Intercollegiate athletics have arrived at the University of North Texas at Dallas.
UNT Dallas students passed a $7-per-credit-hour athletics fee with 63% support. The fee, which ranks as the lowest in the state, will help fund men’s and women’s teams in basketball, cross country and track starting in the 2020-21 academic year.
Additional sports, including men’s and women’s soccer, will be added in coming years.
“This is a momentous day for UNT Dallas as we take another significant step toward becoming an all-encompassing university in the heart of southern Dallas,” UNT Dallas President Bob Mong said. “Athletics will enhance the student and alumni experience, increase our visibility and bring awareness of the university’s mission to make college accessible and affordable for all. I thank our student body for their overwhelming support to bring athletics to UNT Dallas.”
The university is expected to join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and will formally apply to become a member of the Sooner Athletic Conference. The SAC provides UNT Dallas with two natural rivalries in Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth and Southwest Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie.
“From our students, faculty, staff and the community, there is enormous support for intercollegiate athletics at UNT Dallas,” athletics director Jack Allday said. “We are located in the heart of one of the most fertile areas in the country for recruiting student-athletes. Now, local student-athletes don’t have to leave home to go to college and continue to compete. They can stay right here and be Trailblazers.”
UNT Dallas will immediately begin a national search for head coaches to lead the new basketball and cross country/track teams.