A coordinated effort to stop an NCAA proposal to
eliminate the waiver that allows Division III schools
sponsoring a Division I sport to offer athletics
scholarships in Division I was announced last week
following a meeting of the athletic directors from seven of
the eight institutions affected by the proposal.
Athletic directors from Clarkson, Hartwick, Johns
Hopkins, Rensselaer and St. Lawrence joined in a discussion
Sept. 8 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.,
to coordinate a strategy to defeat the proposed rule
change; their counterparts at Colorado College and Rutgers
University-Newark participated via telephone. SUNY College
at Oneonta would also be affected.
The group reaffirmed the academic excellence and
strong traditions and history that have been attached to
their various programs, and discussed the importance of
these particular programs to their local communities. The
group also focused on the importance of raising the
awareness of this issue among all interested parties.
"We are committed to working together to ensure that
all parties understand what is at stake here, and to
develop alternatives to proposals now on the table," said
Ken Ralph of Rensselaer.
The NCAA proposal in question is part of a sweeping
package of reforms aimed at Division III athletic
departments including adjusting playing seasons, financial
aid and recruiting.
The scholarship proposal, announced in August, is
scheduled to be discussed at an October meeting of the NCAA
President's Council. The council has said it will
communicate with the eight affected institutions to receive
their feedback to the meeting. The council also noted that
its word would not be the last since the 424 Division III
members will have five months to consider the merits of the
proposals before the scheduled vote at the 2004 NCAA
Convention to be held in January in Nashville, Tenn.