Hobart to reclassify in lacrosse to Division III

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Postby Brent Burns on Fri May 02, 2008 9:23 pm

Since most of us already know about the latest news about Hobart, this comes from the school.

Yielding to pressure from alumni, parents, and friends, the Hobart and William Smith Board of Trustees has reversed its unpopular decision, which means that the men's lacrosse program will remain in Division I. Less than a week ago, Hobart decided to reclassify lacrosse from Division I to Division III. Citing the changing landscape of collegiate lacrosse and the challenges inherent in recruiting talented student-athletes at the Division I level without athletic scholarships, the Board voted to move to Division III starting with the 2008-09 academic year (original release).

At the bottom of this post is a message sent to the Hobart and William Smith Colleges community by the chair of the Board. A release issued this morning appears immediately below.

* * * *

After a week of reaction to the April 26 decision by the Board of Trustees to move Hobart lacrosse from Division I to Division III, last night the Board gathered via phone to assess the situation.

“The engagement of our alums was impressive,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “Clearly they love the Colleges and are proud of our student-athletes.”

It was that passionate engagement that tipped the balance for the Board. “We were reminded of the spirit and tradition that inspires us all,” says Board Chair David Deming '75. “The community's confidence emboldened us.”

In a landmark decision, the Board determined that Hobart should remain in Division I lacrosse.

Last night, President Gearan told the lacrosse team and a letter from Deming was sent via e-mail to alumni, alumnae, faculty, staff and students (see below).

Hobart faces Cornell tonight at 7:00 p.m. in one of the oldest rivalries in collegiate lacrosse. The Colleges have secured lighting for what will be the first night game on Boswell Field.

* * * *

As you may know, last Saturday the Hobart and William Smith Board of Trustees voted to reclassify our Hobart lacrosse program from Division I to Division III.

The decision was met with an outpouring of letters, e-mails and phone calls from alumni, alumnae, parents and friends. Some have been excited about this development while others have encouraged us to reconsider. We have been humbled by the number of alumni and alumnae who have written movingly about their own college experiences and the role that athletics and teamwork have played in molding their identities. What is consistent in all of this correspondence is a strong level of pride and enthusiasm for our Colleges and their heritage.

The community's confidence in the Colleges and in our lacrosse program to compete at the highest level has emboldened us and we are reminded anew of the spirit and tradition that inspires us all.

I write at this time to inform you of the Board's action today. After listening to the many voices and perspectives on this issue, the Board has determined that Hobart lacrosse should remain in Division I. As always, we will continue to pay close attention to the ongoing development of all of our athletic programs and will continue to uphold advanced standards of excellence in academic programs that extend into the co-curricular and athletic lives of our students.

As an alumnus and chair of the Board, I am proud that so many of my fellow alumni, alumnae and parents took the time and effort to express their views. I hope you will join me tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. on Boswell Field. We have secured portable lighting for the first night game on the 'Boz' as Hobart faces Cornell in one of the oldest rivalries in collegiate lacrosse.

All the best,

David H. Deming '75
Chair, Board of Trustees
Hobart and William Smith Colleges


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