NCAA Division 3 is out, but apparently a move to NCAA Division 2 remains an option for Georgetown College's sports program. The Georgetown College Board of Trustees met Friday and Saturday, and much of the discussion centered on the school's athletic affiliation. On Friday the trustees requested that President Bill Crouch analyze the data provided by an exploratory committee on a potential move to NCAA D3 before even hearing the committee's recommendation.
That pushed discussions into Saturday when the trustees voted to eliminate any consideration of moving the school's athletic affiliation from its present NAIA to NCAA D3. Then, in a surprising move, the trustees called for a continued study into the possible move to NCAA D2.
NCAA D3 schools cannot offer athletic scholarships, something that was of concern to alumni and apparently to the trustees. Both NAIA and NCAA D2 schools are allowed to award athletic scholarships.
"We appreciate the importance of giving athletic scholarships to student-athletes who desire to attend a highly selective national liberal arts college and also participate in athletics," said William J. Houston, chairman of the college's board of trustees."
However, we as a board must be vigilant always and evaluate every aspect of the College including athletics to assure we are positioned in the best place for the future.
"We have determined that a move to Division 3 is not the best fit for Georgetown College."
Earlier this year, the NCAA granted Georgetown College a transitional year to determine if NCAA D3 was a fit for the school. Georgetown College made the request to the NCAA after schools in both the NCAA D2 and D3 made overturns to the Tigers sports program for conferences that are being organized.
As a result an exploratory committee was organized to study potential options into both NCAA divisions, but the early focus was primarily on NCAA DIII because of the school's pursuit of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national academic honor society.
"I am grateful to our research task force for their excellent work and to the trustees for their commitment to Georgetown College," Crouch said. "This decision is the right one for the future of this great school."
The discussions of a move to NCAA DIII placed students who are currently on athletic scholarship in a difficult situation. While there would have been a transitional period, the sports programs would have changed, and some scholarships would have been lost almost immediately.
This weekend's decision relieves that press, said Brian Evans, athletics director, and "Sends a strong message to our coaches from the College leadership about the importance that athletics brings to the academic experience of our campus."