Monday, November 23, 2020

More Than Wins and Losses at Stake



NOVEMBER 23, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
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1.  More Than Wins and Losses at Stake

by Associated Press

"As more than 300 teams prepare to start a season that will look nothing like any before it, the conversation isn’t so much about who will be cutting down the nets at the end of March Madness as much as it whether anyone will cut down the nets at all.

If some team, any team, does climb a ladder in Indianapolis — and the top (men's) candidates include the usuals, with No. 1 Gonzaga, Duke, Kentucky and Kansas among them — then consider the season a success.

Anything short of that, and nothing less than the future of college sports could hang in the balance.

This is the new world created by a COVID-19 crisis that is mushrooming to more than 190,000 new cases a day across America just as (men's Division I) college basketball gets set to tip off its season Wednesday."

>> Situational Awareness: "CBS and various cable affiliates are scheduled to pay around $800 million this season to televise America’s most frenetic sports celebration for three weeks each March and April. That’s on top of the millions the biggest conferences generate in media revenue during the regular season. Most of it is money earmarked for distribution by the NCAA and the conferences to the schools, which combine hoops and football revenue to fund smaller sports in their programs."

>> Quotable: “When you look around the country, this has potential to force some schools to recalibrate what they’re capable of supporting,” said John Tauer, the coach at St. Thomas, the Minnesota school that is moving from Division III to Division I. “It’s a complicated question that every school is going to answer differently.”

>> Worth Noting: "Though there’s always a lot of hand-wringing about the outsized role of money — passed both legitimately and under the table — in college basketball, there is no debate about this: Without any games, the money will dry up and college sports as we know it will be reshaped, too."

>> Keep Reading


2. Hobart's "Soul Patrol"

Blaxers Blog: The Inside Story of Hobart's Historic 'Soul Patrol' | US  Lacrosse Magazine
by Brian Simpkins, US Lacrosse Magazine

"Every generation in NCAA men’s lacrosse possesses a few Black and Indigenous standouts who shape how offenses are run. In the mid-1980s, a brotherhood of three lacrosse pioneers was born on Hobart’s scenic campus. Hobart’s all-Black midfield line, dubbed the “Soul Patrol,” would help the Statesmen maintain their storied success as a small college program.

The moniker “Soul Patrol” was jokingly created by two of the group’s members, Dr. Malcolm Anderson and Mark “Skip” Darden, after their pregame routine of watching musical performances on “Soul Train.” Hobart’s coaches made the nickname commonplace as they shouted substitution instructions at practice. Hobart normally assigned each line a color, and the Soul Patrol’s previous designations were the Blue and Black midfield lines. But “Soul Patrol” had a distinctly better ring to it.

When Hobart head coach Dave Urick shouted “Soul Patrol,” Anderson, Darden and Ray “Tiny” Crawford came running. And opposing defenses quickly went into panic mode."

>> Background: "From 1984-87, Hobart outscored opponents 912-487, averaged 16 goals per game and went 12-0 in the NCAA tournament. In the opening round of the 1986 NCAA Division III tournament, Hobart routed Roanoke 29-1. Urick, who would go on to coach at Georgetown and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, led the Statesmen to 10 straight national titles from 1980-89, part of a 12-year streak that’s unlikely ever to be matched in the sport."

>> Reality Check: “We are standing on the shoulders of our predecessors like Morgan State,” Anderson said. “It shows everyone that playing ability and success comes in all colors. We had a chip on our shoulders. We had a curtain wall of pride and responsibility.”

>> The Key Stat: "There is great optimism that one day soon more college programs will recruit and cultivate their own versions of the Soul Patrol. Even though chance brought them together, Anderson, Crawford and Darden unintentionally paved the way for dynamic offenses as we now know them."

>> Go Deeper


3. Fifty Years of Championships
The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference office and UW-Stout sports information director Layne Pitt recently sat down with former WWIAC Commissioner Judy Kruckman to discuss the beginnings of the WWIAC. Pitt also spoke with former Stout professor and coach Kay Carter.

As women around the United States were rallying for equal rights in the 1960s and 1970s, Eau Claire State’s Judy Kruckman and Stout State’s Kay Carter were there at the beginning to see Wisconsin colleges – state and private - build a women’s athletic conference.
The Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC), which has since merged with the Wisconsin State University Conference (WSUC) to form the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), was officially launched Jan. 31, 1971, at a two-day weekend gathering at Eau Claire with a group of representatives from 11 schools in attendance. 
At the time, Kruckman was teaching physical education and coaching swimming at Eau Claire. Carter was teaching physical education and coaching gymnastics at Stout.  
Initially, women’s sports and recreation were limited to the local campuses, with women’s athletic associations participating amongst themselves. Sports days for women were common within the state and around the country. A host school would invite a number of schools to attend the day, generally a Saturday, and participate in different sports. Volleyball would be played in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring.  
“But you couldn’t go as a team,” Kruckman said. “They would split you up.” 

>> Between The Lines: “We wanted to get recognized and wanted to be treated the same as an athletic program,” Kruckman said. “Notice I'm not saying as a men’s program. We walked the biggest tight rope. The women didn’t want to mimic the men’s programs. We didn’t want scholarships. We wanted FTE (full-time equivalency) release time to be able to coach and work with the teams. We wanted the recognition that women were spending their own time and money to get this conference going.” 

>> Be Smart: “The women athletes themselves have proven how worthy this cause is,” Kruckman said.

>> And Worthy Of Your Time


4.  COVID Scorecard

We continue to update the winter competition seasons for schools and conferences.

Moving Forward

Waiting to Make Call

Canceled Conference Play and Championships

Institutions Opting Out 

5. Weekend Stars Star on Apple iOS 14.2

6.  Comings and Goings
7.  1 Burger Thing

Drone's-eye view. Photo: DroneBase via Reuters

Police in Aurora, Colo. — 10 miles east of Denver — reported a 14-hour wait yesterday for the opening of the state's first In-N-Out Burger:

  • "[T]he line wrapped around the mall twice, and there were some nearby hwy backups. Right now we estimate the line to be 1.5-2 miles long."

The California-based In-N-Out, which has a cult following à la Krispy Kreme, expects to sell 60,000 burgers in Aurora over the weekend. (Denver Post)

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