Friday, January 10, 2020

Stepping Stone

JANUARY 10, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.
>>  Good Friday Morning!  Conference play shifts into high gear this weekend. And some quality wrestling in store. Enjoy!

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>> Today's Word Count: 1,086. Smart, concise.

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1.  Stepping Stone

Ali Marpet (Hobart '15), Tampa Bay Buccaneers

#WhyD3 is much more than a hashtag when you look at recent hires by the National Football League.

Matt Rhule, 44, who just signed a seven-year, $60-million contract with the Carolina Panthers, began his coaching career as linebackers coach at Albright (Pa.) College.

Joe Judge, 38, who inked a contract as head man with the New York Giants, started his coaching ascension as linebackers coach at Birmingham-Southern.

Of course, Bill Belichick is also a #whyD3 guy, cutting his teeth as an undergraduate at Wesleyan (Conn.).

Eleven Division III players made the team as of September 3 - five on AFC teams and six in the NFC:
  • Dan Arnold, UW-Platteville (New Orleans Saints)
  • Derek Carrier, Beloit (Oakland Raiders)
  • Matt Gono, Wesley (Atlanta Falcons)
  • Stephen Hauschka, Middlebury (Buffalo Bills)
  • Michael Joseph, Dubuque (Chicago Bears)
  • Jake Kumerow, UW-Whitewater (Green Bay Packers)
  • Ali Marpet, Hobart (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
  • Nicholas Morrrow, Greenville (Oakland)
  • Nate Trewyn, UW-Whitewater (Tampa Bay)
  • Jeremy Vujnovich, Louisiana College (Arizona Cardinals)
  • Brandon Zylstra, Concordia-Moorhead (Carolina Panthers)

2.  Lower Tuition Rates

Graduates of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges can go on to earn their bachelor’s degrees online from a New Hampshire university at a rate that makes it less costly than nearly every other in-state public option, under an agreement signed Wednesday.
The agreement with Southern New Hampshire University was arranged through the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, a nonprofit umbrella association, and marks the first transfer agreement between all 14 colleges and a four-year university.
“Based on our data, our students will pay a rate lower than nearly any publicly available option in the state,” depending on the student’s program of study and credit load, said Elizabeth Bolden, president of the commission. She said that “is important because higher education affordability is often a barrier for students who want a bachelor’s degree.”
The agreement could pose new competition for colleges in Pennsylvania, including Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus and the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education, which are exploring a bigger online push.

>> Situational Awareness: Southern New Hampshire will give students a 10% tuition reduction and charge $288 per credit hour or $864 per course. Penn State’s World Campus by comparison charges $576 per credit hour for those with fewer than 59 credits and $617 for those with 60 or more credits.

>> Between The Lines: The commission on Wednesday morning notified public and private universities in Pennsylvania of the agreement and invited them to partner in similar ways — a move that could start an affordability competition in the state.

>> What They're Saying: “Any time we’re removing barriers to completion for students, it is something we would applaud,” said Martha Parham, senior vice president of public relations for the American Association of Community Colleges.

>> Be Smart: There are 61 Division III institutions in the Commonwealth, or approximately eight percent.

>> Go Deeper with Susan Snyder, Philadelphia Inquirer


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3. Weekend Preview  

Basketball (W)
  1. Tufts (FRI vs. Wesleyan)
  2. Bowdoin (FRI at Trinity; SAT at Connecticut College)
  3. Hope
  4. Amherst (FRI at Middlebury; SAT at Williams)
  5. Wartburg (vs. #19 Loras)
  6. Scranton (vs. Elizabethtown)
  7. DePauw (vs. Wooster)
  8. George Fox (at Pacific Lutheran)
  9. UW-La Crosse (at UW-Stevens Point)
  10. UW-Whitewater (at UW-River Falls)

