Campus News

NESCAC to Become Playing Conference, Choose Conference Champion for Post-Season Play

Story posted April 15, 1998

April 23, 1998 Brunswick, Maine-- The presidents of members of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) voted unanimously this week in Boston to a series of actions designed to strengthen the conference. The resolutions, and a NESCAC mission statement, were passed unanimously by vote of the NESCAC presidents. The resolutions are designed to minimize the effect of post-season play on member schools and strengthen intraleague play.

The resolutions are as follows:

-- The conference will evolve into a qualified playing conference within NCAA Division III in all sports eligible for that status, except football.

-- Appropriate mechanisms will be created to determine a conference champion in all sports where that is practical.

-- The conference will send only the conference champion to post-season competition in one venue deemed appropriate -- normally NCAA Division III.

-- As soon as mechanisms are created to determine a conference champion in each sport, NESCAC schools will cease participation in ECAC competition, except in instances where ECAC competition is determined to be more appropriate than NCAA national competition.

-- These changes will lessen conflicts with academic schedules; the remaining conflicts with examinations and other academic priorities will be resolved by each institution.

To help adopt the resolutions, a conference office will be established at one of the NESCAC member schools. A conference coordinator will be hired for record-keeping, research, public information, and organization of special studies, both academic and athletic, among other duties.

Implementation of these resolutions is expected to take as long as three years. Athletic directors and the new conference coordinator will develop models and timetables for the transition within coming months. NESCAC member schools are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College. Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University and Williams College.

The New England Small College Athletic Conference, founded in 1971, consists of 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges. Its members are committed first and foremost to academic excellence and believe that athletic excellence supports our educational mission.

Each institution is committed to providing a comprehensive athletic program available to the entire student body. All participants in athletic activities are treated equitably.

The conference is based on mutual trust, and all members are committed to the highest ethical standards in our relationships with each other. It encourages its members to compete with one another and is committed to promoting equitable competition among us. The conference is committed to establishing common boundaries to keep athletics strong but in proportion to the overall academic mission of the member institutions.

In pursuit of this mission, the Presidents of each NESCAC institution control intercollegiate athletic policy. The day-to-day operation of the athletic program is conducted by the Director of Athletics. Students on all intercollegiate teams are to be representative of the overall student body and are admitted with the expectation of their full participation in the life of the college. In all sports, conference members give primary emphasis to in-season competition where programs have fixed starting and ending dates and where the number of contests is limited. The conference and each member will manage competition and post-season play in a manner that minimizes conflicts with class schedules and examinations.

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