The NCAA Division III Presidents Council has recommended a
"reform" package that includes a proposal that could
jeopardize Johns Hopkins' multidivisional athletic status,
indirectly forcing the university to choose between
Division I and Division III.
At Johns Hopkins, both the men's and women's lacrosse
teams play in Division I. The school's 24 other varsity
sports teams play in Division III.
Specifically, the proposal seeks to eliminate an
exception that allows the university and seven other
Division III schools to offer athletic scholarships to
athletes playing on their Division I teams.
"My administration fully supports our
Athletics, and we are committed to maintaining our
status as a multidivisional institution," said university
President William R. Brody.
"With the support of the many schools we compete against on
a regular basis, it is our intention to work within the
guidelines of the NCAA against this proposal."
The other schools that would be impacted are Clarkson
University, Colorado College, Hartwick College, Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers-Newark, St. Lawrence
University and SUNY College at Oneonta. In response to the
reform package, approved on Aug. 7, Johns Hopkins has begun
to work with these schools to defeat the proposal.
Ernie Larossa, the Athletic Department's associate
director for public relations, said that the university has
recently contacted and received a show of support from
other schools in the Centennial Conference, the athletic
association in which Johns Hopkins plays most of its NCAA
Division III sports.
The Presidents Council will meet again in October, at
which time it can amend the reform package. If the proposal
survives past that date, it will be voted on at the 2004
national convention of NCAA Division III conferences, to be
held in January 2004 in Nashville, Tenn. A majority vote of
the 426 member institutions is needed to ratify the
Johns Hopkins plans to form a committee this fall to
study its options if the scholarship ban, which has an
enactment date of 2008-2009, were to pass.