The treatment North Idaho College athletics has received from our conference leadership for league violations is unquestionably excessive. Anyone interested in following the process, from the initial notice of the investigation to our appeal and the issuance of sanctions, may do so — all relevant source documents are on our website for public view (www.nic.edu/nwacresults). You will find in our appeal, that NIC vigorously fought the incredibly disproportionate penalties for the violations committed. We logically and systematically made the case that our students should not become victims of rule violations in which they had no part.
But one fact remains. NIC did violate conference rules. In our appeal, you will see that clearly and humbly acknowledged. Whether the heavy-handed sanctions are to send a message that folks don’t like our winning track record or feel we’ve come into the NWAC with a recruiting edge, NIC violated the agreement it entered into when it chose to join this athletic conference.
Intercollegiate athletics, at its best, provides us a vehicle to develop key principles in our student athletes — especially sportsmanship, accountability and integrity. As leaders of the young men and women who are our student-athletes, we must hold ourselves to a high standard of professionalism. There are rules for the conference and the sports in which we compete. Choosing not to abide by those rules isn’t an option.
We were unsuccessful in our appeal, so now we will correct our mistakes and move on. I would ask that our community commit to supporting our student-athletes and coaches, perhaps now more than ever. Our athletic programs are a great connection between the community and NIC and have been and will continue to be a point of pride for us all.