By KATIE HIPPLE
The NCAA defines a Division III school as, “an integrated environment focusing on academic success while offering a competitive athletics environment.” As a Division III school, Mary Washington is a member of the Capital Athletic Conference or CAC.
The CAC has many regulations and guidelines, but Mary Washington has been a part of this conference since the beginning. In this academic year, they will lose two schools, which might affect tournaments and game schedules.
The Capital Athletic Conference covers Division III schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. According to cacsports.com, the schools currently enrolled in the CAC are Christopher Newport University, Frostburg State University, Marymount University, Penn State Harrisburg, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Salisbury University, Southern Virginia University, Wesley College, York College of Pa. and the University of Mary Washington.
UMW joined the CAC in 1989. Mary Washington is one of the 10 members of the conference, two of which are making plans to switch at the end of this year. Frostburg State stated it is switching to NCAA Division II and Penn State Harrisburg will switch back to their previous conference.
The conference encompasses many sports from baseball to volleyball; however, they only accept those sports in certain genders. They do not accept men’s field hockey, softball or volleyball, and women’s baseball.
There is a policy that requires mandatory video exchange in field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, and women’s lacrosse. Another policy states there must be a 25-75 split on ticket sales for playoff contests. They also state if the school gives their students free admission, the courtesy must be extended to the competing school as well.
CAC regulations are so outlined that there are even rules for presenting awards at the Conference Championship Games. The announcer must tell the spectators multiple times that there will be awards presented at the end of the game. The coaches are to be notified before the game and “after a reasonable time for celebration” says the CAC handbook, the teams must return and stay until the award ceremony is over.
The conference awards multiple players during their season for their valiant effort as students and players. Some of these awards include Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Senior Scholar-Athlete Award, All-Academic Team, Medal of Inspiration, NCAA Women of the Year and Richard C. Cook All-Sport Award. The awards are given out no more than 14 days preceding the championship. This is with the exception of men’s basketball, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, volleyball, and baseball. Those are either completed the Monday after the championship game, the week following the championship or one week prior to all regional, according to the CAC handbook, Section 3.
“As a founding member, UMW is very happy with the Capital Athletic Conference. It offers a great balance of competition against regionally located institutions. Although we are losing two members, the conference is actively working to secure new member institutions,” said interim athletic director Patrick Catullo.