The University of California San Diego will petition the Big West for membership after its undergraduate student body voted to approve an increase in student fees to cover the costs associated with a non-football Division I athletics program.
UCSD said the week-long vote was 6,137 in favor and 2,567 against with 124 abstentions.
Most of the University of Hawaii’s 21 teams compete in the Big West.
UCSD, whose 23 teams are currently classified Division II, said in a statement, “The student vote was a key milestone in what will be an ongoing process to get UC San Diego athletics to the Division I level. Included in that process will be securing an invitation for membership into the nine-team Big West Conference which currently includes four UC members—Santa Barbara, Irvine, Davis and Riverside—as well as taking additional steps, including review by the Academic Senate, prior to officially submitting an application for NCAA Division I. Other Big West schools include Cal Poly, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge and Hawaii.”
UCSD students currently pay $129.38 per quarter in athletic fees, a figure that will rise to $289.38 over three years if the Big West accepts the Tritons.