October 27, 2017
Lack of action by NAIA spurs tournament venue change
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks has requested that the NAIA move the 2018 Men’s Division II Basketball National Tournament to another venue.
“We recently met with NAIA officials and had what we thought was a very productive discussion about creating a policy that players will stand for the national anthem,” said College President Jerry C. Davis. “We also agreed that having a forum to discuss the issue with coaches and players prior to the opening of the tournament would be beneficial. Unfortunately, the executive committee of the Council of Presidents refused to create a policy or hold a forum. As a result, the College felt that its concerns were not taken seriously by the committee and requested that the tournament be moved. The College is willing to help with the move to another venue.”
The message from the committee, on more than one occasion, was that they do not want the College to host the tournament if it is not comfortable doing so. The College hereby formally accepts that invitation to move the tournament.
“The NAIA missed the opportunity to take a stand,” Davis said. “They refused to craft a simple policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem. The NAIA’s refusal demonstrates a lack of moral clarity on a significant national issue. Their decision contradicts their own character emphasis that identifies respect as a key trait, and we believe they are missing a golden opportunity to teach student-athletes about the honor due our country and its Veterans.
“We appreciate the efforts of the staff to communicate our concerns to the committee,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, it appears the committee believes a ‘do your own thing’ mentality supersedes patriotism. College of the Ozarks takes seriously its patriotic mission and thus has made the decision to no longer host the tournament.”
Earlier this fall, the College made a policy stating athletic teams will not play opposing teams whose members take a knee or show disrespect during the national anthem.
About College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.
The Keeter Center — the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.