Hobart To Move Back To Division III

Hobart To Move Back To Division III

Hobart To Move Back To Division III

Hobart To Move Back To Division III

GENEVA, N.Y.—The Hobart and William Smith Colleges Board of Trustees voted today to reclassify Hobart 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.

“The Board recognizes that the college lacrosse landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade,” says David Deming ’75, the Chair of the Hobart and William Smith Board of Trustees. “Hobart and Johns Hopkins are the only two primarily Division III institutions competing in Division I men’s lacrosse. But unlike Johns Hopkins, under NCAA regulations, Hobart is not permitted to offer athletic scholarships. Moving to Division III will level the playing field for our coaches in recruitment and our students in competition.”

Reclassifying programs are not eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first two years in their new division. Hobart will request a waiver, but 2011 is expected to be the first season in which the Statesmen are eligible for the NCAA Division III lacrosse playoffs. The requirement allows Division I caliber players to graduate from the program and for the program to make compliance adjustments to Division III regulations and policies.

“The students and alumni who have competed at the Division I level have represented Hobart with pride,” says President Mark D. Gearan. “The current team has established an impressive record that brings honor to the Colleges. We are committed to supporting our current players given their excellence on the field and in the classroom. The decision to go to Division III was made in consideration of the long term interests of the Colleges.”

“The resources required in Division I lacrosse are moving toward what is required in Division I football and basketball,” says Director of Hobart Athletics Mike Hanna ’68, who has led the Statesmen for 27 years. “We are prohibited from offering athletic scholarships in an environment that is increasingly demanding in terms of recruitment and competition. This resource inequity requires a solution that honors our players and fans while also maintaining the integrity of our history. Division III, which is far more competitive today than when we moved to Division I in 1995, offers us better opportunities for the future.”

Men’s lacrosse came under the NCAA banner in 1971 and during the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s, Division III Hobart’s regular season schedule included several games each year against Division I programs.

Presented with pending changes in NCAA scheduling regulations, the Colleges began studying the multi-division option in 1993 and opted to move to Division I to preserve the quality of its regular season schedule and scheduling relationships with several longtime rivals such as Cornell, Penn State and Syracuse. The new rules required Division I schools to limit their schedules to other Division I programs.

The Statesmen competed as an independent until 2000, when Hobart joined the Patriot League as an associate member. Four years later, the conference changed its membership requirements, which forced Hobart out of the league. In 2005, the Statesmen joined the competitive ECAC Lacrosse League, which includes heavyweights Georgetown, Loyola and UMass.

In 92 seasons under U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and NCAA Division II and Division III governance, the Statesmen were 624-321-20 (.657) with 63 winning seasons, 21 NCAA Tournament appearances, and 16 national championships (13 NCAA Division III, 2 NCAA Division II, 1 USILA College Division). Between 1980 and 1991, Hobart put together one of the most impressive eras of dominance in all of collegiate sports, winning 12 consecutive NCAA Division III Championships.

Since 1995, Hobart is 88-98 (.473), posting three winning seasons. The Statesmen earned four NCAA Division I Tournament bids, twice winning the Patriot League Championship and its accompanying automatic bid and twice earning at-large berths.

“As an alumnus, I appreciate all of the opportunities provided to our student body,” says Hobart Lacrosse Head Coach Matt Kerwick ’90. “The continued growth of the campus and the direction of our academic profile is a source of great pride. I am also extremely proud of the Hobart lacrosse history and every student-athlete I have the privilege to coach. My entire focus is on the well being of the 42 young men currently competing for the Statesmen lacrosse program and to prepare them for our final regular season contest against Cornell University.”

Hobart will face Cornell on Fri., May 2 at 7 p.m. on McCooey Field at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“I have followed Hobart lacrosse for more than 30 years and am proud to be a loyal Statesman fan,” says Jeremy Foley ’74, the Director of Athletics at the University of Florida and a former Hobart lacrosse player. “I’m impressed with the thoughtful study that has gone into this move to Division III. I fully support the decision of the Board of Trustees. This is the right move for Hobart.”

