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10-30-2003

Statement By Clarkson President Tony Collins On Proposed NCAA Legislation

The NCAA Division III Presidents Council voted today to not withdraw Proposal 2-69 from the agenda of the January 2004 NCAA III Convention.

We are disappointed that members of the Council did not recognize the intent of a 1982 waiver for eight schools that had strong traditions, pride and competitive rivalries in one or two sports at the Division I level. 

We have abided by the rules and regulations set forth in the waiver that allowed us to continue to compete in intercollegiate hockey at the Division I level, while all our other sports remained Division III.

In good faith we have made long-term investments in facilities and pledged our commitment to our student athletes, coaching staff, and fans. The case made more than 20 years ago, and accepted by the NCAA, remains intact today for Clarkson University.

We will now move forward on all fronts with the other seven schools opposing this proposal. We will explore all options available to us and leave no stone unturned to find a solution that is in the best interest of our student-athletes and the University.

Proposal 2-69 is legislation that would eliminate an NCAA Division III Management Council waiver that, for reasons of history and tradition, granted a very small group of Division III institutions the ability to continue offering athletic grants-in-aid to student-athletes participating in a Division I sport.

If passed, this legislation would affect Clarkson (men’s and women’s ice hockey), Colorado College (men’s ice hockey, women’s soccer), Hartwick (men’s soccer, women’s water polo), Johns Hopkins (men’s and women’s lacrosse), Oneonta State (men’s soccer), RPI (men’s ice hockey), Rutgers-Newark (men’s volleyball) and St. Lawrence (men’s and women’s ice hockey).

The only significant difference between these schools and other Division III members is a history and tradition of prominence in one particular sport, generally a sport that has a relatively low national visibility but that is important locally or regionally. Given this history, and the importance of that one traditional sport to each institution, its students, alumni and community, it makes sense for our institutions to continue competing in their traditional sports at the highest competitive level. In other sports, they play in Division III, a status consistent with their institutional philosophies.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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