Thursday, December 5, 2019

All Too Familiar

DECEMBER 5, 2019 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.

>> Good Morning! We begin our "Best of the Decade" series today. Hard to believe there is just 26 days remaining in the '10s.

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1. 'You Can't Be A Change Agent and Survive'

"DePauw University - ranked as Indiana's premier liberal arts college - has endured a year that rocked the place to its foundation and toppled its president. The story encompasses culture, demographics, and leadership, but begins and ends with money.

For years, DePauw ran at a deficit, drawing from its flush $730 million endowment to meet the gap, but last year trustees got serious about balancing its books. Meager 1 percent raises were followed by a mid-year switch to a cheaper healthcare plan. Morale plummeted. Frustrated by what some perceived as President Mark McCoy’s lack of communication, transparency, and vision, the faculty passed a no-confidence vote. Then the real shocker: In a “restructuring,” DePauw laid off 56 full- and part-time administrators and staff, and offered a voluntary buyout to more than 100 tenured faculty, some as young as 50. Administrators jumped ship, including the academic vice president and the dean of faculty. Come spring, the admissions department announced more bad news. The incoming class was 200 students short of its usual 630 target, creating a $5.4 million tuition shortfall. Within weeks, McCoy resigned.

So what happened? That, like the solution, depends on whom you ask.

The first thing any administrator will tell you is DePauw is not alone. Liberal arts colleges, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, are struggling for a variety of reasons, including rising tuitions, a declining number of high school graduates, and Americans’ growing anxiety over jobs. More than a dozen small colleges have closed in the last four years, representing about a 7 percent drop in the total number of schools. Here in Indiana, Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer shut its doors in 2017. The next year, the president of Earlham CollegeAlan Price, resigned. A few months later, the school slashed its annual budget by 12 percent."

>> What They're Saying: “Misery loves company. Nearly all the Great Lakes Colleges Association schools experienced declines in first-year student enrollments this year.” - Bob Leonard, DePauw's VP for Finance and Administration

>> Reality Check: “The job is impossible. “You have alumni, students, the board of trustees, faculty. We all have the right answers, and we can’t agree on anything. So what are you going to do?” - Gary Lemon, professor of economics and management

>> The Final Word: “Our community wants a president who is an academic innovator, a relationship builder, a collaborative team player with high cultural competencies, a skillful communicator, a strategic fundraiser, a crisis manager, and an operational visionary. That’s a lot.” - Justin Christian, trustee
  • A not uncommon story these days and worth Your Timewritten by Lili Wright and appearing in Indianapolis Monthly 

2. Soccer Championship Preview 

The Division III men's and women's soccer championship Final Four is slated for Friday-Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. Here is our look at the field.

Women's Semifinals

#1 Messiah (21-1-2) vs. Carnegie Mellon (14-5-2), 11 a.m.
  • The Falcons and the Tartans meet in a rematch of their September contest that was won by Messiah, 3-0. Senior Brooke Firestone leads Messiah's offense with 19 goals and five assists, while classmate Ellie Lengacher adds 10 goals and a team-high 15 helpers. It's a tradition of excellence at Messiah - five national titles with four runner-up finishes. CMU makes its first national semifinal and is led by freshman Alex Adams (13-6-32). 
#2 William Smith (20-1-1) vs. #8 Pomona-Pitzer (20-1-2), 1:45 p.m.
  • This is the first-ever meeting between the Herons and the Sagehens. It is the 11th trip to the Final Four for William Smith, while Pomona-Pitzer makes its first appearance in a national semifinal. Eighteen different Herons have found the back of the net this season, led by Sheila McQuillen with nine tallies. SCIAC Athlete of the Year Bria Van Buhler paces the P-P offense with 21 goals. The Sagehens are ranked second nationally in goals allowed and GAA, while the Herons are third.
Live Video
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. EST

Men's Semifinals

#4 Amherst (18-1-2) vs. #21 Centre (20-3-1), 5 p.m.
  • The Mammoths are in the Final Four for the third time and look to return to the final for the first time since winning it all in 2015. NESCAC Player of the Year German Giammetti has  tallied 22 goals in his sophomore season, while senior Dane Lind adds nine goals and 10 assists. Coach Justin Serpone has 199 career wins against 28 losses. The Colonels are making their first trip to the national semifinal. Senior Alexander Garuba tops the scoring chart with 22 goals, while senior keeper Tate Johnson was named 1st team All-SAA with a 0.82 goals-against average.
#1 Calvin (23-1-1) vs. #2 Tufts (18-2-2), 7:45 p.m.
  • The defending national champion Jumbos take on the top-ranked Knights in a much-anticipated semifinal. The teams have met in two of the last three national finals with Tufts winning 1-0 in 2016 and 2-1 last year. Senior Hunter Olson was the MIAA MVP after scoring 15 times with seven assists, while soph Sam Twigg tallied 14 goals with 13 helpers for Calvin. Tufts looks to senior forward Joe Braun (6-5-17) and middie Gavin Tasker (3-7-13).