Basketball (M) -
  1. Swarthmore (at Franklin & Marshall)
  2. Wittenberg (at Hiram)
  3. Middlebury (FRI at #15 Amherst; SAT at Hamilton)
  4. Randolph-Macon (vs. Ferrum)
  5. St. Thomas, Minn. (vs. #7 Saint John's)
  6. Emory (vs. Rochester)
  7. Saint John's (at #5 St. Thomas MN)
  8. Marietta (vs. Heidelberg)
  9. UW-Platteville (vs. UW-Eau Claire)
  10. Nebraska Wesleyan (vs. Luther)

Ice Hockey (M) - USCHO
  1. Trinity (FRI at Middlebury; SAT at #13 Williams)
  2. Geneseo (FRI at #2 Stevenson; SAT at Lebanon Valley)
  3. UW-Eau Claire (vs. Lawrence)
  4. Norwich (FRI at Suffolk; SAT at Johnson & Wales)
  5. Augsburg (FRI at UW-River Falls; SAT at UW-Stevens Point)
  6. Hobart (FRI vs. Babson; SAT vs. UMass Boston)
  7. Utica (FRI at #15 Oswego)
  8. Salve Regina (FRI vs. Connecticut College)
  9. U. of New England (vs. Morrisville)
  10. Stevenson (FRI vs. #2 Geneseo; SAT vs. Brockport)

Ice Hockey (W) - USCHO
  1. Plattsburgh (vs. Buffalo State)
  2. Middlebury (FRI at UMass Boston; SAT at Endicott)
  3. Norwich (at #7 Elmira)
  4. Gustavus Adolphus (FRI vs. UW-Superior)
  5. Adrian (SAT/SUN vs. Utica)
  6. UW-Eau Claire (FRI/SAT vs. Lake Forest)
  7. Elmira (vs. #3 Norwich)
  8. UW-River Falls (FRI vs. Augsburg; SAT at Bethel)
  9. Hamline
  10. Colby (FRI/SAT at Wesleyan)

all games/matches Saturday unless indicated
4. Weekend Preview   

Swimming (W) - CSCAA
  1. Denison
  2. Emory (FRI at Florida Southern)
  3. Kenyon (FRI at Ohio Northern/Oberlin; FRI/SAT at Cincinnati/Oakland; SAT at Ashland)
  4. Johns Hopkins (FRI at Bucknell)
  5. NYU (vs. Wagner)
  6. Tufts
  7. Chicago
  8. MIT (vs. Coast Guard)
  9. Washington U. (FRI vs. WashU Invitational; SAT at McKendree)
  10. Williams (at #17 Amherst)

Swimming (M) - CSCAA
  1. Kenyon (FRI at Ohio Northern/Oberlin; FRI/SAT at Cincinnati/Oakland; SAT at Ashland)
  2. Denison
  3. Emory (FRI at Florida Southern)
  4. MIT (vs. Coast Guard)
  5. Johns Hopkins (FRI at Bucknell)
  6. NYU (vs. Merchant Marine)
  7. Washington U. (FRI vs. WashU Invitational; SAT at McKendree)
  8. Chicago
  9. Claremont-M-S (FRI at Cal Baptist Distance; SAT at La Verne)
  10. Carnegie Mellon

Wrestling (Dual Meet) - NWCA
  1. Augsburg (NWCA National Duals)
  2. Wartburg (NWCA National Duals)
  3. Wabash (NWCA National Duals)
  4. Loras (NWCA National Duals)
  5. Mount Union (NWCA National Duals)
  6. Coe (NWCA National Duals)
  7. Baldwin Wallace (NWCA National Duals)
  8. Johnson & Wales, RI (NWCA National Duals)
  9. UW-La Crosse (NWCA National Duals)
  10. North Central (NWCA National Duals)

all contests Saturday unless indicated

5.  Comings and Goings

6.   Pic du Jour

Photo: Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images

The moon over One World Trade Center.

- courtesy of Axios
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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Heads in the Game

JANUARY 9, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers. 

>> Good Thursday Morning!

>> Today's Word Count: 1,222. Just about five minutes and worth your time.

