November 2, 2011- Issue 7 Front Page

Trustees choose not to pursue Division III

 By VICTORIA ENGELHARDT
Features Editor 

Last Saturday, Oct. 29, the Board of Trustees made the decision to stop further consideration of joining a new NCAA Division III con- ference.

While going NCAA Divi- sion III is no longer a possibility, they did not com- pletely shut down NCAA consideration. The Board requested further study on the pros and cons of join- ing the NCAA Division II, particularly in relation to the recruiting standards and academics for both coaches and student-athletes. Pres- ident Dr. Bill Crouch said, “This decision is the right one for the future of this great school.”

A task force comprised of trustees, alumni, coaches, consultants and others with an interest in the George- town athletic program spent the past six months researching, gathering stu- dent, coach and alumni feedback and weighing all the options between staying in the NAIA or going DII or DIII before their findings were presented to the Board on Saturday. Dr. Todd Gambill, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students, who served as the chair of the committee, took trips to Berry College in Ga. and Cedarville College in Ohio, to see how they adjusted to the move to DIII and DII, respectively.

“I think it is important for us to constantly evalu- ate our options as an institution and I’m glad that the Trustees have given us some guidance as to what the future of athletics will look like at Georgetown,” Dr. Gambill said.

Dr. Crouch was quick to show his appreciation to this task force. “I am grateful to our research task force for their excellent work and to the trustees for their commitment to Georgetown College.”

Chairman of the Board, William J. Houston, summed up the last six months: “The Trustees of Georgetown College are charged with continually evaluating where the col- lege is best positioned to carry out its mission of being an academically excellent, Christian College which fields championship quality athletics. We were pre- sented with an opportunity to explore moving from NAIA sports affiliation to the NCAA last spring and began an evaluation of the impact of moving to Division III of the NCAA. After assessing the benefits and costs of Division III, the trustees have decided not to pursue that affiliation.”

The biggest cost of moving to DIII, and the one causing the most controversy, would have been the loss of athletic scholarships for student-athletes. After the vote, Houston said, “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.”

Many current and former student-athletes had voiced their concerns about the possible change on the “Help Save the Georgetown Col- lege Athletic Tradition” Facebook page. Athletic Director Brian Evans credited the Facebook page with helping the taskforce get a better glimpse of how former and current student-athletes, along with Georgetown fans, really felt. “The Facebook group gave us insight into the passion our alums and fans have for athletics at Georgetown College,” he said.

Many student athletes expressed relief, knowing their academic scholarships and those of athletes who come after them will not be in jeopardy. Caitlin Williams, a senior soccer player, said she was glad to know that the option of DIII had been ruled out. “As an athlete, I want to see the program that I’m a part of continue to build and become the best it can be. I never thought DIII would enable that.”

Senior track and field athlete Elizabeth Levay echoed Williams’s words. “As a 2012 graduate, the decision not to go DIII doesn’t affect me like it will other students, but I think the overall student body is happy with the decision.”

Evans also said that the vote to stop further DIII consideration “takes pressure off of our current students as to what the future holds for Georgetown athletics 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.”

Senior volleyball player Caitlin Kogge is glad the Board of Trustees is still open to looking into possibility of going DII. “I think that the level of our athletic programs in the NAIA is more comparable to that of DII athletics,” she said.

“Not going DIII is going to allow us to keep bringing in athletes who are ready to compete at that level.” The possibility of going DII means that student athletes will be able to have athletic scholarships.

Other evaluation criteria include travel expenses based on conference affiliation and the need to upgrade current athletic facilities. For example, dues for the NCAA are less than for the NAIA, but the travel expenses in the NCAA increase because the conference encompasses a larger area.

Mrs. Joe to receive honorary degree

By TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSON
Editor-in-Chief   
 

After 11 years of hard work at Georgetown College, Joe Anna Boykin will finally receive her degree.

The Board of Trustees, acting on a recommendation from the student body, voted on Oct. 29 to present Boykin with an honor- ary degree.

Known by the GC community as “Mrs. Joe,” Boykin is a familiar, friendly face in the Caf, where she serves up meals as a Sodexo was working in the Caf when she received the news about her degree. When President William Crouch called her over on Oct. 31 to make the announcement, she didn’t know what was happening. “I thought maybe I was in trouble…I was nervous,” she said. Upon receiving the news, Mrs. Joe was, in a word, “flabbergasted.”

Along with Mrs. Joe, the trustees voted to present actress Ashley Judd with an honorary degree for “her dedication to advocacy efforts towards public health, gender equality, and the elimination of human trafficking,” according to an email from Jim Allison, Associate Vice President of College Relations.

President Crouch praised both women, saying, “The Trustees seek to honor individuals who model excep- tional service to the world or to the students of Georgetown College. This year the trustees have done both. “Ms. Judd’s humanitarian efforts have impacted individuals all over the world and Mrs. Joe has put a smile on almost every student’s face!”

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