Thursday, October 15, 2020

Scraping Together a Season



OCTOBER 15, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1.  Scraping Together A Season

by Liz Robbins, New York Times (photo by Julia Rendleman) 

"Soccer drills in socially distanced quadrants. Masked volleyball players in gyms. Padlocked fields. Positive tests. Zoom team meetings. Canceled. Postponed. Competing. Stay tuned.

This is the collegiate student-athlete experience in fall 2020, one that is as dizzying as it is disproportionate. Since March, college sports on every level have been fundamentally disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Some fall sports are competing, but that varies by region, by community, by politics, by division, by conference and even by team. College football, that billion-dollar machine, picked up momentum when the Big Ten reversed course to play a fall season, despite multiple outbreaks of Covid-19 and cries of outrage that unpaid athletes were risking their lives.

But what about sports and colleges that do not generate huge revenues and that play for the love of the game? The largest number of student athletes in the country compete on the Division III level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, numbering more than 196,000. Unlike their Division I counterparts, they do not receive athletic scholarships, nor are they generally as physically gifted. But they are just as competitive."

>> Situational Awareness: "The (NCAA) plan is to have fall sports compete in their conferences alongside winter and spring sports after January. But that is only if Covid-19 testing protocols — no positives within 72 hours of competition — can be followed. For Randolph-Macon to have all its 18 teams competing in the spring semester, that would entail some 5,550 tests, Jeff Burns, the athletic director, said he calculated. In early September, he said tests were costing $73 each. For small colleges, that math would simply not be feasible. And even if the price dropped substantially, Burns added, would those cheaper tests be accurate?"

>> Between The Lines: "For the member schools of Division III, athletics drive enrollment. But just as important to many schools as tuition fees are housing fees. “If you have a thriving athletic program where you have 30 to 40 percent of your students participating, they’re on campus — and schools make money on dorms,” said Steve Ulrich, who for 26 years was the executive director for the Centennial Conference in Lancaster, Pa., and now writes a Division III newsletter."

>> The Big Picture: “I understand the decision, and we have to be that role model if we’re producing all this data and everyone is following our lead,” Johns Hopkins field hockey sophomore Sadie Abboud said, “but at the same time, it’s tough seeing so many other schools are going back.”

>> The Final Word: “We are building toward a time frame where we are counting on faster, more reliable, cheaper testing,” said Jay Jones, the commissioner of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, based in Indiana. “If that doesn’t happen, D-III is in a world of hurt.”

>> Worth Your Time


2.  NCAA Championship Sites

The NCAA announced more than 450 selections of host sites for preliminary rounds and final sites of championships in Divisions I, II and III, with most to be held from 2022-23 through 2025-26.

Here are some upcoming DIII locations with host institutions


  • Baseball (American Rivers Conference)
  • Women's Basketball (Trinity, Conn.)
  • Cross Country (Olivet)
  • Field Hockey (Washington and Lee)
  • Football (Stevenson)
  • Men's Golf (Transylvania)
  • Women's Golf (Oglethorpe)
  • Men's Lacrosse (Drexel)
  • Women's Lacrosse (Old Dominion Athletic Conference)
  • Rowing (Temple)
  • Soccer (ODAC)
  • Softball (East Texas Baptist)
  • Swimming and Diviing (ODAC)
  • Tennis (Oglethorpe)
  • Track, Indoor (Birmingham-Southern)
  • Track, Outdoor (St. John Fisher)
  • Men's Volleyball (Stevenson)
  • Women's Volleyball (Saint Vincent)
  • Wrestling (Ferrum)

  • Men's Basketball (Manchester)
  • Women's Basketball (Capital)
  • Cross Country (Dickinson)
  • Field Hockey (Christopher Newport)
  • Football (ODAC)
  • Men's Golf (Nevada-Las Vegas)
  • Women's Golf (Transylvania)
  • Men's Ice Hockey (Trinity, Conn.)
  • Men's Lacrosse (Drexel)
  • Women's Lacrosse (ODAC)
  • Rowing (Marietta)
  • Soccer (ODAC)
  • Softball (ODAC)
  • Swimming and Diving (ODAC)
  • Tennis (Washington, Mo.)
  • Track, Indoor (Norfolk State)
  • Track, Outdoor (Coastal Carolina)
  • Men's Volleyball (Loras)
  • Women's Volleyball (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps)
  • Wrestling (UW-La Crosse)

>> Complete List


3.  All The World's a Stream

The Centennial Conference announced Wednesday it has reached a formal partnership agreement with BlueFrame Technology to create an end-to-end digital network for all 11 of its member institutions for the next three years. 

The Centennial Conference Digital Network is now available on the web ( along with streaming applications for television and mobile devices, including Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku (TV), iOS, Android (mobile) and Amazon Fire Tablet. The app can be found and installed by searching for the Centennial Conference Network or CC Digital Network. 

"The Centennial Conference Digital Network has been a hallmark of our conference for several years and it is exciting to provide our viewership with an unparalleled experience," added Executive Director Portia Hoeg. "One of our many enhancements will include closed captioning for our championship events."

>> Read More


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4.  Conference Call

Today we continue our look at Division III conferences with those formed more than 100 years ago.

Conference: Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Commissioner: Dan McKane
Headquarters: Bloomington, Minn.
  • Founded: March 15, 1920
  • Remaining Core Members (7): Carleton, Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Macalester, Saint John's, St. Olaf, St. Thomas
  • Other Core Members (7): Concordia (1921), Augsburg (1924), Saint Mary's (1926), Bethel (1978), St. Catherine (1983), St. Benedict (1985), St. Scholastica (2021).
  • Oldest: Hamline (1854)
  • Largest: St. Thomas (6,155)
  • Smallest: Saint Mary's (1,098)
  • Longest Trip: 347 miles (Concordia to Saint Mary's)
  • Championship Sports: 22
>> Tomorrow: Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

sources: Google Maps, EADA

5.  Comings and Goings

6.  1 Chain Thing


The coronavirus pandemic is splitting the restaurant industry in two. Big, well capitalized chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Domino’s Pizza Inc. are gaining customers and adding stores while tens of thousands of local eateries go bust.

Larger operators generally have the advantages of more capital, more leverage on lease terms, more physical space, more geographic flexibility and prior expertise with drive-throughs, carryout and delivery. 

  • Winners: McDonald's, Papa John's, Chipotle and Wingstop
  • Losers: independent neighborhood restaurants

>> Be Smart: “With just one location, there are just no levers to pull,” said Camilla Marcus, a co-founder of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which is lobbying Congress to pass a stimulus package backed by House Democrats that would allot $120 billion for the sector.

>> Continue Reading

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