Friday, December 18, 2020

A Fall Like No Other


"Virginia's Championship City"


DECEMBER 18, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1. A Fall Like No Other

by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed

"Sewanee: The University of the South finished the in-person portion of the fall semester with 16 positive cases among students.

The liberal arts college in Tennessee credits its relatively low case numbers to weekly required COVID testing for the approximately 1,600 students on campus combined with a “bubble” approach that largely prohibited students from leaving campus except for essential activities such as medical appointments. Students had to formally request approval from the dean of students' office for any off-campus trips, and a student caught violating the rules by breaching the bubble and leaving the campus without permission, or hosting a guest from off campus, would have to leave campus to quarantine for two weeks and be retested before rejoining the bubble.

Over the course of the semester, 26 students were sent home for two weeks for bubble-related infractions. Lauren Goodpaster, assistant dean for campus life, said Sewanee tried to increase on-campus entertainment options and make accommodations for students’ needs and wants. Food trucks were brought to the campus. Campus officials negotiated with restaurants that don’t typically deliver to provide delivery to students. Twice-weekly Walmart runs by campus life staff were provided to pick up student orders. Goodpaster said the college’s outing club also increased the number of outdoors trips it offered on the university’s 13,000-acre campus.

“We are a residential liberal arts college on top of a mountain plateau in a rural setting,” said David Shipps, Sewanee’s vice president for risk management. “You can’t ask for a better set of circumstances to attempt to create a bubble, which was essentially intended to reduce the risk of introducing the virus on campus. That’s where we focused our efforts over the course of the semester."

He's convinced it worked."

>> The Big Picture: "Colleges unquestionably had very different degrees of success in keeping the virus in check, and luck no doubt played a role in how different colleges fared. It's difficult to make cross-institutional comparisons, not least because it's impossible to make precise statements about the prevalence of disease at those colleges that did not do frequent, broad-based testing."

>> Of Note: "Connecticut College tested students twice weekly and faculty and staff once or twice weekly depending on the number of days a week they were on campus. It was one of more than 100 colleges that partnered with the Broad Institute, a nonprofit research institution in Cambridge, Mass., that provided testing to colleges at the relatively low cost of $25 a test. "Knowing what the positivity rate was on our campus at any given time, it enabled us to hold in-person classes, it enabled us to have student clubs," said Victor Arcelus, the dean of students at Connecticut College. "Our varsity athletes were able to engage in in-person training, and ultimately we were able to do some inter-squad scrimmages.”

>> Continue Reading



2.  PA Cautions Colleges About Reopening
by Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Two state agencies are urging colleges, universities and other higher education institutions to maximize remote instruction and consider delaying the return of students to campus since COVID-19 hospitalizations “could peak in January and February."

A joint statement Wednesday from the departments of Education and Health did not specify what officials see as the earliest prudent dates for students to return for spring semester — at least in person. Officials with the agencies could not immediately be reached to provide more clarity on the statement.

A number of public and private campuses in the Pittsburgh region and elsewhere — including the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Penn State University and some state-owned institutions — moved spring semester back by days or weeks, or will start the semester relying on remote instruction.

>> Be Smart: Most Division III campuses will not be reopening for at least 3-4 weeks. With more data on rate of infections and positivity rates throughout the Commonwealth, it remains to be seen if institutions would respond to the encouragement. But it is not out of the realm of possibility that schools with plans to begin playing basketball in mid-January may postpone.

>> Read More




3. Bridging the Gap

By Iain Higgins and John Likanje,

"Eleven years ago, Jordan Hogan was a freshman, third-string wide receiver at SUNY Brockport. Today, he’s the quarterbacks coach for the Arizona Cardinals. In 2011, Ali Marpet took his first collegiate snap for the Hobart College Statesmen. Today, he is starting at center and guard for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A pair of NFL journeys that began at Division III schools in upstate New York. These are two of many stories of players outside Power 5 conferences that have paved their way to the pros.

Over the past three seasons, 210 former Division II and Division III players have competed in the NFL: 93 in 2018, 57 in 2019 and 60 this year. Of this player pool, 32 had their name called on Draft Night. These numbers may come off as surprising to casual fans, especially those who may not extensively follow college football.

But it’s not unexpected for those who coach and play outside the major conferences."

>> Situational Awareness: "University of Rochester head coach Chad Martinovich believes it’s due to NFL front offices expanding their scouting departments so that they can afford to scour the country for these diamonds in the rough. “There are a few factors,” Martinovich said when explaining this. “One would be the bigger use of analytics in the NFL, especially when it comes to scouting.”

>> Reality Check: “You got to be really good,” Hogan said when breaking down how hard it is to make an NFL roster and then become a full-time starter. “You really got to stick out. I’ve been around some really good Division III players who I thought would’ve gotten into the league and easily make a practice squad. But there are all type of players on the practice squad that nobody sees. These guys are some of the top athletes in the world.”

>> The Key Stat: "The fact that Marpet graduated from a Division III school and has had a productive professional career is a feat within itself. It’s no secret that Division III sports are mostly for academic-minded athletes whose priority is their education. Martinovich, who has spent 26 of his 28 years of coaching at that level, confirmed this himself and explained that’s how he and most other programs around the country conduct their recruitment."

>> The Final Word: “I think we’ve surprised a lot of people when they hear Division III,” said Jason Mangone, head coach at SUNY Brockport. “I think they don’t understand the amount of talent that it takes to play at a good Division III school. Some of these kids that are playing Division II and Division III are guys that are getting opportunities to play at Division I, but they want to play sooner.”

>> Continue Reading



The City of Salem and Salem Parks & Recreation along with other localities in the Roanoke Valley host a variety of softball and baseball tournaments throughout the year. We work with Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Botetourt County and the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitor's Bureau. USA, NSA, USSSA, Got Game, Softball Nations, Freedom Sports and ISF are organizations that bring tournaments to the Roanoke Valley.

Find out more at


4.  Scorecard

We continue to update the winter and spring competition seasons for schools and conferences that have made formal announcements. Others have yet to indicate plans for the upcoming seasons.

Yesterday, Mount St. Mary College announced cancellation of winter sports competition, while Saint Mary's (Ind.) canceled its basketball season. According to, 89 institutions have opted out of competition in winter sports in 2020-21.

Please let us know if we've missed your league or conference.

Moving Forward (15)

Waiting to Make Call (7)

Canceled Conference Play and Championships (14)

Canceled Winter Competition (3)

No Formal Announcement (6)
  • Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference
  • Little East Conference
  • Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
  • New Jersey Athletic Conference
  • Skyline Conference
  • Upper Midwest Athletic Conference



5. Comings and Goings

6.  1 Snow Thing


From Binghamton, N.Y.  Where do you even begin?
Have a great weekend.


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