WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE IN DIVISION III?
AL VAN WIE:
(Tuesday, June 9, 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.)
As we meet in various groups at NCAA meetings and at NACDA, I think one of the topics that
we get in small sessions and talk about is where do we go from here in Division III? This morning, that's the topic of our breakout session. First, our four speakers this morning are going to discuss and it seems very appropriate after our last meeting, drug education and testing. Then, is there a
need for a Division IV, that perfect division that we always talk about? What has been the effect of federation on Division III? What does conference realignment mean?
Our four speakers are all veterans of athletic administration. I'm not going to embarrass any of them, but they have a total of 87 years in athletic administration, which I think is significant. In
order to save time, I'm going to have them introduce each other. I'll start out with introducing Bill McHenry, from Washington and Lee University, and we'll go from there. Bill?
BILL MC HENRY:
My topic is drug education and testing, and every speaker we've had the last two days has talked about it or alluded to the problems that we're facing in intercollegiate athletics. There's
certainly no doubt in my mind that it's the greatest problem that we have at all levels. I was one of those naive athletic directors who for many years felt that the problems did not exist at the Division III level, and certainly not at my institution. As I said, I was very, very naive.
Five years ago this spring our football captain, who had been named the outstanding back the previous year in the state of Virginia, was arrested on possession of $25,000 worth of cocaine for distribution. He was sentenced to 10 years in the penitentiary. Now, you may think this young man
was a disadvantaged student-athlete and so forth, but his father was a graduate of our institution, was a great basketball player in the 60s and is president of a bank in Florida. This kid had everything in the world going for him, and yet he found it necessary to get involved with the distribution of
drugs on our campus. It shocked me dramatically. It shocked our department. We immediately started having staff meetings about what we should be doing and what we hadn't been doing. We have taken some steps in the area of drug education that I think have been very beneficial. I think all of us in Division III have taken steps in the area of drug education.
The first thing we did was to have this young man come in and sit down with our staff. I got him released from jail. As a matter of fact, the chief of police brought him by police car to our gymnasium and met with our staff. We talked about what led him to drugs and why he was involved. We had a number of speakers. My first attempt was to educate our coaching staff, because we as a staff knew very little about the problems that our kids were facing at the college level. We had the chief of police in with all kinds of drug paraphernalia and information for us. We had the young man talk
to us. We had him come back and speak to our entire freshman class the next year. We had him speak to our football squad, and took steps along those veins.
We also instituted policies about four years ago at this time where every semester a couple of administrators review a number of films and we pick a film that we show to all of our physical
education classes and all of our athletic teams three times a year, a different film each time. we feel that this has helped. Unfortunately, the kids know much more about it than we do and some of it goes right over their heads and they laugh about it. But I think some of them have commented
that they feel it has been very helpful. Our attempt has been not to moralize to them, because there
is a difference in my generation, bya number of years, and the generation of students that we have, but to give them the opportunities to make serious decisions for themselves involving substance abuse. We've been doing this now for four and a half years and we feel it has had an impact.
We have brought in speakers. As a matter of fact. our administration at the university at that time was doing absolutely nothing about either substance abuse or drinking. and if you know anything about Washington and Lee University. you know it's a great party school and has a strong fraternity system where drinking has had a profound effect. We lose a number of students each year through accidents on the highway. And our administration had done absolutely nothing at all. I feel that we. as an athletic department. have embarrassed our administration into some very serious attempts to educate our students in general. and we have attempted to do that. They've given me money to bring in speakers each year.
One of the things that I was really anxious to do this past year was selecting a peer tasking group. We have found that although we have a drug counselor on campus, the students do not go to him unless they're really in desperate straits. But they will go to other students to discuss the problems. There were 24 students who were selected as peer counselors. We've advertised this widely. There have been students, otherstudent~ that have gone to them for help and advice. But if they have a problem that is beyond their capability to handle, they refer it to our profesional counselor on campus. Our emphasis in our department has been through drug education, and I think it has helped. And as
I said, we were very, very neglectful for years, not thinking that we had a problem until we saw this young man. Incidentally, that young man was a great kid and a kid that I felt I knew very well. Unfortunately, I didn't know him well enough.