>> 276: How good are the senior classes of the four semifinalists? Combined, they are 276-45-27 with Calvin leading the way (89-7-2).

Live Video
Final: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST 

3.  Best of the Decade 

We begin our "Best of the Decade" series with a look at the champions, runners-up and final four participants in women's volleyball.

Champions: Calvin (3), California Lutheran, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Emory, Hope, Johns Hopkins, St. Thomas, Wittenberg.

Runner-Up: Emory (3), Calvin (2), Wittenberg (2), Cal Lutheran, Christopher Newport, Washington U.

Final Four Appearances: Calvin (7), Emory (5), Carthage (3), Wittenberg (3), Cal Lutheran (2), Christopher Newport (2), Juniata (2), UW-Stevens Point (2), Washington U. (2), Claremont-M-S, Eastern, Elmhurst, Hendrix, Hope, Ithaca, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern-St. Paul, Southwestern, St. Thomas, Trinity TX, UW-Eau Claire.

>> Tomorrow: field hockey.


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4.   AFCA All-America Team 

St. John’s (Minn.) quarterback Jackson Erdmann and Lake Forest (Ill.) defensive lineman Jordan McInerney headline the 2019 AFCA Division III Coaches’ All-America Teams announced today by the American Football Coaches Association.

First Team - Offense
QB-Jackson Erdmann, Sr., Saint John's; RB-Wesley Schools, Sr., Grove City; RB-Robert Shufford, Jr., Birmingham-Southern; WR-Justin Hill, Sr., Mount Union; WR-Andrew Kamienski, Jr., North Central (Ill.); TE-Jacob Maher, Sr., Framingham State; OL-Joe Krall, Sr., Monmouth; OL-Quinn Meinerz, Jr., UW-Whitewater; OL-Jordan Patti, Sr., Ferrum; OL-Zach Smith, Sr., Hope; OL-Nic Vetter, Sr., Wartburg.

First Team - Defense
DL-Frankie Feaster, Sr., Muhlenberg; DL-Dallas McRae, Sr., Wheaton; DL-Tim Ousley, Sr., Muskingum; DL-Jordan McInerney, Sr., Lake Forest; LB-Re'Shaun Meyers, Sr., Bridgewater (Va.); LB-Tevin Jones, Sr., Mary Hardin-Baylor; LB-Emmett Forde, Jr., Hobart; DB-Danial Shelton, Sr., Susquehanna; DB-Peyton Haines, Sr., LaGrange; DB-Tramon Wiley, Jr., Heidelberg; DB-Jeff Hector, Sr., Redlands.

First Team - Specialists
PK-Jon Alberts, Sr., Central; P-Alex Berg, Sr., Concordia-Moorhead; AP-Joe Vitelli, Sr., Merchant Marine.

>> Complete Team

5. Last Night on the Hardwood

  • Three players posted double-doubles, led by Rah-Rah Thompson's 28 points and 31 (yes, not a typo) rebounds, as Albertus Magnus downed Westfield State, 99-90. The Falcons outrebounded the Owls, 83-43.
  • Luther picked up its first win of the season by toppling No. 17 Loras, 70-66. The Norse trailed by as many as 11 in the third period but closed the quarter on a 22-9 run. Coranda Vickerman drained the game-winning three with nine seconds remaining.

6. Comings and Goings

7.  Play of the Day

8.  1 Classic Blue Thing

In these uneasy times, as we move along to a new decade, the Pantone Color Institute reached back in time to calming, confident Classic Blue as its color of the year for 2020, AP's Leanne Italie writes.
  • The color is an anchor offering stability, constancy and connection.
  • Akin to maritime blue — not indigo, and brighter than navy — Classic Blue (Pantone 19-4052) evokes a feeling of vast expanse.
Creators around the globe are using modern blue takes for runways, mobile phones, kitchen appliances and pricey, forward-looking cars and motorcycles.
  • Pantone's Laurie Pressman insisted the pick wasn't a nod to Dems: "We do not look at color through a political lens. We look at our life through a colorful lens."
- courtesy of Axios

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