To join or not to join? The NCAA debate wages on
This year, Georgetown College has been exploring entering a new athletic conference. In fact, there has been a committee formed to look at GC making the jump from NAIA to NCAA Division III.
The said committee is comprised of Dr. Todd Gambill, Brian Evans, Billy Reed, Tiffany Hornberger, Leah Castleman, David Wilhite and Ashley Babladelis, all of whom work at the college. They have also formed subcommittees which are made up of GC coaches, other fac- ulty and students.
This move would not only bring about many changes in athletics, but in academ- ics as well. This “exploratory year” will be used to ana- lyze all of the changes that would take place and a deci- sion will be made at the end of the school year. Listed in the box on the right is the official release from GC.
My goal as Sports Editor of this paper is to inform you on the specifics of this situation and get your opinion into the paper. GC is taking a slow and cautious approach to this delicate situation, as they should and things are being kept in perspective.
However, I think it is important that the people on the committee hear your opinion.
If you want to send them a personal message you can do so by clicking on the link “Learn About our Athletic Affiliation Exploration” on the Georgetown College homepage or, for an even better route, you can send a comment to arussel2@ georgetowncollege.edu and you could see your comment in the newspaper in next week’s issue.
Official GC press release
You may have heard that the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Membership Committee recently announced approval for Georgetown College to conduct an exploratory year to determine whether or not to consider applying for embership. The exploratory year is required and the first formal step toward reclassification, according to the NCAA bylaws.
As President Crouch stated in a recent interview with the Georgetown News- Graphic, “The announcement from the NCAA simply means we can have access to information needed to help with our research. It should not be interpreted as an indication we are pursuing DIII status but (we are) following the process required by the NCAA for us to explore.” He added, “They could have deemed we were not qualified to explore, so I am pleased they feel our academics, facilities and resources meet their qualifications to explore.”
Under the NCAA DIII reclassification timeline, Georgetown College must apply for membership during its exploratory year no later than May 15, 2012.
The Steering Committees listed herein are charged with studying the options, including whether or not to consider a move to NCAA DII for which there are entirely different rules. The Steering Committees will ultimately present information for the Trustees to evaluate.
It’s important to note that no decision has been made and Georgetown will continue to participate as an NAIA member during the upcoming school year.
Basketball hits the court with unfinished business
Win the Mid-South Con- ference: check. Make the NAIA National Tournament: check. Get to the Fab Four: check. Win the National Title: currently pending. The GC tigers basketball team was one game short of appearing in the National Title game last season against upstart University of Pikeville (formerly Pikeville College) and still has unfinished business.
With the off-season highlighted by the loss of long- time coach Happy Osborne, things looked like they would sail off in the wrong direction this season: apparently the doubters forgot about Chris Briggs.
Briggs, who was an assistant under Osborne for four seasons, was already familiar with the system, players and college and was a no- brainer to replace Osborne at the helm. Briggs is a UK graduate and his wife, Elizabeth is the K-Fund Cordnator at UK, so Briggs has been around basketball for some time.
Brian Evans, the Athletic Director at Georgetown, was a supporter of Briggs. After he (Briggs) was hired, Evans said, “Some might think we hired him because he was the next in line. I don’t work that way. We have standards and traditions to uphold and just because one coach is gone doesn’t mean my expectations change. Briggs understands all of that and illustrated his clear vision for moving this team forward after Happy Osborne’s departure.”
Briggs is a proven winner and the numbers don’t lie: they are 120-17 in Brigg’s time under Osborne. Briggs has picked up right where Osborne left off, not only in recruiting and game planning, but also in playing big games.
Just recently Briggs, in his first game as head coach, led his team against a formidable foe in the UK All-Star team. The night of October 10 was one to remember for many Georgetown players I’m sure as they took on the likes of Rajon Rondo, Jody Meeks, Josh Harrell- son, DeMarcus Cousins and other players who are in the NBA.
With the current NBA lockout, the players have been put together on an All-Star team that has toured around playing other teams.
The orange and black came out strong in the game, but didn’t have enough fire power to keep up the NBA talent and lost the game 122-105. They did, however uphold the tradition of playing tough with teams like this: the past few seasons the Tigers have tangled with the University of Louisville, the University of Florida and the University of Pittsburgh, all of which they played against well.
Senior Tyrone Shelley finished with 28 points in the effort while Allen Thomas also helped in the effort with 20.
On the other side, UK favorite Jody Meeks finished with 30 points and Morehead State alum Kenneth Faried finished with 32 points.
This was a game that not only showed the power of GC, but that they are here to compete this season and finish what they started last year.
The home season opens on Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. against Miami University-Hamilton. With Briggs at the helm and strong senior leaders, this first game is going to be the start of the march to the National Title.