Local high schools react to NKU Division I announcement

NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) - The news of Northern Kentucky University's division I status has high school basketball courts buzzing.

Division I prospects like Dixie Height's Brandon Hatton are taking note.

"We've been talking about it especially because our coach … he played at NKU so he brings it up a lot to us," Hatton said.

"You want them to be successful and Northern is a place I always push because I had a fantastic experience not only athletically but academically," basketball coach David McFarland said. "It's a great school."

Since his own days on the NKU court, McFarland has been waiting for the school to go D-I and now his high school players can have their shot.

"That's the ultimate goal for any student athlete," McFarland said. "The fact that they're now Division I they're talking a little bit more about it and they're a little bit more interested. "

"My goal has always been to play Division I basketball," Hatton said. "Now that NKU is D-I it's definitely a consideration."

While smaller schools like Bellevue High may not send as many players to Division I schools, the guidance counselor says growing the sports program draws more than just athletes.

"I think it's important that NKU is doing that because that's what a lot of kids are interested in," Jessica Groene said. "They're interested in sport and even if they're not playing them, they want to watch them."

Senior Kayla Tatum though is not convinced going D-I will attract more students.

"I think a lot of kids in this area have always been comfortable with NKU because it's so small," Tatum said. "If it's going to go bigger they're kind of worried about their class sizes and what their options are and how hard it is going to be to get into a Division I sports program."

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.