UC Santa Cruz is pleased to announce that both the men's and women's water polo teams will compete in NCAA Division III during the 2008-2009 academic year.

At the conclusion of the 2008-2009 season, both teams will return to their positions as club sports at UCSC.

The decision to continue Division III competition for a year follows lengthy discussions with student athletes, parents, and others interested in water polo at UCSC. The one-year extension will allow student athletes to continue to compete at the Division III level while providing time to make plans for a transfer to another NCAA program if desired. This extension is possible because of the generous private support that has been raised.

Water polo was elevated from club to NCAA Division III status in 1999. The athletic program has struggled financially for many years and has an inadequate infrastructure to support 14 teams adequately. With the news of further budget cuts earlier this year, the elimination of two teams became necessary.

Both water polo teams have shown success in competition with the men's team finishing the 2006 season ranked No. 1 out of the 15 Division III programs and the women's team finishing in 3rd place in the 2008 championship tournament.