Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007
R-C News-Herald Editorial
Chowan University President Dr. Chris White could have let well enough alone. In fact, his successors had done just that.
When Chowan made the transition from junior college to four-year status, the athletic program at the institution was nearly killed by a decision made in the same office.
Over the objection of then Athletic Director Jim Garrison, studies on the issue and many, if not most, of the trustees, the person who was then president of the school made the decision to put Chowan into National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III status.
That terrible, awful decision almost destroyed intercollegiate athletics at the school. A few programs were able to be successful while most struggled from the day the decision was made.
When he inherited a school that was NCAA D-III status, Dr. White could have set aside his concerns and done what was seemingly the easy thing n leave well enough alone.
Thankfully, the current president bucked the trend of just letting athletics continue to head down a spiraling road toward destruction. Dr. White chose to do something about it.
He made the decision to move Chowan up into the NCAA Division II classification. It was, he knew, the only way athletics could thrive long-term in Murfreesboro.
It has been a three-year process for the teams now known as the Hawks to move up into classification. Another three years of “it status” as we have so often referred to the probationary periods the athletic teams have gone through twice as they made transitions.
Dr. White made an incredibly difficult decision and the Board of Trustees courageously backed that decision. As of September 1, the Hawks will begin to reap the benefits of their choice.
It may be this year that the first Chowan University team will make their way to the NCAA Division II playoffs. It may be next year, but the point is n they can go if they qualify.
While Dr. White and the trustees get all the initial credit, the hard work of actually getting the move done goes to them and others including Athletic Director Dennis Helsel, Senior Woman Administrator Meredith Long and Compliance Director Pat Mashuda along with all of the coaches and athletic staff.
They have all done a remarkable job in getting Chowan University to the status it should have been 10 years ago.
Chowan University’s athletic future is brighter today than at any point since the transition to four-year status.
We are proud to be members of the Hawks Haven, especially today.