UMPI President Ray Rice appointed to NCAA Division III Presidents Council

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:42 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -University of Maine Presque Isle President Ray Rice has been selected to be on the NCAA Division 3 Presidents Council.

The Council will oversee several aspects of competition in the Division three level and gives Rice an opportunity to connect with Presidents from Division I and Division II Institutions. It will give a voice to Maine and the North Atlantic Conference. Rice is excited to be appointed to the position and he said he will advocate for schools in New England.

“It is a great opportunity .I have been really involved with the North Atlantic conference and I was chair of the Presidents Council during COVID. I was asked to be part of the Advisory Council for the NCAA, so this is a great development in addition to those roles. Not only is the Nrth Atlantic Conference represented on the Council for the first time that we think of in quite some time. It gives the voice to the University and Institutions in the NAC, but also allows to talk to peers in the University of Maine system because the majority of the schools in the system are also NCAA Divison 3 campuses. It is a great opportunity both for the NAC and and for the University of Maine System and for Maine generally to have somebody represented at the National level.”

The North Atlantic Conference and the sports programs at the institutions are very similar to the issues at other Division 3 programs around the Country. Rice says that while Division 3 issues may be different than what Presidents at the Division 1 level are dealing with there is still common ground.

Rice:” We had meetings including with the President of the NCAA, Charlie Baker, great leader of the organization right now. He addressed both D 3 separately and then all of us together as a group. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the issues specific to Division 3, but also general issues that pertain to all athletes and all institutions.”

The North Atlantic Conference oversees 19 sports and in many of the sports the conference champions advance to Regional or National Championship competition. The Presidents and Athletic Directors of the NAC are in constant contact about issues their student athletes may be having and finding support from each other. Rice feels that serving on the Presidents’ Council will give him a chance to compare notes with Presidents from other areas around the Country.

Rice:” There are so many issues that are so pressing and so important to our student athletes and to our institutions. We really want to make sure that we are representing the health and well being of all of our kids that are in sports.”