Last year when the NCAA announced that they were going to go into a drug testing program in
the NCAA events and bowl games, I called an immediate meeting on campus of our athletic trainer, our dean of students and the head of our medical staff. I urged them to consider random drug testing on our campus. We discussed it at great lengths and went to our president, and our president rejected
my proposal. I don't think I had the support of the group that I called together either, except for the trainer, who agreed with me. But we elected not to go into the drug testing program at our school. In the fall, I was involved, I believe, in the very first drug testing of an NCAA post-season contest event. I was Division III Football South Chairman, and at the quarterfinal round of games the NCAA came in with their committees and tested. At the game that I was responsible for, there were two athletes from one of the schools that went all the way to the finals that were found drug-positive.
This was a very dramatic experience for me and a traumatic experience as well, having to be involved with the opposing athltic director and counseling the kids and telling them they were ineligible.
Of course, we got the claims that they were misjudged, they had not touched drugs and so forth and so on. So it was a very traumatic experience.
In January at our Division III forum we discussed drug testing briefly. and I was very surprised to learn that in Division III at that time there was only one school that was involved in drug
testing. I believe that was the Coast Guard Academy, if I'm not mistaken. Does anybody else here in the room have any drug testing on campus for the Division III athletes? Just raise your hand. From what I can gather, there is very little or no drug testing done right now. The problem is there. I don't know what the answers are. From everything I can find out the answer at our level, and in particular at our institution, is in drug education. These are the attempts. If anybody has any
good ideas on this, I would be very happy to hear what you're doing and how you're doing it, because we could certainly learn from it. Paul, I'll turn it over to you at this point.
I'd make a joke about drugs and presidents, but I'd better be careful. presidents here.
Is there a need for Division IV? In an attempt to deal with this question, I'll try not to answer it in a yes or no type situation, but just so from this, I hope there'll be some further discussion. In 1972 when the NCAA went through its reorganization, the proposals ranged from a no-change attitude to one of having one constitution with one set of bylaws but voting within two, three and four distinct divisions. So the idea of a Division IV is not something new. In March
of 1978, President Weller presented a Division III philosophy as was developed by the Division III Steering Committee. It was not until 1983 that Division III adopted that present philosophy. What I'd like to do is take some excerpts from that philosophy and just review them with you. It states that: "Colleges and universities, in Division III, place highest priority on the overall quality of educational experience. In so doing, they seek to strengthen the integration of objectives and programs in athletics with academic and developmental objectives to insure the integration of athletes with other students." It ended with the purpose of the NCAA is to "assist its members to develop this approach as a basis for consistent, equitable competition and to do so in ways that minimize infringement on the freedom of individual institutions to determine their own special objectives and programs."
Are we really following that philosophy now, or have we watered down the philosophy, circumvent financial aid and other policies? My understanding of the Division III philosophy was that no aid c, be used for athletic ability. It was strictly based on need and athletic ability could not be used. We now come in contact with terms such as awards of circumstances, presidential awards, leadership
awards and talent awards. In our constitution, on page 153 of the manual under Awards of Circumstaru it states: "Awards of Circumstances from the college or university, which are automatically availab to any and all members of the student body in general who meet certain publicized objective qualific~ and which are awarded solely on the basis of having no relationship to athletic ability." We now he~ that athletic ability is being used for some of these types of awards. For that matter, financial a: packages are different for the athlete versus the non-athlete, whether it is grants or loans. And t] is permissible under the existing constitution of Division III, I'm told.
There may be some
How many of these awards are being offered in Division III? Who is really asking for these
awards? Is it the coaches. the athletic directors. or the presidents? I'm afraid it's all of the above. Remember in the Division III philosophy there is a part that emphasizes maximizing the number and variety of athletic opportunities in varsity. club and intramural sports. Are we really advocating that at this time? Are we following it? What about multi-division classification? Does this meet
the Division III philosophy or does Division III want the best of Divisions II and I. without making a commitment to the total program?
