Thursday, September 19, 2019

When Chicago Dropped Football

SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 | written by Steve Ulrich
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1. When Chicago Dropped Football

"The college president appeared before a faculty board with an unconventional recommendation. His university, a onetime football powerhouse in the mold of Notre Dame, should eliminate the sport altogether.
Too much money was flowing in, too much emphasis given to a venture far removed from academics. College football, he had previously argued in an essay, was nothing more than “crass professionalism.”
“But nobody has done anything about it,” he wrote. “Why? I think it is because nobody wants to.”
That president, Robert Maynard Hutchins, wanted to — and he did. Eighty years ago this year, the University of Chicago approved Hutchins’s recommendation to drop football, and though the university brought back the sport 30 years later, it was at a lower division: no athletics scholarships, no overemphasis, no huge scandals."

>> Opinion I: The U. of Arkansas president, J. William Fulbright - later a prominent U.S. Senator - commended the "courageous defense of the university and its true function."

>> Opinion II: George L. Cross, president of Oklahoma, went to the state legislature to defend a request for more funding. Years earlier, the Board of Regents suggested Cross sharpen his focus on football and build a program of which the state could be proud. By the time he approached the lawmakers, Cross’s Sooners had won a national championship. After he spent an hour outlining his plan, a state senator said: “Yes, that’s all well and good. But what kind of football team are we going to have this year?”

>> Quote of All Time: Cross’s reply would circulate in newspapers around the nation: “We want to build a university our football team can be proud of.”

>> Flutie Effect?Research shows that universities with sustained athletics success, especially private institutions, reap financial benefits. One researcher at the Harvard Business School found that when an institution’s football team “goes from being mediocre to being great,” applications increase by about 18 percent. But that surge rarely lasts. Within a couple of years, applications drop to baseline levels.

>> The Key Stat: The average FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, aka Division I) in 2016 spent more than $16 million on football.

>> #Fire Staban: In 2016, Chuck A. Staban, former U. of Idaho president, dropped his school's program from FBS to FCS (Football Championship Subdivision, aka Division I-AA). The outcry was swift and damning. A @FireChuckStaben account emerged on Twitter, and among die-hard Vandals fans #FireStaben became a rallying cry. Staben says his car was vandalized, as was his wife’s. His home address was published on a fan website. Fanatics sent death threats, which he didn’t take too seriously until he and his wife were out of town while his daughter stayed home alone. In May, 2018, the board announced his contract would not be renewed.

>> Worth Noting: This billion-dollar industry, complete with millionaire coaches and facilities arms races, is the university’s front door, a moneymaker and reputation-builder. Staben said it’s difficult, as a president, to speak candidly about concerns over the game, which faces a litany of problems, including the looming concern of players’ brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which have spawned hundreds of lawsuits against the NCAA and its member institutions.

- courtesy of the Chronicle of Higher Education
2. John Carroll Fuels Patriots Dynasty

"Like many college buddies, Josh McDaniels, Nick Caserio, Dave Ziegler, and Jerry Schuplinski wanted to go into business together after graduation.
Their business just happened to be professional football. And two decades later, business is good. The quartet now owns 18 Super Bowl rings.
“We thought that we would have a chance to do something cool,” McDaniels said. “I don’t know if anyone envisioned this.”

They are some of the most important contributors to the Patriots dynasty not named Tom Brady or Bill Belichick: McDaniels the whiz-kid offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for 12 years; Caserio the No. 2 man in the front office since 2008; Ziegler the director of pro personnel since 2016; and Schuplinski, now with the Dolphins, the assistant quarterbacks coach from 2013-18.

But before they were winning Lombardi Trophies with the Patriots, they were Blue Streaks — teammates in the late ’90s at John Carroll University, a 3,100-student, Division 3 Catholic school on the outskirts of Cleveland."
>> Between The Lines: Caserio, who wore No. 18, was the starting quarterback and team captain who graduated with more than a dozen school passing records. McDaniels, No. 12, turned himself into a crafty possession receiver after losing the QB battle to Caserio. Ziegler, No. 8, was a fearless, three-time All-American kick and punt returner. And Schuplinski, No. 44, was a hard-nosed fullback.
Together they helped lead the Blue Streaks to a 27-5 record between 1996-98, including the school’s first win in the NCAA playoffs, reaching the Round of 16 in 1997."

>> They Said It: “If you had told me that these guys would all be really successful, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. The fact that they happen to do it in the game they love, I do have to pinch myself sometimes.” - John Priestap, receiver

>> DYK: NFL Hall of Fame coach Don Shula played at John Carroll in the 1940s. Three current NFL general managers graduated from JCU and linebacker London Fletcher put the school on the map as a player for 16 seasons.

>> Worth Noting: They don’t get back to John Carroll much, since they’re usually busy with the Patriots in the fall. But they send autographed Brady jerseys and other Patriots swag to John Carroll fund-raisers, and contributed video messages in 2017 when the Blue Streaks had a 20-year reunion of the 1997 playoff team.

