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ONU presents symposium on Division III athletics

In April, Ohio Northern University presented “Paying the Price To Play: A symposium on the Division III Student Athlete Experience,” which was sponsored by the Department of History, Politics and Justice and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The symposium featured two panels: one made up of Division III administrators and coaches and a second consisting of current and former athletes.

“The headlines are dominated by the big-time athletic programs, but there is more to the story of American university athletics,” said Russ Crawford, assistant professor of history. “Division III athletes play mostly for the love of the game and face many issues that their big-time counterparts do not.”

The administration and coach’s panel tackled the issues of laboring in anonymity, applying the NCAA rules and opportunities, possible changes that might be needed, and future issues that may face the Division III athlete.

Members of the administration and coach’s panel were Paul Govekar, associate professor of management at ONU and faculty athletic representative to the Ohio Athletic Conference, Anthony Gholson, BSBA ’88, head basketball coach at Heidelberg, Fred Barends, head track coach at Capital University, John Rhodes, head men’s basketball coach at ONU, and Tom Simmons, BSBA ’85, BA ’86, athletic director at ONU.

The athletic panel, consisting of present and past student athletes, gave first-person insight into competing at the Division III level and issues they face, such as the balance between sports and school, the positives and negatives of participating in athletics, and personal sacrifices made by Division III athletes.