And what about a Division IV? Would the philosophy be similar to that of Division III with regard to financial aid? Would aid be based on need and need only. with no special awards such as the presidential awards or the talent awards? Would all sports be in one division? Would we control
the length of season so that the student-athlete may. if he or she desires. have the opportunities to broaden their experience in other varsity activities? Would we increase the number of sports from the existing four for men and four for women? Should the size of the institution be considered for membership?
These are just a few things that I want to bring up in hopes that they will be discussed and I'm
sure that they will be discussed further in future conventions. I hope that some of these things we'll discuss later on and they will bring up further questions. I realize there are a lot of important
issues that will be facing us, but in this time and age, ethics and integrity seem to be a problem. It's a problem not only in the NCAA. It's a problem in our institutions, as we know. I hope that we will review our philosophy and we will review whether we do need a Division IV.
Thank you, Paul. My topic is "Federation: What is the Effect on Division III?" I'd like to start by telling a little story about a gentleman who wrote a book, a not too well-known book, I think, called, "The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts." George Will is the author, and in it he lists three sentences that he thinks are the least credible in the English language. The first
is, "The check is in the mail." The second is, "Of course, I'll still respect you in the morning."
and the third one is, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." I'm going to add a fourth one to that. "There is one distinct point of view regarding the effect the NCAA federation on Division III." That is least credible in my mind, because, primarily, of the diversity of our schools and institutions within the division.
Let me give you just a quick, quick background on Ed Buta's comments in 1984 to the NACDA Convention on the phenology of the reorganization within the NCAA. Paul has told you that in April
of 1972 the NCAA Council discussed the possibility of reorganizing, and there were clearly two points of view: remain as they were with a college and university division, or break into a two, three or, as Paul mentioned, four division system under one constitution and one set of bylaws, and the latter position was followed. In October of 1972, the NCAA News reported this and outlined the proposal. In January the proposal was presented to the Convention, but not for passage asa legislative proposal. Then in June of 1973 a special convention passed the legislation. There followed a period of implementation, where the divisions attempted definitions of their respective philosophies and also the development of memberhsip criteria, which Division I is still wrestling with.
In January of 1977 the NCAA considered further division within Division I, specifically pertaining to football. And in April of 1977, there was an expansion of the division's steering committees with the intent of enabling each division to solve some of their own problems and to hold separate meetings dealing more effectively with their own issues. In November of 1977 a restriction proposal was introduced and then in March of 1978 President Weller presented the Division III philosophy, which Paul has highlighted. In January of 1983 the convention approved a realignment of Division I football schools. In January of 1984 a proposal was considered for legislative autonomy for Division I-A.
In January, 1985 a proposal was passed allowing single divisions to vote separately on legislation that pertained only to that division, the system that we now follow. In 1987, after several years of
debate, I might add, financial aid was removed from the constitution to the bylaws, and so it goes.
But what is the effect of federation and how is that effect determined? I think each of us must consider the pros and the cons of federation in terms of our own institution. And some of those differences create the problems that Paul has alluded to. The size of the institution certainly is one of those situations. So are the financial resources available, the insitutional philosophy, even the competiveness of the geographic area in which we compete and perhaps the size of our respective staffs.
What are some of the pros and cons? First of all, it probably and I think this has been proven, is a more efficient way to run the organization. We are able to accomplish more in the length of time that we have. We are probably as a division better able to resist what I'm going to call the
trickling-down effect of legislation. If you look back historically over this organization you will find that Division I will have some sort of situation passed in legislation and it trickles down. We perhaps have a greater opportunity to dwell on Division III issues and problems, and I think it's one of the most significant pros.
Among the cons. there is less opportunity to share with Division I and II colleagues in planning the nation's intercollegiate athletic programs and reacting to respective situations. And I have
gained a great deal from my Division I and II colleagues. so that one is of great concern to me. There is less chance, perhaps, to act as a conscience of the NCAA. My sense of that is that we are the ones who think we are the conscience of the NCAA. I'm not sure that word has trickled up to Division I. And no one from the University of Alabama has called me recently for my opinion, and I suspect that they will not. At any rate. there is less opportunity for that. Perhaps it is more difficult to develop
an objective view of the total picture with a federated system. I think we need clearly to lean upon our leadership in that particular respect.
