Molloy President Bogner Published in NCAA Champion Magazine
Molloy College President Drew Bogner, who is also the chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, appeared as a guest essayist in the Fall 2010 issue of NCAA Champion Magazine. The article shown below, can also be found by clicking here.
Three Divisions, three philosophies - By Drew Bogner
The NCAA’s multidivision structure is one of its greatest
assets because it enables more than 1,000 member institutions to
choose competitive philosophies that fit their needs.
Proper classification enables our members to compete effectively, to be financially responsible and to elevate the student-athlete experience. Those are huge benefits. The problem is that the public and many of our closest associates – faculty, for instance – often do not know what enters into NCAA classification decisions.
Those of us on the inside always understood the distinctions among Divisions I, II and III, but for far too long, our mistake was in believing that our own understanding was sufficient. In the absence of a broader explanation, the public – perhaps influenced by the media – came to assume what it meant to be a Division I, II or III member: “big,” “smaller” and “smallest.”
Those oversimplifications serve nobody well, but they are especially hard on Divisions II and III. That is why the strategic-positioning platforms in those divisions have become such important documents.
The two platforms are similar, both in appearance and content. Those similarities are not surprising; after all, Divisions II and III are alike in many ways, just as Divisions I and II resemble one another at times. The actual identity – the way others perceive us – comes from communicating where the intersections occur, or don’t occur.
In Division II, we believe that the athletics side of student-athletes is a central part of their college experience, and we honor that belief through our commitment to athletically related financial aid. At the same time, we believe that the overall college experience for student-athletes should be as traditional as possible. That’s why Division II presidents worked so hard for the “Life in the Balance” package that reduced the length of seasons and number of contests in most sports.
Division II also believes that athletics has a special obligation to act as a front door for the university. In our world, the institution should promote the community, and vice versa. Related
to that, we believe that those who support us are entitled to a wholesome, energetic experience at our athletics contests.
It’s all a balance – academics and athletics, community and institution. Neither is what it can be without the support of the other. That’s what we’re about in Division II.
We do not believe that our approach is necessarily better than what Divisions I and III offer, but we do believe that Division II features a unique philosophy that serves both its member institutions and its student-athletes well.
In the end, I choose Division II, but others choose Divisions I or III for many good reasons. That diversity makes the NCAA the strong association that it is today.