Bates community to debate post-season athletic competition

Members of the Bates College community, including student athletes, faculty and alumni, will debate the resolution: “This house supports continued NESCAC participation in NCAA postseason play” at at 8 p.m. Monday in the Benjamin Mays Center. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

A charter member of the 11-member New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), Bates is currently considering voting against continued participation in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III postseason competition.

In a preliminary straw polling of NESCAC member presidents, six institutions, including Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College and Wesleyan, have voted against postseason play. Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts and Wesleyan voted to support postseason play. A vote planned for this December will decide NESCAC’s final postseason play policy. NESCAC schools have just completed a six-year experiment in which all its teams pursued national postseason play. Initially, following its founding in 1971, NESCAC’s governing body had determined that national competition would prove detrimental to an “academics first” philosophy.

Debating the government’s position will be senior Abigail Phelps of Chester, N.H., a cross country and track runner; Dick Williamson, Dana Professor of French; and debater Alicia Smith of Rumson, N.J. The opposition will be first-year debater David Kirby of Fairfax, Va.; sophomore debater Rebecca Goetz of Pepperell, Mass; and Eric Fuchs ’92, who currently attends law school at the University of Maine.

The debate is jointly sponsored by the Brooks Quimby Debate Council and the Representative Assembly.

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