When I was first assigned this topic. I was teasing Al and said. "Good heavens. now you gave me
a wonderful topic. I have no answer." There is no answer. But. I think if I had wanted to dwell on some recommendations. I'd suggest the following. Resolution one in the legislation in Dallas deals with the formation of forums for the exchange between divisions on special areas of common interest. I think we need to make sure that issues that we want to have addressed are addressed within those forums. Presently. in many situations. I see us coming together to share as a division. and perhaps coming together with all three divisions for voting. but there is no chance for the interaction. So I think we need somehow to re-establish that.
We need to stay informed. Most of us are very good about that and I am talking to the wrong group, because you are here. But we clearly need to read the NCAA News. It does not read like the great American novel, but you do have to plow through it. Even the manual should be read; there were some comments this morning about the wonderful manual. A third thing, that probably most of you already do, is to read the Chronicle of Higher Education, because I think the Chronicle gives you a pretty objective veiwpoint of what is happening in our particular field. We need to be involved and we need to continue to select good leadership. We're blessed that we have had Ken Weller and Betty Kruczek and now Judith Sweet as outstanding people who are involved. And we need to stay on top of that. As Bill Myles said this morning, the focus on standards is significant. If we look upon federation as an opportunity, and stay on top of it, I think we may be able to make it work for us.
Let me end with a wonderful Chinese proverb, and this has to do with involvement: He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes. He who never asks a question is a fool forever. I prefer the five minutes variety. I'm pleased now to introduce my colleague, Mary Jean Mulvaney, who needs no introduction to this group, I'm sure. She's going to talk about conference realignment.
MARY JEAN MULVANEY:
Thanks, Jen. I think this is a new topic and one that we haven't discussed in the past as some
of these other topics have been discussed. But it's one that we really should look at with some care. Let me preface my remarks with the fact that I'm going to speak about Division III conferences and not conferences in general. We should look at them historically, and of course, as we look at them historically, we're looking at the men's conferences because we certainly have only recently had women's conferences.
As we look at them historically, we find that the major reason that conferences were formed was
to facilitate scheduling. It was much easier to schedule if you were aligned with a group of schools, whether it be through a state system, a group of private institutions or it might have been that
it was a group of institutions in close proximity geographically so that the cost was less. But as
a result the various institutions banded together for this purpose. Now, with that as background, I think we now need to see where we're going. When the conferences were instituted, little thought was given to academic mission or institutional philosophy but, as I say, to scheduling.
Now that the presidents have become more involved with the athletic programs, on the Division III level, not speaking of Division I, I think they're beginning to look at conferences. And they're looking at them from two aspects. There are those presidents whose institutions have been independent for many years. As we mentioned yesterday, the conference championship was the important competition. But that's no longer true. Now it's national competition. And the presidents of the independent institutions have suddenly become aware that perhaps their athletic teams are not reaching the end of the rainbow or the pot of gold to national championships, so they're out looking for conference affiliation, or even the possibility of starting a new athletic association. So that puts a different light on things. Even more importantly, as they're beginning to look at their programs and looking at the conferences with which they're associated, they've found that they're not totally aligned with institutions of the same philosophy or the same academic mission. So we're beginning to see a realignment and tpe formation of new conferences.
I always hesitate when people talk about things perosnally, but I think I was asked to discuss this topic this morning because the University of Chicago has just recently been involved in the formation of a new conference. To give you some background, I'm sure you know that we were members of the Big Ten many years ago, and when we totally dropped out in 1946, we remained an independent
for 30 years, until 1976. But when we re-established football in 1969, as I said before, we found it very difficult to schedule in the months of October and early November. We looked for conference affiliation, and we joined a conference of small liberal arts colleges and one small university with two or three graduate programs. That association has been very successful.
