings during their first Division II competition Saturday at the Minnesota State Alumni Open in Mankato.

The Mustang men’s 1,600-meter relay team of Austin LaFollette, O.J. Ojulla, Alejandro Sanchez and Jay Schneider captured first place with a time of 3:26.33 to break the previous SMSU school record of 3:28.51 set in 1990.

Schneider, a freshman, also set a new school mark of 22.69 seconds in the 200 dash. The previous record of 23.09 seconds was set in 1990 by Wayne Hawkins.

Sanchez won the 800 run with a time of 2:00.98.

For the Mustang women, Amanda Grengs earned a third-place finish in the 800 run with a time of 2:33.01.

SMSU is back in action at the Dordt College Open on Saturday in Sioux Center, Iowa. Teams competing, along with the Mustangs, include Dakota State, Dordt, Morningside, Mount Marty, Northwestern, Briar Cliff, Dakota Wesleyan, Sioux Falls, Augustana, Southwestern Community College, North Iowa Community College and South Dakota School of Mines.

Wheelchair Basketball

The SMSU wheelchair basketball team (3-9 overall) is back in action to compete in the University of Illinois Tournament on Friday and Saturday in Champaign, Ill.

The Mustangs will battle Illinois, Arizona and Wisconsin-Whitewater during the tournament.

Women’s Tennis

The SMSU women’s tennis team will begin its 2014 season in a few weeks with a 20-match schedule, beginning Feb. 1 with a pair of matches versus St. Thomas and Macalester in Minneapolis.

Good luck to all our Mustang teams this week!

Go Mustangs!

Trivia Contest

Congratulations to former SMSU baseball player Marc Craigmile who provided the correct response to last week’s Mustang Hoofprint’s Trivia Question: In the history of the program, the SMSU wrestling team is a perfect 4-0 against which NSIC school?

The Mustangs are 4-0 versus the University of Sioux Falls in all-time duals.

Trivia Question

What was the first year SMSU competed as a member of NCAA Division II?

The first person to email me at with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU T-shirt.