Johns Hopkins will go to the floor of January's NCAA
Convention to fight a proposal that would force it to give
up either athletic grants-in-aid in lacrosse or Division
III competition in other sports.
The university and seven other schools affected by the
proposal said last week that a number of other Division III
schools and conferences already have offered support. The
eight institutions said they would work between now and the
Jan. 9-12, 2004, convention in Nashville to "form a
majority that will defeat Proposal 2-69 on the floor."
President William R. Brody
has been working directly with the presidents and
chancellors of the other affected schools and intends to go
to Nashville to fight the proposal.
Johns Hopkins is a member of Division III, the
424-school branch of the NCAA that emphasizes participation
in athletics rather than big-time sports programs.
Student-athletes in Division III may not receive athletic
Since the early 1980s, Johns Hopkins has operated
under an exemption that allows its traditionally
men's lacrosse program to participate in Division I and
offer grants-in-aid while the rest of the Blue Jay sports
program competes in Division III. The exemption recognizes
the important history and tradition of Johns Hopkins
lacrosse, which has won or shared 42 national titles,
including seven since the NCAA has sponsored lacrosse
championships. The Blue Jay women's team also
moved up to Division I in 1999 and began awarding
grants-in-aid, a move that was permitted under the
exemption to maintain Title IX compliance.
This year, the NCAA Division III Presidents Council
moved to revoke the exemption. That move would affect Johns
Hopkins and historically prominent sports programs at seven
other schools, including ice hockey at RPI, Clarkson, St.
Lawrence and Colorado College and soccer at Hartwick
Last week, the Presidents Council decided to send the
proposal to the floor of the convention, rejecting a motion
to withdraw it. Johns Hopkins and the other seven schools
had argued that the exemption — granted for solid
historical reasons and affecting fewer than 0.2 percent of
the 7,000 teams fielded by Division III schools —
remains justified and has caused no problems in Division
"We had very much hoped to remove a potentially
divisive issue from the agenda of January's NCAA
convention," Johns Hopkins said in a statement released
after the Presidents Council Action. "That, we believe,
would have opened the way for focused discussion on the
remainder of the proposed Division III reform package, the
principles of which our institutions support.
"Our eight colleges and universities remain united in
the firm belief that enactment of Proposal 2-69 would do
considerable harm to our schools," the statement said.
"Worse, it would do so without measurably advancing the
cause of Division III."
More background on the issue is available in a
frequently asked questions package on the university's Web