"We believe NESCAC is the preeminent Division III athletic conference in the country," said Hamilton President Eugene M. Tobin. "No other conference of which I am aware does as good a job providing athletic excellence in the context of rigorous academic programs. The changes we have adopted will strengthen that position even further." The resolutions, and a new 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 to 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.