As part of their visit to campus, the Board also reviewed plans to move forward with a $9 million expansion of athletic facilities including renovations to Elliott Varsity House and rebuilding the Colleges stadium – Boswell Field. These capital projects are part of the Colleges’ Campaign for the Colleges which has so far raised more than $130 million toward a goal of $160 million.

Post A Comment To This Story >

    by (#196296) on 4/26/08 @7:31PM
do you guys think they can be tops of D3 again? does salisbury have some new competition?
Reply to this

   (no subject) by 4/26/08 @8:30PM
      DIII by 4/26/08 @9:16PM
why not d2
    by (#65589) on 4/26/08 @9:26PM
is there any reason why the would go straight from d1 to d3 and not go to d2 first
Reply to this

   yes, because they're not mouth-breathers by 4/26/08 @9:35PM
   One reason only by 4/26/08 @10:03PM
      scholarships by 4/26/08 @10:31PM
         Never had 'em, can't lose 'em by 4/27/08 @8:01PM
   competition level by 4/30/08 @12:09PM
JHU recruitment
    by (#167768) on 4/26/08 @11:10PM
I know Hopkins can give scholarships, i know this was challenged and successfully appealed but why is it JHU can give scholarships and Hobart can't? Do they have some sort of exception?
Reply to this

   (no subject) by 4/26/08 @11:13PM
      hobart by 4/26/08 @11:43PM
         (no subject) by 4/27/08 @1:51AM
            JHU by 4/27/08 @7:41PM
Sad Day for Hobart Lacrosse Fans
    by (#127752) on 4/27/08 @9:26AM
Goodbye Kraus-Simmons trophy, so long 100 year + Cornell rivalry. Penn State, Georgetown, Bucknell and Colgate; thanks for the Division I memories. The Orangemen and Big Red defined the success of our seasons, winning Division III titles were certainly nice but not compelling lacrosse to the devouted Statesmen fan.

I would've rather continued on the Division I path, playing .500 ball, an occasional W over a top-ranked team and an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament every few years than a D III season featuring local colleges like St. Lawrence, Ithaca, Nazereth and Cortland. Nothing against those programs with all due respect, but it's hard to get fired up about the D3 scheduling prospects going forward here.

While I don't like Hobart's decision to reclassify, I certainly understand and respect it. The only regret is they should've at least made a coaching change four years ago.
Reply to this

   It is by 4/27/08 @5:24PM
      A little background by 4/27/08 @7:52PM
One of the worst mistakes
    by (#145539) on 4/27/08 @12:59PM
The excuses they gave were that the team can't keep up in the changing lacrosse landscape. What is changing about the longest running lacrosse rivalry?...Will people reading this comment please look at the stats from this year. Hobart is tied for ninth in team defense throughout division 1, tied for 7th in man down defense(not including the Loyola game in which Hobart went 100% for mandown success). Hobart leads the ECAC(over Georgetown and Loyola) in both of those categories. Hobart is 11th in division 1 in scoring. There are no scholarships and every kid knows that. They come to play. 3 losses by one goal, 2 in overtime, and had those games gone the other way. This decision is one of the worst mistakes in its school's history, as Hobart is finally establishing its presence in the ECAC. It is an insult to every kid who has worked incredibly hard to become the best player he can to compete. Hobart cannot even play for a championship for three years, so what do they do, come and play for nothing? All of those things that are preached at Hobart like loyalty and honor are crapped on by this decision.
Reply to this

   (no subject) by 4/27/08 @5:54PM
    by (#139732) on 4/27/08 @7:25PM
i feel bad for all the kids who were recruited to hobart for next year under false pretenses. my best friend is D1 quality and was excited to go there, but after finding out last night, he is essentially screwed
Reply to this

