1. In 1998, the Presidents of the NESCAC agreed to "evolve into a qualified playing conference." Basically, this included giving the conference the right to determine a conference championship in all sports, except football, and allow all NESCAC schools to be eligible for NCAA Championships. However, the conference also wanted to preserve in-season competition and academic success, and did not want athletics (especially post-season play) to interfere with either of those two goals.
2. The conference's goals were to preserve in-season competition and academic success, and they mentioned that having an NESCAC school making an NCAA Championship would show that both athletics and academics could succeed hand-in-hand, even with post-season play.
3. Student-athletes, Mainstream Media, Parents & Alumni, Athletic Directors
4. Student-athletes: Opportunity to participate in post season play, a clear-cut goal at the end of the season, more motivation, increase school spirit, higher exposure of athletes, ability to preform at a higher level.
Mainstream Media: More media opportunities (more stories to report) on a larger scale
Parents & Alumni: More school spirit, more donations to schools
Athletic Directors: More revenue/higher budget to work with, recruiting becomes easier, their role becomes more prominent with a higher focus on athletics
5. Student-Athletes: Decline in academics, could lead to compliance/career development issues
Mainstream Media: There a very few negative effects for adding post-season play for the media
Parents & Alumni: Asked to contribute more financially
Athletic Director: Possible compliance issues, graduation rate of student-athlete declines, job security declines because of more prominent role
6. Yes, it should change, becuase it is a new system. There will be a higher governing body with more control over the conference. Academics will still need to be a priority, even while post-season play is occuring. Therefore, there should be a specific authority figure overseeing student-athlete academics.
7. The design option described in the case study was in-season competition followed by one champion being selected to participate in post-season play. This could lead to conflicts between schools. Our suggestion would be to divide the conference into two divisions, and have the two division winners play for the championship. There would also be tie-breakers for division winners, to avoid conflict.
8. The deisgn of the conference should be highly formalized and centralized. Authority figures should be somewhat specialized in their specific departments, but departments should overlap to allow information to flow freely, especially between academics and athletics. Because the conference's decision making is centralized, the hierarchy should be very top-to-bottom, and not flat. This way decisions can be made in an organized and standardized fashion.