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Division III Links:
Collegestudentathletes.com
NCAA website

 
  About NCAA Division III    
 

Richard Stockton College is a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. NCAA Division III is where the true student-athlete studies and competes. Division III institutions are largely regarded as leading academic institutions and do not offer athletic scholarships.

Student-athletes at Division III colleges and universities receive no financial aid on the basis of athletic merit, although substantial financial aid and academic merit scholarships are available. Still, athletics in Division III is highly competitive. There are over 136,000 student-athletes at over 430 Division III colleges and universities and each one is studying to earn a valuable degree in preparation for the workplace while playing the sport that he or she loves.

Why We Play Division III Athletics

We don’t perform for 20,000 people every night and often you don’t see us playing on ESPN. We don’t play for scholarships and most of us won’t go on to play for a professional team. They don’t print our names on our jerseys nor do they sell them in stores.

We simply play for the passion of the game. For all the times your palms get sweaty and your heart starts pounding at the thought of competition. For it is at that moment that it feels like you are in front of thousands. Living in that moment is what drives us to continue to strive to become the best all the while going to class and working towards a degree.

It’s not exactly easy and not everyone can do it, but for those who can, it’s an achievement beyond words. We all play for a common goal to win and make people proud, but in all of us lies a burning desire to succeed not only for ourselves but also for our teammates. We’ve all felt the glory of victory and the agony of defeat, and yet no matter how many games we win we will always remember the ones we lose. It is this that makes us unique. You see we don’t need the fans or the cameras to drive us, there is something that lies in all of us that makes us the epitome of student-athletes.

Stockton prides itself on winning and they often do their best to provide us with the resources necessary to accomplish our goals. They surround us with knowledgeable and I must admit sometimes crazy coaches, but we know full well that without them we would have nothing. We look to them for guidance, and motivation and we expect them to give us their best. In a perfect world this is enough and we succeed, but things aren’t always perfect and we can’t escape that heartbreaking defeat. But that fine line between success and failure is the part of the game that makes it so exciting and drives us to keep working hard to accomplish our goals.

So be honored to call yourselves student-athletes and when your time at Stockton comes to an end, be proud of your accomplishments and cherish the memories you have made throughout your career as a student-athlete.

Christina Mason
Stockton Women's Basketball 2000-04
Speech given at Stockton Awards Banquet, April 25, 2004


It's not about getting a scholarship, getting drafted, or making SportsCenter. It's a deep need in us that comes from the heart. We need to practice, to play, to lift, to hustle, to sweat. We do it all for our teammates and for the student in our calculus class that we don't even know.

We don't practice with a future major league first baseman; we practice with a future sports agent. We don't lift weights with a future Olympic wrestler; we lift with a future doctor. We don't run with a future Wimbledon champion; we run with a future CEO.

It's a bigger part of us than our friends and family can understand. Sometimes we play for 2,000 fans; sometimes 25. But we still play hard. You cheer for us because you know us. You know more than just our names. Like all of you, we are students first. We don't sign autographs. But we do sign graduate school applications, MCAT exams, and student body petitions.

When we miss a kick or strike out, we don't let down an entire state. We only let down our teammates, coaches, and fans. But the hurt is still the same. We train hard, lift, throw, run, kick, tackle, shoot, dribble, and lift some more, and in the morning we go to class. And in that class we are nothing more than students.

It's about pride--in ourselves, in our school. It's about our love and passion for the game. And when it's over, when we walk off that court or field for the last time, our hearts crumble. Those tears are real. But deep down inside, we are very proud of ourselves. We will forever be what few can claim... college athletes.

Sean Sornsin (baseball)
Cornell College (Iowa)
December 3, 1999

   
 


   
 

Send questions or comments to Sports Information Director at
rollmanc@stockton.edu
or Dean of Athletics and Recreational Programs and Services at
G.Larry.James@stockton.edu