Statement of presidents of the New England Small College Athletic Conference

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is a conference of eleven highly selective New England colleges that have cooperated in athletics since 1971. The conference has been notable for its commitment to the primacy of academic values, as well as to maintaining strong athletic programs. We support an average of 28 varsity men’s and women’s sports on our campuses.

At our annual winter meeting on December 16, we, the eleven college presidents, reaffirmed our strong commitment to the Conference and to its principles of academic and athletic balance. We considered the appropriateness of post-season play and affirmed it. Continued team and individual competition in NCAA championships is still under active consideration.

We established four task forces that will report to the NESCAC presidents’ meeting in late April. Each group will include presidents, athletic directors, faculty and students. The responsibilities of the four task forces are as follows:

  1. To reexamine and reaffirm the mission and purposes of NESCAC, to make recommendations to continue the effectiveness and collaborative spirit of the Conference;
  2. To consider and recommend a modest administrative structure, in a conference now 25 years old, to collect and analyze data, provide reports and surveys, and preserve minutes and conference memory;
  3. To model and consider the organizational implications of proposed options for post-season competition, on the assumption that the Conference will select a single option for each sport;
  4. To consider boundaries and balances between academic programs and athletics, so as to minimize conflicts between classes and examinations and athletic travel, practices, competitions and post-season play.

President Tom Gerety, Amherst College
President Donald W. Harward, Bates College
President Robert H. Edwards, Bowdoin College
President William R. Cotter, Colby College
President Claire L. Gaudiani, Connecticut College
President Eugene M. Tobin, Hamilton College
President John M. McCardell Jr., Middlebury College
President Evan S. Dobelle, Trinity College
President John A. DiBiaggio, Tufts University
President Douglas J. Bennett, Jr., Wesleyan University
President Harry C. Payne, Williams College

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