Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Train Has Left the Station



OCTOBER 8, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1.  The Train Has Left the Station

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) passed the first legislation of its kind in college sports to allow its student-athletes the opportunity to be compensated for use of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). The legislation approved today by NAIA membership follows a year-long discussion on the topic and extends previous legislation relaxing NAIA rules related to amateurism and NIL. 

The legislation, which is an amendment to existing language under the NAIA Amateur Code, allows a student-athlete to receive compensation for promoting any commercial product, enterprise, or for any public or media appearance. Additionally, it is now permissible for a student-athlete to reference their intercollegiate athletic participation in such promotions or appearances.

>> What They're Saying: “This is a landmark day for the NAIA, and we are happy to lead the way in providing additional opportunities for our student-athletes,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “The time was right for the NAIA to ensure our student-athletes can use their name, image and likeness in the same ways as all other college students.”

>> What's Next: "Although the NCAA is expected to pass legislation in 2021 that would cover similar opportunities, the NAIA legislation goes a step further than the NCAA legislation is likely to go by allowing student athletes to reference their intercollegiate athletic participation in promotions and appearances." - Kristi Dosh,

>> Be Smart: The train has left the station.

>> Read More


2.  Regional Realignment

A new Division III sport region realignment model will take effect during the 2021-22 academic year. This plan, supported by the Division III Commissioners Association, creates a scale for regional alignment based on sport sponsorship and other key principles, including the following:

  • Maintaining conference members in the same regions.
  • Importance of geographic proximity in regional placement.
  • Balancing the number of schools across all regions.
  • Competitive balance across the regions.

>> The realignment model


3.  Worlds Combine for Shifflett

Softball has always been Torie Shifflett's passion. Since arriving at Bridgewater College, the junior has played in 33 total contests, including all 16 in the truncated 2020 season, and boasts a solid .419 career batting average. But off the field, the Dayton, Va. native also boasts an impressive winning record in something else – pageants.

"My mom used to compete in pageants and then my sister did as well," said Shifflett. "My mom put me in them before I could walk. I like the diversity it brings in my life."

The second baseman started off in the local circuit, winning both the Junior Miss and Miss Titles at the Rockingham County Fair pageant. The wins in her hometown gave her the necessary skills and confidence to compete in the larger systems such as Miss Collegiate America.

Most recently, Shifflett competed in the Miss Collegiate America pageant in Little Rock, Ark. on September 11 and 12 as Miss Collegiate Connecticut.

When the junior started to get more serious with softball, she devoted the majority of her time to the sport. She says that when an opportunity to compete in a pageant does come around, she is thankful to be surrounded by coaches, teammates and professors who support her.

"Coach Meg [Pleskovic] said 'Go do great, go represent us. Don't worry about softball for the week.' That was a blessing in disguise. I'm just really lucky to have such supportive people around me and encouraging me to do my best."

>> Go Deeper

- courtesy of Bridgewater College athletic communications

4.  Great Gifts

Multi-million dollar gifts were announced this week that will benefit Division III institutions.

Smith College received the largest gift in its history: $50 million from an alumna donor who wished to remain anonymous. Of the total, $40 million will go toward financial aid and $10 million will be used to revamp the college’s career development program.

The Harold Alfond Foundation will invest $240 million over the next 12 years into the University of Maine system. The gift is the largest in the foundation’s history and is being touted as the largest ever made to public higher education in New England.

The system will leverage the gift to seek $170 million in matching funds from private, state and federal sources, according to a press release.


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5.  Conference Call

Today we continue our look at Division III conferences with those formed before our times.
Conference: Presidents Athletic Conference
Commissioner: Joe Onderko
Headquarters: New Wilmington, Pa.
  • Founded: 1955
  • Core Members (10): Bethany (1958), Thiel (1958), Washington & Jefferson (1958), Grove City (1984), Waynesburg (1990), Westminster (2000), Saint Vincent (2006), Chatham (2007), Geneva (2007), Franciscan (2020)
  • Affiliates (2): Carnegie Mellon (FB), Case Western Reserve (FB)
  • Oldest: Washington & Jefferson (1781)
  • Largest: Franciscan (2,030)
  • Smallest: Bethany (553)
  • Longest Trip: 126 (Thiel to Waynesburg)
  • Championship Sports: 24
>> Tomorrow: CCIW

sources: Google Maps, EADA

6.  Comings and Goings

7.  Post of the Day


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