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1. Heads in the Game
Joel Censor teaches lacrosse to students on handball courts
photo by Patrick Montero

"If you click on the website for the nonprofit sports-based Harlem Lacrosse —where Joel Censer (Haverford '08) is now chief program officer after starting out as a coach—you’ll notice something quirky. The very last thing on the organization’s list of its supports for at-risk students is ... “lacrosse instruction.”
That’s by design according to Censer, who joined in 2013 as the second of two employees and watched Harlem Lacrosse expand outside of New York City to Boston, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
The goal is to have a lacrosse coach in schools all day to help students find success—both academic and in their everyday lives—by using the stick-and-ball team sport based on Native American games as the vehicle for helping kids “reach their full personal potential.” Graduates of Harlem Lacrosse have gone on to attend independent and boarding schools, and been accepted to colleges receiving close to 40 million dollars in scholarship offers in the process."

>> Why It Matters: Before Censer was hired, he was writing features at USLacrosse Magazine and working with a professor at George Mason who was researching best practices in juvenile justice. "I was becoming interested in social justice issues in lacrosse, where there are real problems around equity and access. I had spent lots of time researching the history of the game and all that time learning and even reading lacrosse message boards helps me with what I do now. I wouldn’t have that knowledge if I didn’t have an interest in the community."

>> The Big Picture: The organization is built around the idea of the unique presence and power of a coach. It was started by a teacher in a New York City middle school who was struggling to connect with his special education class. One day, he brought the students to a nearby handball court and taught them lacrosse. The kids later had the highest test scores of any special education class in the history of the school.

>> Between The Lines: The big thing about Harlem Lacrosse is there’s no barrier to entry—there are no cuts and no costs to be on the team. Anyone who wants to play can play, and parents don’t have to drive their kid to a field. But the requirement is that students have to attend study hall and be invested.

>> Keep Reading courtesy of Charles Curtis, Haverford Magazine

2. Crystal Ball 

CBS Sports sat down with retired Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany for a wide-ranging discussion on his tenure and what he sees as the future for college sports. And, although not asked directly, his answers foretell upcoming issues for Division III.
"Delany ended a 30-year run as Big Ten commissioner on Wednesday, Jan. 1. During his time atop one of the nation's biggest conferences, he arguably became the most powerful person in college sports. Certainly the most influential given that he oversaw a conference whose members were in states that accounted for a quarter of the nation's population.
Under Delany's watch, instant replay for college football was created. His vision for the Big Ten Network has surpassed anyone's wildest dreams. The league pulled in $750 million in revenue in the last financial year, surpassing even the SEC. For his efforts, Delany was rewarded with a $20 million bonus in 2017."

>> The Big Picture: "College sports is the tail of an institution; it's not the dog. "It can bring people together, but it can also set people against each other."

>> Reality Check: "I do think [major conferences] may need more autonomy. You can't have the smallest programs telling the larger programs what they can spend. Once we know the parameters of what comes out of Congress ... the rules of engagement will change. ... This is not about a money grab. It may be about too much money. We will get to a place of balance in postseason play, and I do think we'll get to a place in governance. What are the limits of a collegiate program?"

>> Worth Noting: When asked if he could foresee conferences growing beyond 14 teams ... "There is an outer limit where you're no longer a conference, you're a small association. If you can't play each other in something that resembles a round robin ... We [the Big Ten] addressed it by going to nine [conference football] games. We've addressed it by going to 20 games in basketball."

>> Keep Reading courtesy of Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports

3.  Mat Mayhem 


The 2020 National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals begin tomorrow at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville. Here are the 24 Division III teams in the tournament.

