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09-09-2003

Athletic Directors Launch Coordinated Effort To Eliminate NCAA Proposal

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 was announced yesterday following a meeting of the Athletic Directors from seven of the eight Institutions affected by the proposal.

Athletic Directors from Clarkson University (Sean T. Frazier), Colorado College (Joel Nielsen), Hartwick College (Betty Powell), Johns Hopkins University (Tom Calder), Rensselaer (Ken Ralph), Rutgers University-Newark (John K. Adams) and St. Lawrence University (Margie Strait) joined in the discussion today at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., to coordinate a strategy to defeat the proposed rule change. Nielsen and Adams took part via telephone.

The group re-affirmed the academic excellence and strong traditions and history that have been attached to their various programs.  Discussion also centered on the importance of these particular programs to their local communities.  The group also focused on the importance of raising the awareness of this issue amongst all interested parties.

"We had a very productive meeting, and are confident that we have a strategy that will benefit all of our institutions," said Ralph of Rensselaer.  "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."

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 Council also noted that its word was not the last on any of these proposals since the membership has the next five months to consider the merits of the proposals, including the amendment-to-amendment process, before it will vote on them at the 2004 NCAA Convention.  The Council further noted that it would be communicating with the eight affected Division III institutions that give scholarship aid in their Division I programs and receiving their feedback to its October meeting.

The proposal, announced in August, is scheduled to be discussed at an October meeting of the NCAA President's Council.  Unless the proposal is withdrawn, it is scheduled for a vote by the 424 Division III Institutions at a NCAA Convention in January in Nashville, Tenn.

CONTACT:

Clarkson University: Sean Frazier at (315) 268-6622

[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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