As I say, as the presidents have become involved two presidents of independent institutions contacted eight other presidents with like academic missions and asked if they would attend an organizational meeting, or at least send a representative, and it was from that meeting that a new conference was formed. As I noted, it was two independent presidents, realizing that their teams
were having difficulty in entering the national scene because they didn't have the automatic qualification round, which in some ways is extremely unfortunate. There were major and secondary criteria established for the formation of the conference. First, the institutions must be private, research institutions, which tells you that they have the same academic mission. That is, all of them have liberal arts undergraduate programs with diversified graduate programs and professional schools, so they were alike
as far as their academic mission was concerned. secondarily, there was some geographic sense, and that is they must all be located in a metropolitan area, which is a different aspect. When you're traveling from as far south as Georgia, as far north as Massachusetts and as far west as Illinois and Missouri, these presidents became aware of the cost. They faund that it would be much easier to go in and out of a metropolitan area, a city, by air than to go into small communities. So you see, the presidents have really put their impact on conference organization area alignment.
We're going to see more of this as they realize what actually happens on the athletic scene, particularly as more and more presidents become involved in the Presidents Commission, because interestingly enough, one of the presidents involved in this original organization is on the Presidents Commission. That has had an impact on the realignment and the formation of new conferences. I think we are going to see more and more in the future. Particularly important is the fact that these are becoming presidents' conferences. They are establishing policy. In the past, it was the athletic director, the faculty representative. That's no longer true. We are going to see conferences more and more under the control of the presidents, and they will establish the criteria and the policies
which each institution will follow. The reason for this is, just as Paul referred to a Division IV, the presidents are saying we want like admissions, like financial aid, like academic requirements.
Therefore, conferences are going to be formed on that basis in the future. The reason, when you ask why, is presidential involvement. Thank you.
AL VAN WIE:
First of all, I'd like to really thank our speakers. I think each one of them did an excellent job, in a short period of time, of summing up some important topics. We do have some time. I'm really surprised that we got done in time, especially knowing a couple of our speakers. Do we have some questions?
FROM THE FLOOR:
I have a question on the peer counseling group. How did you train those? Did you bring people in from off campus?
BILL MC HENRY:
We did. First of all. there was a committee that I served on. We advertised that we were going to have this group and took applications. We came up with a form and took applications. We went through the applications, then had personal inverviews with the students and then we had a training session. We brought some people in from outside of our campus for about three three-hour sessions
and then an all-day session where they went away for a retreat that we have in the mountains. They spent about 12 hours with a drug counselor. a psychologist and some other people. I think it has worked well. The students were a little slow in acceptance initially. We got started with it in the fall and a couple of suicides were averted with this group. So we felt that it was really an important step and we're going to continue. We're going to have a training session each year for these people.
Let me just throw in my two cents here. We also have a program in peer education and it is a bi-college program through an arrangement with Haverford College. There is a lot of concern
about the training. Everybody asks, "How are you going to train people?" I'd like to just submit
to you that we train our hall residents, our resident advisors. All of the people that we utilize on
wcampus, we already train. A good deal of that training is applicable to peer education. We do sometimes bring in outside speakers, but for the most part we use our own resources. we have a board of resources that the students can come to and it works very effectively. So it probably goes back to distinguishing between a peer educator and peer counselor. I think there is a lot of fear, especially on your counseling services part, about the peer counselor. But a peer educator can be trained almost the same way you train a resident advisor.
AL VAN WIE:
On another front, all across the country I think there have been many conference realignments because people are trying to get within groups who are going to have similar academic standards, who are going to package their financial aid in the same way, who are going to try to react in certain ways, and they realize on a national level it is really difficult. One of the things I think we've all found out about Division III is that we are a very diversified group. And that complicates our problems in many ways, with financial aid being one of them. This is one of the reasons that I asked Mary Jean to speak on this topic, conference realignment, because I see that as one of the real reasons why we're having realignment. It's taking place allover the country.
I really think that we've had a good session and again, I'd like to thank these four people. Several people wrote me and suggested topics for this discussion. Unfortunately, it was after the program had been put together. I'm not sure who will be responsible for the Division III program
next year, but I certainly would hope that you would write me and I would pass that information on. You could write Bill or Jen or Paul. I'm sure we'll pass the information on. Again, as much as possible, we ought to have these interchanges and discussions if we're going to progress and if we're going to make Division III a stronger division. Thank you very much.