Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Can a Bubble Be Built?


"recognizing college student-athletes who excel both on and off the field of competition."


SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1.  Can a Bubble Be Built?

by Brendan Kleen, Global Sport Matters

"As the NCAA crafts its championship events for the fall and spring semesters, it is looking to the pros for a roadmap. 

During this pandemic, that means putting together a strict, safe, virus-free “bubble,” flush with plentiful testing, strict adherence to public health guidelines -- and a huge investment. After NCAA schools lost an estimated $375 million combined due to the cancelation of the men’s basketball tournaments, there is already a sense of urgency among the association and its membership to find a plan that can be safe, cost-effective, and entertaining for college basketball next spring. Based on the available evidence, the best and perhaps only way to do that is to form a bubble for the tournament, which brings together dozens of student-athletes and staff members from (at least) 68 teams across the country.

But especially in a year that has seen an uptick in demonstrations among college athletes and more momentum in the courts toward compensating them, a full-fledged March Madness bubble has the potential to entirely fracture the line between amateurism and high-value performers.

“A bubble reveals the tension at the heart of big-time college sports,” says Dr. Victoria Jackson, a sports historian and clinical assistant professor of history at Arizona State University. “(The NCAA claims to) treat athletes just like all students in one situation, and then the very next minute are acting in ways that treat students who play sports very differently from other students.”

>> What's At Stake: "Should the NCAA move toward a bubble for any of its championships or major events this school year, safety will only cost money, but the efforts could cost the association its hold on amateurism."

>> The Big Picture: "Were a college bubble to form, the logistics would be similar to what goes on inside the NBA’s clean site at Walt Disney World, from regular testing to maintain a clean environment, plus universal masking, restricted entry and exit and monitored social distancing to ensure one case doesn’t become an outbreak. Testing, according to Dr. Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of quantitative theory at Emory University, would not even have to be daily if programs were fully safe in a bubble."

>> The Bottom Line: "Another missed NCAA tournament paycheck would be dire for college athletics, but pulling it off could mean cracking an even bigger hole in amateurism. Because of that paradox, a bubble is likely to be a quite complicated solution to an admittedly massive problem for college sport."

>> Continue Reading

2.  NESCAC Votes

NESCAC institutions have partnered with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for a NESCAC Votes initiative. The NESCAC Votes initiative seeks to inform and increase civic engagement and share non-partisan voter registration tools and resources in advance of Election Day on November 3. 

The NESCAC athletic directors have committed to designate November 3 as a day off from athletic activity to support students in their ability to vote on Election Day and to be involved in the democratic process.

As part of the NESCAC Votes initiative, each institution’s student-athlete advisory committee and student-athletes of color council will conduct a NESCAC Student-Athlete Voting Challenge.

The challenge is aimed at getting 100% eligible student-athlete voter turnout on every NESCAC campus. The competition will be measured by how many student-athletes Take the Pledge to vote. Each time a student-athlete pledges to vote, their participation will be included on a leaderboard that will display how many students at each institution have pledged to vote.

>> What They're Saying: “Part of the college experience is growing as a person and figuring out how citizens can impact their future. Exercising your right to vote is a way to be an active citizen and have an impact at the local, state, and national level. The decision by the NESCAC Athletic Directors to suspend athletic activities on Election Day demonstrates the importance they, and the conference as a whole, place on civic engagement by student-athletes," said Julia Martin, a senior on the Hamilton women's swimming & diving team and the NESCAC SAAC Chair.

>> Keep Reading


3.  Town Hall

The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) is proud to team up with the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) to provide a town hall for student-athletes, coaches, and administrators to discuss social and racial justice on college campuses.

The MAC and MIAC will host two Town Halls on Race and Social Justice on Tuesday, October 27. A morning session will be tailored towards administrators and coaches, and an evening session will be open for student-athletes. The two panel discussions will help break down what social justice looks like on campus and how we can help break down the barriers for not only student-athletes but aalso coaches and administrators.

The administrator and coach panel will be moderated by Niya Blair-Hackworth, Director of Inclusion at the NCAA. Panelists will include:

  • Chris Dixon, Director of Athletic Diversity & Inclusion at Augsburg University
  • Erika Moyer, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Representative at Hood College
  • Kelsey Koelzer, Head Women's Ice Hockey Coach at Arcadia University
  • Jason Verdugo, Associate Vice President and Athletic Director at Hamline University
The student-athlete panel will be moderated by Chris Dixon, Director of Athletic Diversity & Inclusion at Augsburg University. Panelists will include:
  • Erika Moyer, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Representative at Hood College
  • Kelsey Koelzer, Head Women's Ice Hockey Coach at Arcadia University
  • Talia Williams, Women's Volleyball Student-Athlete / MIAC National SAAC Representative at Carleton College

Both town hall sessions will provide participants the opportunity to discuss with the panelists and break down what is happening not only on their campus but also across both conferences. Contact your athletic department for registration information.


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Chi Alpha Sigma is the first national scholar-athlete society to honor those collegiate student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and in athletic competition. Chi Alpha Sigma recognizes college student-athletes who receive a varsity letter in their sport, achieve junior academic standing or higher after their fifth full-time semester, and earn a 3.4 cumulative grade point average. Student-athletes who compete for a collegiate club team are also eligible if the club team is overseen by the athletics department at the local chapter.

Find out more at

4.  Star of the Day

Women's Golf, Kmiecik win Lady Crusader Fall Invitational
  • Mary Hardin-Baylor's Sarah Kmiecik pulled away from the field with a final-round 71 to take medalist honors at the Lady Cru Invitational. The freshman bettered her opening round score by two shots on the way to her first collegiate victory. The Cru won the team title by seven shots over East Texas Baptist.
  • Wartburg's Joe Freiburger and Loras' Kassie Rosenbum were named the USTFCCCA Division III athletes of the week.

5. Conference Call


Today we continue our look at Division III conferences with those formed in the super 70s.

Conference: New England Small College Athletic Conference
Commissioner: Andrea Savage
Headquarters: Hadley, Mass.
  • Founded: 1971
  • In 1899, Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams first began to compete together as the “Triangular League.” Now it’s known as the Little Three.
  • Remaining Charter Members (10): Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, Williams
  • Other Core Members (1): Connecticut College (1982)
  • Oldest: Williams (1793)
  • Largest: Tufts (5,448)
  • Smallest: Connecticut College (1,796)
  • Longest Trip: 446 miles (Colby to Hamilton)
  • Championship Sports: 27

>> Tomorrow: Empire 8

sources: Google Maps, EADA

6.  Comings and Goings
7.  1 Nostalgia Thing 

Sound familiar? "There’s a lot of disappointment happening in our days, so nobody wants tears at the table. Let’s treat ourselves to something we all will like," Esmee Williams, who looks at where home cooking is heading for, based in Seattle, tells the AP.

  • Boomer and Gen X nostalgia dishes like chicken Kiev, chicken à la king, cheese fondue and salmon patties have become more popular, she says.


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