At its July meeting in Indianapolis, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Management Council announced that it has approved Sarah Lawrence College's application to become a provisional member. The decision affirms last month's NCAA Division III Membership Committee recommendation that the College be advanced in the process towards becoming a full member of the association.
"We're very pleased the NCAA has accepted the College as a provisional member," said SLC's President, Karen Lawrence, "and we look forward to building an increasingly robust athletic program consistent with our character and values, and beneficial to not just our current and prospective students, but all our many constituents."
Having completed a one-year phase as an exploratory member, Sarah Lawrence now enters its first of four years as a provisional member. The College is on track to become a full Division III member by the 2016-17 academic year, when it would gain voting rights for NCAA legislative matters and eligibility for national championships.
"We are excited to be advancing in this process," noted Director of Athletics and Physical Education Kristin Maile. "NCAA membership allows us to upgrade our programs' level of competition and attract talented student-athletes from around the country. Our goal is that the athletic programs are a reflection of the College's reputation for providing superior educational opportunities."
There are nearly 450 member schools in Division III, making it the largest division of the NCAA. According to the Division III philosophy, "member schools place the highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and on the successful completion of all students' academic programs." Student-athletes are prohibited from receiving athletic-based scholarships, and team schedules are shorter than other divisions, providing student-athletes with more time to dedicate to academic pursuits and extracurricular activities.
As a provisional member, Sarah Lawrence is now able to take advantage of NCAA strategic initiative grants, which support professional development, social responsibility, and improvement of the student-athlete experience.
For the Gryphons, the fall season kicks off in one month, as the year opens with four teams in action on September 8, including a home men's soccer match against the College of Mount St. Vincent. For more information on Sarah Lawrence athletics, please visit athletics.slc.edu.