Wednesday, December 2, 2020

SoCal Says No



DECEMBER 2, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
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1. SoCal Says No

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic several months ago, the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) member institutions have prioritized the health and safety of their communities in plans for reopening their campuses. 

In accordance with public health guidance and safety standards, as well as NCAA Resocialization recommendations, the SCIAC Presidents have unanimously agreed to cancel conference competition, including championships, for all fall and winter sports during the 2020-21 academic year. The following sports are included in this recent decision: men's and women's soccer, men's water polo, football, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's swimming & diving, and men's and women's basketball. Institutions have the autonomy to decide whether they wish to permit conditioning, practicing, and other forms of competition as it relates to fall and winter sports during this spring semester. 

The SCIAC and its members remain committed to exploring meaningful competitive conference experiences for spring sport student-athletes later in the spring semester. As the pandemic evolves, the SCIAC will continue to monitor changing federal, state, and local guidance, and will continue to consult with each other as well as public health authorities. The health and well-being of all constituents involved has been, and will continue to be, the driving force behind our individual and collective decisions during this challenging time. 

>> Be Smart: As of this writing, Redlands still intends to offer a "meaningful intercollegiate athletics experience" this winter.



2. Why Are Great Athletes More Likely to be Younger Siblings?

by Tim Wigmore,

"Venus Williams was the first of the Williams sisters to make a splash in professional tennis. But Richard Williams, their father, was always convinced that Serena — 15 months younger than Venus, and the youngest of Oracene Price’s five daughters — would go on to have the better career.

Richard Williams was right. While Venus has enjoyed a magnificent career, winning seven Grand Slam singles titles, Serena has won 23 Grand Slams and is widely acclaimed as the best female tennis player (maybe the best tennis player of any gender) of all time. What was true of the Williams sisters — that the younger one went on to be the better athlete — is also true across sports generally. This is the “little sibling effect,” one of the most intriguing findings in sports science: Younger siblings have a significantly higher chance of becoming elite athletes, as University of Utah professor Mark Williams and I explore in our new book, “The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made.”

>> Situational Awareness: "Younger siblings’ advantage appears among both male and female athletes, according to that study, and other research found additional evidence of it in women’s sports. Even when two siblings both reach professional status, the younger one tends to be more successful."

>> The Key Stat: "The roots of the little sibling effect may lie in the way younger siblings strive to match their older siblings on the field."

>> What They're Saying: “I don’t think, from a competitive standpoint, I would be here without the confrontations with my brother,” Michael Jordan recalled in the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance.” “When you come to blows with someone you absolutely love, that’s igniting every fire within you."

>> The Final Word: “The ideal strategy for a younger sibling is to try out the same sport in which an older sibling is already established, benefit from a possible teaching effect, and then see if one can do better than the older sibling in that same sport." - Frank Sulloway

>> Go Deeper



3.  Grim Realities


University of Scranton - DeNaples Center

by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education

"Start early and get to Thanksgiving. That was the goal for a range of colleges that held in-person classes in the fall despite the pandemic.

But how many got to the end of the semester in a healthy financial condition? Many colleges enrolled significantly fewer students than they would have in a typical year, cutting into tuition revenue at a time when higher education was already desperate to attract bodies. And although getting to the end of the semester prevented institutions from having to issue refunds on room-and-board fees, occupancy was down in residence halls across the country. And then there were the financial hits from canceling fall athletics, buying personal protective equipment for faculty and staff members, and retrofitting buildings for spread-out classes.

A new survey conducted by The Chronicle and two other organizations sheds some light on the financial challenges that colleges face as they approach a spring semester that might be even tougher to pull off than the fall."

>> The Key Stat: "Discount rates among private baccalaureate and master’s institutions stood well above those of public institutions. Half the respondents had set discount rates significantly higher than 50 percent; a quarter of respondents in each category had discount rates above 62 percent — with one institution offering a discount of 78 percent. (By way of comparison, tuition discounts for first-time, full-time freshmen at private nonprofit institutions surpassed 50 percent only in the last three years.) Private colleges were also more likely to raise the price of tuition this year."

>> Royal Pain: At the University of Scranton, a private master’s institution that responded to the survey, financial hardships are forcing hard yet necessary decisions, says Edward J. Steinmetz Jr., senior vice president for finance and administration. He projects that reductions in the university’s tuition revenue, combined with new expenses to deal with Covid-19, will result in a loss of $12 million to $14 million this year."

>> Of Note: "Steinmetz says (COVID) testing and nursing services will probably cost the university nearly $2-million, a figure that caught the attention of some board members. But, Steinmetz says, if the university had to shut down the residence halls and issue refunds to students, it would lose nearly $1 million a week."

>> What They're Saying: “It forced us to have conversations,” Steinmetz says, “which I think was a sea change for campuses like ours and a lot of academic leadership. They’re not used to those conversations.”

>> Continue Reading


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4.  Scorecard

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

Moving Forward

Waiting to Make Call

Canceled Conference Play and Championships

Canceled Winter Competition

5.  Comings and Goings
6.  1 Ergonomic Thing


"It’s been a long time since employers around the world abruptly sent their staff home, and workers are feeling it. What was once a creative workaround or show of resilience—plop a monitor on your ironing board, take a conference call in your car—has become an ergonomic nightmare.

Wrists tingling, feet sore, employees are now investing in everything from treadmill desks to special footstools in a bid for relief. Some companies are offering stipends for equipment and hosting virtual stretch and dance breaks. Underlying it all is an acknowledgment that we’re in this for the long haul, so we might as well try to get comfortable."

>> Worth Noting: "Brian McEnaney, an ergonomist, says you don’t need to get fancy to correct many problems. Simple hacks, like sitting on a pillow to raise your body, can help. He also implores workers to avoid rounding their spines and pushing their necks out, an injury-prone position he calls the Office Turtle. 

- courtesy of Wall Street Journal


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