Tuesday, January 31, 2023

As Losses Mount, Webster Seeks Answers


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1.  As Losses Mount, Webster Seeks Answers

Webster University Achieves Best U.S. News & World Report Ranking - Webster  University Athletics
by Steph Kukuljan, Blythe Bernhard, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"For nearly a decade, Webster University has seen enrollment decline by thousands of students and debt rise by the tens of millions of dollars.

The private college, located at Big Bend Boulevard and Edgar Road, faces a precarious future, one that analysts have little faith will improve any time soon, as annual losses reach $25 million.

And Webster’s bet on pivoting from being an arts-focused institution to one catering to business, technology and health sciences — leading it to take out over $60 million in bonds to construct new high-tech buildings at its main campus here — has yet to pay off."

>> Situational Awareness: "In recent years, the college has failed to attract enough students to offset expenses, despite raising tuition. An increase in international students has boosted enrollment system-wide for the upcoming school year following a significant drop. Over a six-year period from 2015 to 2021, Webster’s enrollment declined 42% from a little over 17,000 students to 10,000, according to university audits and bond documents."

>> Between The Lines: "Tuition also rose 17 percent over the same period, from $25,300 to $29,640 per academic year. Yet, despite tuition increases, revenue plummeted from $186.7 million in 2016 to $133.6 million in fiscal 2021. During the same period, the university’s losses continued to spiral from $12.8 million to $24.5 million, financial filings show."

>> The Big Picture: Other private colleges here are facing similar financial pressures, but not of the same magnitude as Webster. Fontbonne University has seen enrollment drop below 1,000 in the past couple years. Its expenses have continued to outpace revenue, though they have improved from a loss of $5 million in the 2015-2016 academic year, according to the latest available financial filings. Across the country, dozens of smaller colleges have shuttered in recent years, including MacMurray Colleges."

>> Quotable: “It boils down to a supply-and-demand issue,” said Lisa Washburn, managing director at Municipal Market Analytics. “We’ve just got too many seats for too few students. Add to that rising costs and a pandemic, and some schools just become uneconomical to run.”

>> Continue Reading


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2.  Plattsburgh Vaults Into Top 10

Carson Gallagher
photo by Gabe Dickens

Plattsburgh State made a five-spot leap into the top 10 at No. 6 as the USCHO.com DIII men's ice hockey poll was released Monday.

  1. Utica (15), 16-2-1
  2. Hobart (4), 19-2
  3. Adrian, 16-3-2
  4. Endicott (1), 17-1-1
  5. Curry, 15-3-1
  6. Plattsburgh, 15-4-2
  7. Aurora, 15-4-2
  8. Norwich, 15-4-2
  9. Geneseo, 13-5-2
  10. UW-Stevens Point, 13-5-3

>> Power Play Prowess: Adrian's man-up unit is the best in DIII, scoring 41.0 percent of the time on the power play. Endicott is the only other unit nationally above 30 percent (30.9%).

>> Penalty Killers: UW-Stevens Point tops DIII in penalty killing percentage, snuffing out 93.7 percent of all power play chances for the opposition. Bethel is a close second at 93.0%.

>> Complete Poll

3.  Amherst Aiming For Top Spot

Leslie Shwartz 12123

The top four teams in the USCHO.com DIII women's ice hockey poll stayed in place in this week's rankings.

  1. UW-River Falls (18), 18-2
  2. Gustavus Adolphus (1), 16-2
  3. Amherst (1), 18-1
  4. Plattsburgh State, 18-2
  5. Hamilton, 14-3-1
  6. Adrian, 17-2
  7. Norwich, 14-5-1
  8. Middlebury. 10-5-2
  9. UW-Eau Claire, 17-3-1
  10. Elmira, 16-5

>> Road Warriors: UW-River Falls has won 18 consecutive games away from home ice - eight more games than Amherst who has a 10-game road streak.

>> Power Play Ranger: UW-Eau Claire's Sophie Rausch has tallied nine of her 26 goals on the power play this season to lead all of Division III

>> Complete Poll

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4.  Blue Jays Fly Into Top 10

Carson James vs Swarthmore

Welcoming Johns Hopkins to the top 10 in the latest D3hoops.com men's basketball ranking, while saying adios to Williams.

  1. St. Joseph's, Conn. (15), 20-0
  2. Randolph-Macon (10), 19-1
  3. Middlebury, 17-2
  4. Christopher Newport, 18-3
  5. Mount Union, 17-2
  6. Keene State, 19-1
  7. John Carroll, 17-2
  8. Wheaton, Ill., 17-3
  9. Johns Hopkins, 16-3
  10. Swarthmore, 17-2

>> The Eraser: Emerson's Jarred Houston tops DIII in blocks with 78 or 4.11 per game. Middlebury's Alex Sobel has 77 rejections for a 4.05 per outing average.

