To cut costs across the league, the NESCAC will be implementing new travel regulations next year for regular season games that require an overnight stay. The new policy will place limits on the number of players that can travel to these games, and will save Bowdoin an estimated $15,000, according to Director of Athletics Jeff Ward.
The number of players allowed to travel under the regulations varies greatly, and was decided on a sport-by-sport basis.
The decision to make the limits at a conference level was made to avoid giving a competitive advantage to schools that have fared better in the economic crisis.
"Nobody is thrilled at having to do this, but the reality is that everyone is feeling financially crunched," Ward said. "Nobody fought this."
While the decision to impose the limits was made in mid-February, the policy will not become official until it is approved by all of the NESCAC college presidents, which Ward expects to happen without a hitch.
Ward said that certain teams, particularly men's lacrosse and baseball, would be affected more than others in the sense that they will have to decrease the number of athletes that travel the most, though he didn't expect any teams to be affected competitively because of the limits.
Men's lacrosse Coach Tom McCabe said he finds it strange that some teams will not be affected at all, but that it would affect nearly 25 percent of his roster. The men's lacrosse team, which currently carries 41 players, will be limited to 32 next year in matches that require an overnight stay during the regular season.
Despite this, McCabe said he will not change the size of his team.
"Those guys who are at the lower end of the roster, they are first years and sophomores," McCabe said. "It's almost like having a farm system."
McCabe said that while he normally only uses around 26 players in a game, occasionally, due to injuries, a player who might not be in the top 32 would play. He also said that while there would most likely not be any differences on the field, "the hardest part is you go to the sideline at Middlebury and they have 44 guys on their sideline, and we've only got 32."
Although keeping morale up might be tougher for those games, McCabe estimated that his team would only have to play one such overnight game a season.
Baseball coach Mike Connolly said he understood why the limits are being implemented—he said the policy will cap his team at 24 traveling players in such circumstances—but he has his qualms about it.
"Everyone has the same potential to get the same amount of experience," he said.
Connolly also pointed out that in his series against Tufts last year, he used 28 players because the games were so close.
Ward said the men and women's basketball teams would be capped at 15, but would not disclose any other team's limits due to the fact that the presidents had yet to sign the policy. He also mentioned that there would be no limit is postseason play with the possible exception of the men and women's swimming and diving teams. The NESCAC is considering a move to limit the number of swimmers for the championship meet to 18—the current limit is 24. However, Ward indicated that the conference will wait until June to make that decision.
Ward said that the $15,000 in savings will be a result of fewer hotel rooms, meals, and transportation.
-Danny Chaffetz contributed to this report.