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1993 stands out as one of the most important years in NESCAC history. ┬áPrior to the 1993 season, the NESCAC presidents voted to eliminate the rule against NESCAC teams participating in NCAA Division III tournaments. However, NESCAC football was and still is not allowed to compete in the NCAA post-season tournament. ┬áPresident of Wesleyan University, and chairman of the NESCAC Presidents’ Group, William M. Chace announced the decision on behalf of the group, a decision that, according to Middlebury’s Tom Lawson, surprised all of the Athletic Directors at the time. Quoted in an article in the April 9th, 1993 Sun-Journal, Chace comments “We aim to treat all our student athletes and their teams consistently and equitably. We also want to preserve our traditional emphasis on athletics as part of our total academic program. This decision serves both goals.” However, this ban started as a three-year trial period that eventually became permanent in the NESCAC. Before, the only sports that were allowed to compete in an NCAA post-season tournament were individuals from individual sports such as cross country, tennis, golf, wrestling, swimming and diving, track and field, and skiing.

Below are two newspaper articles announcing the NESCAC decision of lifting the ban. Both articles express the philosophy behind the decision, as well as what the future might hold for these NESCAC teams.

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The first article is from the April 9th, 1993 Sun Journal, which Chace was quoted from above. The Sun Journal serves western and central Maine, which would be particularly relevant to the three NESCAC Maine schools Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby.

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The second article is from another Maine newspaper, the April 9th, 1993 Bangor Daily News. Short and sweet, this article emphasizes the NESCAC’s strong commitment to academics, despite the decision to lift the ban.

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Click here to see a sports photo gallery of the 1990s

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