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Last updated 4:57 pm CST July 2
College Premier Division teams have been working with the understanding that July 1 was the date by which they needed to declare their intent to either stay in the CPD for its second season or return to DI. At time of print, RUGBYMag.com had made attempts to contact every team that competed in the inaugural CPD and not already announced their return to DI.
We can confirm San Diego State will be returning to DI and joining the
Pacific Mountain West Conference. Claremont Colleges has also made the
decision to return to DI, and they will compete in the Pacific Mountain
West, as well.
Here are the teams that confirmed their intent to return to the CPD: Air Force, Rutgers, Cal Poly, Central Washington, St. Mary's, UC Davis, Arizona State, Colorado State, Utah, Arkansas State, Life, Texas A&M, Delaware, Kutztown and Navy.
Arizona, BYU, Colorado, Wyoming, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Penn State could not be immediately reached, but due to prior conversations with representatives of those programs themselves or independent sources, RUGBYMag.com expects all will return to CPD in 2012.
Army coach Rich Pohlidal said the Black Knights have not made their
decision yet, and Cal coach Jack Clark abstained from declaring the
defending champs' intent, citing a desire to let those at USA Rugby handle
the process how they saw fit.
Dartmouth has been expected to announce its return to DI, and as of last week Big Green coach Alex Magleby said that was still the plan. However, no official announcement has been made.
Rumors leading up to the July 1 deadline indicated UCLA may join Claremont Colleges and SDSU in the Pacific Mountain West next season, but while UCLA could not be reached to confirm their intent to either return to the CPD or compete in DI, it is still believed by many CPD coaches that UCLA will remain in the CPD.
Cal Poly has confirmed its intent to enter the Pacific Mountain West, but as a non-points-scoring member. Cal Poly will return to the CPD in the spring.
UC Davis now has a new head coach -- Andy Acosta. The former backs coach took the helm when four others stepped down, including former head coach Andy Malpass, who cited the team's insistence on staying in the CPD as part of his reason for leaving. Malpass said he and the other departed coaches intend to immerse themselves in the high school rugby scene.
RUGBYMag.com has also learned Notre Dame has expressed interest in joining Rugby East. With the expected departure of Dartmouth, the East will have six orseven teams remaining, depending on what Army does. If Notre Dame leaves the Mid-South, some remaining coaches (of which there are only four) believe they'll end up playing a home-and-away schedule. Texas A&M Director of rugby Craig Coates said a four-team, home-and-away schedule would actually be less expensive than the first year of the CPD for the Aggies.
Stay tuned to RUGBYMag.com as we continue to cover the College Premier Division and changes in collegiate rugby.
Since this article's original run, teams may have contacted
RUGBYMag.com to confirm their status, thus the story has been made