>> Home, Sweet Home: Randolph-Macon has won 59 consecutive games at Crenshaw Gym dating to 2018. The Yellow Jackets' last home loss came against Eastern Mennonite on Jan. 24, 2018, by a 70-69 count. The DIII record is 62 straight home victories, established by North Park from Feb. 8, 1984 to Feb. 3, 1988.

>> Complete Poll

5.  "T" Time as Trinity, Transy Remain 1-2

photo by Scott Burkhalter

Two new teams join the top 10 in the latest D3hoops.com women's basketball poll - Hardin-Simmons and DeSales - while Babson and Baldwin Wallace bow out.

  1. Trinity, Texas (19), 19-0
  2. Transylvania (5), 19-0
  3. Christopher Newport (1), 20-0
  4. Scranton, 19-0
  5. Smith, 18-1
  6. Hope, 18-2
  7. New York U., 15-2
  8. Hardin-Simmons, 18-2
  9. DeSales, 18-1
  10. Chicago, 16-2

>> Filling The Stat Sheet: A pair of players - SUNY Poly's Molly Burdick and Meredith's Kate Perko - share the DIII lead in double-doubles with 16. Saint Elizabeth's Destiny Battle has three triple-doubles to her credit.

>> From Way Downtown: Sewanee's Lilly Phillips has the best range in DIII, leading the country with 70 three-point field goals. Lyric Grumblatt of Rivier (67) and Kean's Shannon McCoy (66) are not far behind in second and third, respectively.

>> Complete Poll

6.  What to Watch

What we're watching online this Tuesday night. All times EST

 MBB: Nazareth (15-3) at Utica (16-2), 7:30p
 WIH: #2 Gustavus Adolphus (16-2) at #1 UW-River Falls (18-2), 8:05p


7.  Lightning Round 


  • The Culvers Isthmus Bowl will sign a 3-year memorandum of understanding to keep the game at the Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field through 2025.
  • Our condolences to the family and friends of former Marian director of athletics and head women's volleyball coach Doug Hammondswho passed away at the age of 57. May his memory be a blessing
  Happy Birthday
  • Cake and candles for Bill Wilson, senior director of athletics, Wilmington; and Dick Lenfest, athletic director, Westfield State

Do you know of someone celebrating an upcoming birthday? Drop us a line at D3Playbook@gmail.com

8.  Comings and Goings
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Monday, January 30, 2023

Phillip, Blaskowski Set National Marks


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
>> Monday, Monday. Congrats to Mount Union alum Nick Sirianni on leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl, as well to those D3 alums working on the staffs for the Birds and the Chiefs.

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1.  Phillip, Blaskowski Set National Marks

NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N. Carolina  Action Shot
Phillip photo by Charity Byrd; Blaskowski photo by Andy McNeill

Two NCAA Division III indoor track and field marks fell by the wayside over the weekend as John Carroll's Alex Phillip and UW-La Crosse's Sam Blaskowski etched their names in the record books.

Phillip set a national standard in the 3,000 meters, crossing the line in 7:53.24 to take third place at the Boston U. Terrier Classic. He bettered the old mark of 7:54.48 set by Williams' Aidan Ryan a year ago.

Blaskowski erased a nine-year-old mark in the 200 meters, winning in 21.13 at the Aurora Grand Prix. UW-Eau Claire's Thurgood Dennis had held the old record of 21.27.


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2.  NCAA Generates $1.1B In Revenue


by Amanda Christovich, Front Office Sports

The NCAA raked in $1.14 billion in revenue in 2021-22, according to audited financial statements released this week. 

That’s just slightly less than the governing body earned in 2020-21 after bouncing back from a major pandemic shortfall.

However, Division I schools still received a larger share of revenue than they did in 2021 — the NCAA distributed $657 million to D-I programs, compared to $613.4 million the year prior."

>> Court Awareness: The NCAA contract with CBS and Turner for men's basketball contributed $870 million, while the deal with ESPN for 29 other championships including women's basketball earned $43.5 million.

>> What's Next: "The NCAA faces a major expense over the next few years: defending amateurism in court and in Congress with legal fees and lobbying expenses."

>> Continue Reading
>> Only Congress Can Fix The Lousy Business Of College Sports (Andrew Zimbalist, Smith College)


3. It's Emory And Kenyon, Again

The latest CSCAA Division III top 25 dual-meet team rankings are out and the Emory men and Kenyon women continue to hold down the No. 1 position. 

