Monday, June 1, 2020

America Ablaze

JUNE 1, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1.  America Ablaze

It's a difficult time to focus on Division III and athletics as we watch protests unfold around the country.

From Atlanta to Minneapolis to Washington, we watch news coverage and wonder where we went astray as a nation ... and what can be done to repair the damage.

We move ahead with today's newsletter, fresh in the knowledge that there are more important issues that need to be confronted - today, tomorrow and in the weeks and months to come.


2.  DIII Reduces Contest Minimums

Coronavirus: NCAA gives spring athletes year of eligibility - Los ...
by Rachel Stern, NCAA

"The minimum number of contests required for sports sponsorship and championship selection in Division III have been reduced by 33% in all sports for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Division III Administrative Committee approved the reductions during a videoconference Thursday in response to recommendations from the Division III Membership and Championships Committees. The minimum number of required participants will stay the same.

“We hope that a reduction in contest minimums will provide flexibility to our member schools as they work to reopen during what is a very uncertain and complex time. We understand this won’t fix everything for everyone, but we believe it is the right move at this time and we will remain flexible moving forward,” said Tori Murden McClure, chair of the committee and Spalding president.

The Administrative Committee concluded that reducing the minimum number of contests required for sports sponsorship and championship selection will help institutions remain in compliance, provide much-needed guidance as institutions map out what competition schedules will look like and will reduce the administrative burden associated with seeking relief in the form of waivers as institutions continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic."

>> Why It Matters: A Division III Commissioners Association survey showed 85 percent of respondents supported a reduction, allowing members the flexibility to devise a competition schedule that works for all institutional academic calendars.

>> Go Deeper

3. College Without the Campus
by Brock Colyar, Charlotte Klein, Anna Silman, James D. Walsh, New York Magazine
"The mythical American curtain-raiser to adulthood, the four (or so) years of finding-yourself freedom and higher learning, is having a reckoning. May 1, the date when most colleges ask that the students to whom they’ve offered admission declare their intentions for the fall, has come and gone with many students (and their parents) unsure of what they should do. Facing the prospect of mass deferrals, many schools are granting families extra mull time because nobody, not the schools, not the families, not public-health experts or politicians, knows whether it will be safe or wise (or legal) to be on campus in September.

The financial wreckage from that uncertainty could be massive. Meanwhile, the number of students pursuing a college degree could be the smallest in two decades. One out of 10 high-school seniors report that they no longer plan to attend a four-year institution. A quarter of current college students say they wouldn’t return or it is “too soon to tell,” and 12 percent of high-school seniors are thinking they’ll take a gap year, as opposed to the normal 3 percent.

Even before the pandemic, college seemed on an unsustainable path — tuition was rising, as was student debt. The richest schools have become unimaginably richer, hoarding their endowments while educating a tiny, lucky elite, while the student masses, seeking the credentialing necessary to step behind the picket fence of a middle-class life, commute to nonresidential schools, often while working full time. Those are also the kids most likely to drop out under financial strain — and everybody is under financial strain right now — the thin membrane of space in their budgets that allows them to study suddenly gone."

>> Why It Matters: “Our track season was taken away from us a week before our first meet. We didn’t even get the chance to step on the track. I text with my coach every other day, and I’ll take videos of myself running and she’ll tell me what I can do better. But you definitely don’t get that detailed coaching. If this fall semester is done virtually, I will take a leave of absence from school.” Ana Lamoso, junior, Babson College

>> Reality Check: "Financially, colleges need to be open. Their operating budgets depend on tuition revenue, and schools need students on campus to be spending money in the bookstore or the dining hall or on sporting events. It’s important for students to take a step back and find things to fill their time that are going to engage their core interests and make them happy — maybe what they didn’t have time for during the school year. Some of the tougher conversations are with the athletes because they may or may not be able to play their sport." - Dr. Kat Cohen, founder of elite admissions counseling service IvyWise.

>> What They're Saying: “After the Second World War through the baby boom, there were just not enough seats in the primary schools. So there were what were called ‘double sessions’: Half the school would come in the morning; half the school would come in the afternoon. I think that could be where we’re heading in higher education, unless there is some miracle vaccine. So any given college, they would say to half of their students, ‘You’ll be here for six weeks, then you will go out and the other half will come. And during the six weeks when you’re home, you will go to school remotely.’ ” —Robert Zemskyprofessor of education, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

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4.  Comings and Goings
5.  1 Thing 

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