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Some boosters want South Dakota's Augustana on bigger stage

Last Updated Jun 24, 2018 at 11:40 am EST

File In this March 3, 2015 file photo, Augustana's Alex Richter, left, shoots past Montana State Moorehead's Ngijol Songolo during an NCAA college basketball game in Sioux Falls, S.D. Many supporters of Augustana University hope to see the school move from Division II to Division I athletics. Three other schools in the Dakotas have been successful in moving up to Division I in recent years. (Elisha Page/Argus Leader via AP File)

Augustana University in Sioux Falls will have a powerful ally if it decides to move up to NCAA Division I athletics.

Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft thinks it’s a good idea and he would help with the most important step: finding money. Krabbenhoft has raised hundreds of millions dollars. He’s also worked on projects with hospital namesake T. Denny Sanford and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Krabbenhoft says many pieces are in place in the burgeoning community and the school needs to decide if it wants to be like a Notre Dame or a Creighton.

School President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin says the time is right to explore Division I athletics as part of a discussion to make the university bigger and better.