>> Read More from Ben Volin at the Boston Globe
3. Hooray for Our Side
"We began our football season Sept. 7 with a loss in double overtime to Kenyon College, the alma mater of President Rutherford B. Hayes. It was a beautiful day for football. It would have been perfect, but for the score. It left me down in the dumps for about six hours afterward.

But here is something interesting: I found, on reflection, that I was disappointed mainly for our players and coach. They had a rough season last year and have been rebuilding. The opening game was a muffed opportunity to turn the page. They will have to find a way to revive their spirits before the next game against Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Catholic University of America is a NCAA Division III school. That means we don't give athletic scholarships. I used to work at Division I schools -- Kentucky, Michigan, Notre Dame, Boston College. Their athletic programs are famous for basketball, football and hockey. They give scholarships and concierge treatment to the young athletes they recruit.

But to come back to the interesting thing: When I taught at those Division I schools, a loss might have put me into a funk, but in a very different way. It had nothing to do with the players -- on the contrary, I held them responsible for ruining my day. Winning at basketball (or whatever) was tied up with my sense of self-worth, and with the school's. I felt I was somehow more important as a professor for being associated with the national champion.

This is stupid."

>> Why It Matters: The graduation rate for the 2014-2017 cohort of Division I men's basketball players was 47%. For football, it was 58% to 62%, depending on the subdivision. At Catholic U., the athletes tend to be the best students.

>> Reality Check: This year, NADIIIAA gave CUA athletes their Community Service Award for work around the city on MLK Day. More than 500 athletes and coaches took part. The next month, the Cardinal football team won a prize for their support of the Special Olympics. The coach had to take the Polar Plunge.

Read More from John Garvey, president of Catholic University, courtesy of
4. Polls

Cross Country (M) - USTFCCCA
  1. North Central
  2. Williams
  3. Washington-St. Louis
  4. Wartburg
  5. UW-La Crosse
  6. Claremont-M-S
  7. Carnegie Mellon
  8. Calvin
  9. Johns Hopkins
  10. Pomona-Pitzer
11. MIT, 12. Carleton, 13. SUNY Geneseo, 14. Chicago. 15. Rensselaer, 16. Bates, 17. Otterbein, 18. Haverford, 19. Amherst, 20. Emory.

21. UW-Stevens Point, 22. Middlebury, 23. UC Santa Cruz, 24. John Carroll, 25. UW-Stout, 26. Elizabethtown, 27. Rochester, 28. Berea, 29. Case Western Reserve, 30. Dickinson, 31. St. Olaf, 32. Connecticut College, T33. Brockport, T33. UW-Eau Claire, 35. St. Thomas.

>> Moving Up: Claremont-M-S (+12), Emory (+9), Bates (+4), UC Santa Cruz (+4)

>> Moving Down: Case Western (-10), Pomona-Pitzer (-5), Berea (-5)

>> Hello: John Carroll, Rochester, Connecticut College.

>> Bye-Bye: DePauw, UW-Oshkosh, WPI.

Cross Country (W) - USTFCCCA

  1. Washington-St. Louis
  2. Johns Hopkins
  3. Williams
  4. Chicago
  5. MIT
  6. SUNY Geneseo
  7. Carleton
  8. Tufts
  9. Claremont-M-S
  10. Rensselaer
11. UW-Eau Claire, 12. Pomona-Pitzer, 13. Dickinson, 14. Rochester, 15. Oberlin, 16. Wartburg, 17. Middlebury, 18. Baldwin Wallace, 19. UW-La Crosse, 20. Wesleyan, Conn.

21. St. Thomas, 22. Carnegie Mellon, 23. Hope, 24. Bates, 25. Emory, 26. UC Santa Cruz, 27. Case Western Reserve, 28. College of New Jersey, 29. Washington and Lee, 30. John Carroll, 31. St.Olaf, 32. St. Norbert, 33. RIT, 34. Messiah, 35. Coast Guard.

>> Moving Up: Chicago (+6), UC Santa Cruz (+6), Claremont-M-S (+5),

>> Moving Down: UW-Eau Claire (-8), Wartburg (-5), St. Olaf (-5)

>> Hello: Bates, Case Western, John Carroll, St. Norbert, Messiah

>> Bye-Bye: St. Lawrence, Centre, Wheaton, Ill., Haverford, Otterbein, UW-Stevens Point, Brandeis.

5.  Comings ... 

and Goings ... 
  • Edward Burger steps down as president of Southwestern University effective January 2020.

6.  1 Beer Thing

During a recent broadcast of ESPN’s College GameDay, one fan had a clever idea. Before the kickoff of this year’s edition of one of college football’s oldest rivalries, Iowa vs. Iowa State, Carson King hoisted a sign. He held up his creation right in the path of the television cameras. It read, “Busch Light Supply Needs Replenished,” and included his username on Venmo, an online payment service.
Viewers saw the sign, and very soon King received more than a couple of bucks to replenish his tailgating supply. After the amount hit $600, King decided to put the money to better use, and donated it to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, The Des Moines Register reports. In the end, he raised about $11,000.
The best news? Busch Beer said it would match his donation. Cheers to that.

courtesy of Chronicle of Higher Education

>> Update: After matching donations by both Busch Light and Venmo, the hospital will receive more than $100,000. (Des Moines Register)
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