Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Putting Athletes First

APRIL 28, 2020 | 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.
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>> Today's Word Count: 921. Brief, concise, smart. With pictures.

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1.  Putting Athletes First

by Ivan Maisel, ESPN

"It may seem obvious now, when we have lived without sports and concerts and all public entertainment for several weeks. But when we awoke on the second Thursday in March, the coronavirus pandemic had not yet ground the world to a halt.

Faced with the looming unknown, NCAA officials didn't equivocate. They didn't postpone, didn't give anyone any hope, didn't shirk from making the decision no one wanted to make. They sacrificed the Final Fours, their biggest financial engine, for more important objectives. They chose to preserve the health of student-athletes, coaches and fans rather than the bottom line.

It's the kind of swift, decisive leadership that college sports needed, and it stands out even more because swift and decisive is exactly what the NCAA has not been regarding the most important issue facing intercollegiate athletics. How could the NCAA get coronavirus so right and get name, image and likeness so wrong?

The NCAA refused to prepare for NIL, even as public opinion shifted in favor of allowing the Joe Burrows of the world to benefit from an LSU jersey being sold because it has the name "BURROW" across the shoulder blades. You can tell public opinion swung because politicians from sea to shining sea have swung with it, in favor of student-athletes and against the NCAA.

As the NCAA dithered, state governments filled the vacuum. In the NCAA, state politicians found an institution respected less than government. They heard the siren call of a cost-free ticket for public approval. Give a politician the chance to toady to the public will, then make a bowl of popcorn and watch.

>> The Big Picture: "Think about it. The California Legislature's votes early last September to grant NIL rights to college athletes in the state look like the scores of buy-an-opponent games played in early September: 73-0 (Assembly) and 39-0 (Senate). In Colorado this month, the 35-member Senate passed its bill unanimously while the House had to settle for a 55-9 victory. In a time of polarized politics, on what other issues do Republicans and Democrats agree unanimously?"

>> What They're Saying: "We've had a vacuum of leadership to some degree in intercollegiate athletics," said Roy Kramer, the former commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. "There are not very many who want to face this issue for these hard, tough decisions. The common approach of most education leaders is to appoint a committee. They don't want to make a decision."

>> Worth Noting: "Amateurism is at best a beau ideal, the belief that an athlete should play only for the glory of competition. That beau ideal also has been, since the dawn of college football, worshipped by rule makers and dismissed by the coaches, players and fans more interested in victory."

>> The Final Word: "Somehow, the NCAA is chasing the parade it should be leading. The NCAA may well catch up when the Division I Council meets. But let's not confuse belated acceptance of responsibility with leadership."

>> Keep Reading

2.  Fall Plans

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, here’s an alphabetical list of Division III colleges that have either disclosed their plans, mentioned them in news reports, or set a deadline for deciding.
  • Beloit College — shifting to a “module based semester” to allow flexibility to move toward either online or in-person classes
  • Chapman University — "optimistically planning for a safe return in the fall with social distancing and safety constraints in place"
  • Centre College — block-scheduling courses in shorter segments to allow flexibility to shift toward either in-person or remote learning
  • Christopher Newport University — “We are planning for our classes to resume on campus in the fall“ depending on the state of coronavirus and guidance from state and federal authorities.
  • Claremont Colleges — “Committed” to in-person fall classes, but no final decision expected till July 1
  • Emory University — likely to decide by early May, according to the student newspaper
  • Haverford College — “We expect on-campus learning to resume for the fall semester.”
  • Macalester College — "Our strong preference is to complete two full semesters of on-campus instruction," but says academic calendar may be tweaked and — only if necessary — instruction could be online
  • Shenandoah University — plans to make a decision by around July 1
  • Trine University — planning to reopen in the fall
  • University of Mary Washington — intends to start in-person instruction in August but says "we should also be prepared for the unknown"
  • Williams College — plans to announce by July 1

as of April 27, 6:45 p.m. EDT

3.  #WatchD3 

Our campaign to have past Division III athletics contests made available to those quarantined and looking for quality viewing continues.

Television on Apple iOS 13.3   Today's Feature  Television on Apple iOS 13.3

1996 NCAA Men's Basketball Semifinal

Illinois Wesleyan vs. Rowan

As we wind down April and our #WatchD3 campaign, we ask that you all unlock the vaults and share with the DIII community the best of what D3 has to offer in terms of classic games.


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    4.  Looking Back

    Could this be the new normal? What conference standings looked like 50 years ago during the 1969-70 seasons? Note the number of games played. And also only by the men.

    Middle Atlantic Conference Soccer (M)

    Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Basketball (M)

    Ohio Athletic Conference Baseball

    5.  Comings and Goings

    6. 1 (or More) Banjo Thing

    Love this song.

    Like something a little more upbeat?

    Have a great Tuesday.

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