The Williams men made the month's biggest leap, jumping seven spots to No. 4, while the Connecticut College men went from receiving votes to No. 16. For the women, Case Western Reserve made the biggest leap - three slots to No. 15.


  1. Emory (19)
  2. Kenyon (1)
  3. Chicago
  4. Williams
  5. Washington U.
  6. MIT
  7. New York U.
  8. Johns Hopkins
  9. Denison
  10. Carnegie Mellon

>> Conference Meets to Watch
  • NCAC (2-Kenyon, 9-Denison), Feb. 8-11
  • UAA (1-Emory, 3-Chicago, 5-Washington U, 7-NYU, 10-Carnegie Mellon, 15-CWRU), Feb. 9-11
  • MIAA (12-Calvin, 20-Hope), Feb. 15-18
  • SCIAC (11-Pomona-Pitzer, 17-Claremont-M-S, RV-Caltech), Feb. 15-18
  • NESCAC (4-Williams, 13-Tufts, 16-Conn College, 19-Amherst, RV-Bates, Colby), Feb. 16-19
  1. Kenyon
  2. Emory
  3. Williams
  4. Denison
  5. Chicago
  6. Tufts
  7. MIT
  8. NYU
  9. Pomona-Pitzer
  10. Johns Hopkins
>> Conference Meets to Watch
  • NCAC (1-Kenyon, 4-Denison), Feb. 8-11
  • UAA (2-Emory, 5-Chicago, 8-NYU, 11-Carnegie Mellon, 13-Washington U, 15-CWRU), Feb. 9-11
  • NESCAC (3-Williams, 6-Tufts, 16-Bowdoin, 22-Bates, 23-Amherst), Feb. 9-12
  • MIAA (12-Hope, 19-Calvin), Feb. 15-18
  • SCIAC (9-Pomona-Pitzer, 14-Claremont-M-S), Feb. 15-18
  • NEWMAC (7-MIT, 20-Wheaton, Coast Guard), Feb. 16-19
  • Centennial (18-Swarthmore, RV-Gettysburg, F&M), Feb. 16-19

>> Complete Polls
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4. B-SC Alum Asking Hard Questions

Birmingham-Southern College's future at stake as lawmakers discuss $37.5  million bailout - al.com
by Jim Owens, AL.com | photo by Bernard Troncale

"As a 1982 graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, it pains me to see the financial condition it has fallen into that now threatens its viability as an institution. I count my four years on The Hilltop as some of the most formative and enjoyable years of my life. There, I learned much about myself and much about the world.

One of the most significant things I learned there was that learning how to think for oneself is an essential component of being well-educated. So, despite my appreciation for my experience at BSC, it might surprise you to find I’m skeptical of the notion that public funds should be used to create some bridge to the future for my alma mater.

Make no mistake, I love the people and mission of Birmingham-Southern. I also believe there’s an incredible value in a liberal arts education for many of us. Yet I’m not convinced of the arguments I’ve heard suggesting the City of Birmingham and the State of Alabama should bail out the College."

>> Key Questions: "How did the Board of Trustees continue to approve budgets, which I assume they did, without acting long before circumstances became so dire? What specific steps, if any, did leadership take to increase revenue and decrease expenses over the last eight years? Finally, has the College co-mingled restricted endowment funds with unrestricted operating funds to keep it afloat."

>> The Key Stat: "There is no doubt Birmingham-Southern is a vital contributor to Birmingham and our state. But such contributions do not grant it a right to exist in perpetuity. Private educational institutions, like private enterprise, must offer a value proposition that is attractive to both community stakeholders and students alike."

>> Read More


5.  Lightning Round 



  • The North Central (Ill.) men won the 31-team Pete Willson Invitational hosted by Wheaton (Ill.), edging UW-Eau Claire, 136-125. The Cardinals used their team depth, as NCC did not have an individual champion but recorded a second and three thirds. 
  • The Cardinal women brought home the inaugural CCIW championship, winning eight weight classes to easily outpoint runner-up Aurora.
  Ice Hockey (M)


   Happy Birthday

  • Cake and candles for Bill Regan, Managing Director, NCAA; Clare Doyle, head rowing coach, Smith; Christopher Sykes, head swimming coach, Illinois College; Ethan Adlfinger, assistant cross country/track and field coach, Loras.

Do you know of someone celebrating a birthday soon? Drop us a line at D3Playbook@gmail.com.

6.  Comings and Goings
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