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The Division III Difference

From Jeff Docking, Chair of the Division III Presidents Council

Jeffrey R. Docking, Chair of the Division III Presidents Council

The work we do as a Council helps to ensure that 190,000 students and counting have the ability to play the sports they love while earning their college degree.  We often neglect to acknowledge just how hard these student-athletes work.  They wake up for early morning practices, stay up late to watch film, take long trips across the state and country, all the while finding time to study on buses and in hotel rooms and throughout airport lobbies.  They sacrifice, time and again, in order to play a sport in college.  

Perhaps most impressively, these students are not doing any of this because of athletic scholarships.  They do not expect a financial reward either in college or beyond.  They do not expect to achieve fame or earn major endorsements because of their athletic ability.  Rather, they compete and sacrifice and train so hard because they love the game.  They are living examples of what we mean by the term “student-athlete.” 

And how wonderful it is that such students, possessed of such devotion and love, traverse our campuses.  These students hone their leadership experience and teamwork through their sport, and they bring these character traits into the classroom, motivating lab partners just as they have motivated their teammates in the past and leading study groups just as they have led in the locker room.  They play their sports because it enriches their lives, and this choice enriches our campus communities as well. 

I am proud to serve as the chair of this Council because I deeply believe in the importance of athletics in the lives of students as well as our Division III Philosophy.  I look forward to working with the Council to ensure that 190,000 students have the resources and support they need to thrive as students and athletes.  If they thrive in their athletic endeavors, they will thrive beyond college as teachers, poets, researchers, business and church leaders, and a host of other professions.  And we will all be better for it.  

-Jeffrey R. Docking, PhD