   I doubt that by 4/27/08 @8:07PM
      (no subject) by 4/28/08 @11:55AM
         milo by 4/28/08 @1:29PM
   D1 by 4/30/08 @5:47PM
Yes, a very sad day for all of College Lacrosse
    by (#196741) on 4/28/08 @10:24AM
Changing lacrosse landscape? That is true and what has changed will not allow Hobart to continue to play their old rivals in Upstate NY. D3 teams no longer get those games and there is little parity between D1 and D3 now. By next year with the attrition this decision will cause with their best players, Hobart will not be able to compete with any of the ECAC teams...let alone Cornell or Syracuse.

However, rather than blame the changing landscape in college lacrosse, I would look instead to the Colleges administration and Trustees taking this ill-advised decision. The Hobart College President is an ultra-liberal PC-minded "Clintonian" who clearly doesn't understand the history and importance of lacrosse to Hobart. Hobart is NOT one of the White-shoed and exclusive "Little Three", it is a little-known preppy school (with some smart local kids) - with a great reputation for lacrosse tradition...I know, I am a a grad of camp Ho-Ho and I was also at the Syracuse game this year. I have been to Penn ST football games with 109K fans who behave better than the handful of H&WS kids that stumble around the stands at The Boz' or 'Cooey field these days.

So, continuing the Lacrosse tradition, making some occasionally waves in D1 with wins over Syracuse or Loyola, and maintaining the old lacrosse rivalries was the RESPONSIBILITY of the Hobart Administration and their Trustees - and they have failed miserably! Take a look at the Hobart Lacrosse website and their Media guide pages and you will see that history...all the way back to 1898 when with the first Cornell game. This was more than just college lacrosse, it was something for every little guy against every big guy...a chance for the great American underdog to win one for the Gipper every once and a while...and maybe, just maybe - add a D1 title to be the only school to win in D2, D3 AND D1! You just dont give that away.

Oh, well - bye, bye Hobart Lacrosse (and Hopkins, Loyola, Ivy Leaguers and even Syracuse)... and hello Notre Dame, Ohio State, Big10, PAC 10, BIG East...ugh.

And to President Gearan and the Trustees, save your money and leave the The Boz the way it is...that's a tradition that will not cost you anything.

Signed - Every Underdog Everywhere.

Reply to this

   Sad Day Cont'd by 4/28/08 @12:04PM
      Sad Day continued... by 4/28/08 @1:29PM
         Sure the Ivies do by 4/28/08 @1:47PM
         Commitment by 4/28/08 @2:11PM
            Come on by 4/29/08 @8:47PM
               Death Sentence by 4/30/08 @6:54AM
               Lacrosse History 101 by 4/30/08 @10:39AM
                  Hair Splitting Goal Time by 4/30/08 @11:11AM
                     Hardly by 4/30/08 @12:24PM
                        Hobart Lacrosse for Dummies by 4/30/08 @5:02PM
                           Perfect, SN by 4/30/08 @8:48PM
                  Lacrosse History by 4/30/08 @1:41PM
                     Coaching Change by 4/30/08 @5:59PM
               Great post by 4/30/08 @12:19PM
      Others agree with me, below from Laxpower.com by 4/28/08 @1:51PM
    by (#180020) on 4/28/08 @9:58PM
i for one say that Hobart should stay D1 i think the more teams the better no matter the record i mean like some of you said they can compete against teams like loyola who are pretty good and with all the new teams coming in such as Bryant for example i think its good, so my vote is for hobart to stay D1
Reply to this

    by (#197184) on 4/30/08 @12:13PM
Maybe they should have considered getting a DI coach before taking the team out of DI.

I played under Kerwick at Hobart and I can't say I'm surprised this is happening. We all used to say it was only a matter of time.

The board is also partially to blame.. not because they won't give scholarships, but because they didn't take more action as far as the coaching staff is concerned.
Reply to this

   The Boards responsibility by 3/29/10 @11:55AM