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12-22-2003

Faculty Rep, Student-Athlete Groups Oppose NCAA Proposal 65

The NCAA's national organizations for faculty athletic representatives and student-athletes have voted to support Clarkson University and seven other Division III schools in the battle to
defeat NCAA Proposal 65.

Proposal 65 is legislation, to be considered at the NCAA Convention in January, that would eliminate a waiver that allows the eight Division III schools to offer athletics-related aid to student athletes who play Division I sports at their institutions. At Clarkson University, traditionally a national power at the highest competitive levels of collegiate hockey, the waiver allows grants-in-aid for the Division I
Golden Knights men's and women’s hockey teams. There are no grants-in-aid in Division III sports, either at Clarkson or elsewhere.

Both the National Faculty Athletic Representatives Association (FARA) and the National Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) recently held national meetings and voted to support Proposal 65-1, the amendment offered by the eight schools that would be affected by Proposal 65.

At the national FARA meeting in New Orleans, members voted unanimously to oppose Proposal 65. There was a similar unanimous vote in support of Proposal 65-1, which would allow the eight schools to maintain the "grandfather" clause that has covered them since 1983.

"We think it would be grossly unfair if the membership did not grandfather what amounts to a handful of schools," said Ed Streb, FARA president and the faculty athletic representative at Rowan University in New Jersey. "We don't see how anyone really benefits from [Proposal 65], but we certainly understand the damage it could do to some fine programs."

The National SAAC also voted overwhelmingly at its recent meeting to support 65-1.

"When the national Student Athlete Advisory Committee reviewed Proposals 65 and 65-1, we felt there were several overwhelming reasons to support the eight schools that would be affected," said Jaime Fluker, chair of the committee and a recent graduate of Carthage College. "We don't feel that any of these schools gain a competitive advantage in the Division III sports they sponsor and there was no proof of a recruiting advantage gained by sponsoring a Division I sport that receives scholarship support. Perhaps most importantly, we felt that Proposal 65 would have a negative impact on the athletic programs at these schools and we felt strongly that we did not want to take away from the history and tradition that these programs enjoy."

The 2004 NCAA Convention will be held Jan. 9-12 in Nashville, Tenn. The eight schools that would be affected (Clarkson, Colorado College, RPI, St. Lawrence, Johns Hopkins, SUNY College at Oneonta, Hartwick and Rutgers-Newark) have undertaken an exhaustive approach to defeat Proposal 65. Presidents and athletics directors from the eight schools are contacting all 424 Division III member institutions to educate them on the history of the waiver and on the impact Proposal 65 would have on their schools.

Note: More information about Proposal 65 and Proposal 65-1 is online at
ftp://ftp.clarkson.edu/depts/web/ncaaproposal65.pdf

[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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