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Ave Maria (football) versus the Irish? Not going to happen

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Oft-mentioned dreams of an Ave Maria versus Notre Dame football battle will never happen.

That’s according to Ave Maria University founder and Chancellor Tom Monaghan, who said Division I-A football isn’t in the university’s plans.

In the beginning: Ave Maria (football) versus the Irish? Not going to happen

By Liam Dillon

Monday, August 20, 2007

Oft-mentioned dreams of an Ave Maria versus Notre Dame football battle will never happen.

That’s according to Ave Maria University founder and Chancellor Tom Monaghan, who said Division I-A football isn’t in the university’s plans.

“I feel that when we’re at our 20-year goal of 5,500 students — 4,000 undergraduate students — that we could be possibly at the very highest in Division I-AA like Georgetown and the Ivy League schools,” Monaghan said.

Schools with that classification play at collegiate athletics’ top tier in all sports except football, the most expensive program to build and maintain.

The university, which has participated at the club level while at its temporary campus in North Naples, has been in contact with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a competitive association of 287 small schools that exists apart from the NCAA.

Rob Miller, a regional director for the NAIA, said the organization hoped to see an application from Ave Maria in the fall. The soonest the school could receive membership is July 2008, Miller said.

Even if Ave Maria joins the NAIA, it would be ineligible for postseason competition until the school receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Ave Maria resubmitted an application to SACS in May and the accreditation process typically takes two to four years.

The school has selected its nickname: the Gyrenes, a nickname for the Marines — the branch of the military in which Monaghan served.
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Ave Maria (football) versus the Irish? Not going to happen Oft-mentioned dreams of an Ave Maria versus Notre Dame football battle will never happen.
 

That’s according to Ave Maria University founder and Chancellor Tom Monaghan, who said Division I-A football isn’t in the university’s plans.

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