Bracket 1
Roger Williams vs. Olivet
winner vs. #1 Augsburg
#9 UW-La Crosse vs. Westminster (Pa.)
winner vs. #8 Johnson & Wales

Bracket 2
Alma vs. #14 New York U.
winner vs. #5 Mount Union
#15 RIT vs. Washington & Jefferson
winner vs. #4 Loras

Bracket 3
Heidelberg vs. #19 UW-Whitewater
winner vs. #3 Wabash
#13 Ithaca vs. Western New England
winner vs. #6 Coe

Bracket 4
Luther vs. #10 North Central
winner vs. #7 Baldwin Wallace
#22 Millikin vs. UW-Oshkosh
winner vs. #2 Wartburg

>> Video
>> Live Results


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4.   About Last Night

  Trey Barber led a balanced attack with 15 points as Mary Washington (9-5) handed No. 4 Randolph-Macon its first loss of the season, 70-65.

  Jake Ross scored 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists as No. 25 Springfield knocked off No. 14 Babson, 84-81, in the NEWMAC opener for both teams.

  Dejah Terrell scored 31 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as Albright (14-0) remained unbeaten with a 92-88 overtime win at Lycoming.

  MacMurray and Greenville combined for 320 points in a regulation-game in a 164-156 victory for the Highlanders. Logan Dorethy scored a game-high 56 points for MacMurray.

  No. 24 Widener knocked off No. 12 Messiah, 75-62, handing the Falcon women their first MAC Commonwealth loss since the 2017-18 season.

  No. 23 Bethel (12-0) turned back No. 11 Augsburg on the road, 74-70. Taite Anderson led the Royals with 18.

  Albion presented head coach Doreen Carden with her 300th career victory with a 65-47 win against Adrian. Rain Hinton scored 26 points and collected 12 rebounds for the Britons.


5. Comings and Goings

6.  Tweet of the Day

This is exceptional headline writing. Click to see why.

7.  1 Bed Thing

Bed frames in the Athletes Village at this summer's Tokyo Olympics will be made of cardboard (above), AP reports.
  • Takashi Kitajima, general manager of the village, said the beds "can stand up to 200 kilograms" — 440 pounds, or more than even the burliest athlete.
  • "They are stronger than wooden beds," Kitajima added.
The bed frames will be recycled into paper products after the games.

- courtesy of Axios
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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Final Word

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

Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy D3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.
>> Hump Day. So much has happened in 2020 ... and it's only January 8.

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>> Today's Word Count: 1,414.

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1. The Final Word

Daniel Libit and Luke Cyphers of The Intercollegiate write about the "silly, paranoid, stupid (and necessary) rules questions college athletic departments ask the NCAA."

An example ...
"Is a luau a meal with entertainment? Or entertainment where food is served?
This was the conundrum facing the University of Hawaii’s athletic department. A judgment was needed. And not by any of the qualified cultural anthropologists on its Honolulu-based campus, but by someone in Indianapolis. 
After all, this question was neither philosophical, nor academic, nor gastronomical. It was about recruiting. Hawaii wanted to bring some football prospects to a luau during their official visits. But, according to Bylaw (a) of the NCAA Division I Manual, member institutions are allowed to spend upwards of $75 per day “to cover all actual costs of entertaining” recruits and their family members. That spending limit, however, excludes “the cost of meals and admission to campus athletics events.”
Thus, the conundrum: what is a luau? Dinner or a show?"

>> Situational Awareness: Some 60 individuals in the NCAA’s academic and membership affairs department handle Interpretation Requests across all three college divisions. That’s in addition to their duties of processing waivers and providing other kinds of “governance support.”

>> Reality Check: As crazy-making as the NCAA rulebook actually is, its specter creates a paranoia multiplier effect that perpetually agitates a cottage industry of professional worrywarts, who are made to wrack their brains over some of humanity’s most inane and extraneous questions. But fail to do that and run the risk of losing your job.

>> Of Note
  • Bowling Green wondered whether a life coach contracted by its men’s basketball team could take a basketball player and his girlfriend out to dinner at a local restaurant “as part of one of the relationship counseling sessions.”
  • Missouri Kansas-City wanted to know if it could keep two moveable barber chairs in the teams’ locker rooms, which the school had purchased as part of an effort to elicit sponsorship deal with a local hair stylist to provide haircuts to athletic department staff athletes. 
>> Be Smart: Keep in mind: all of this supposedly represents a sanity check over the way rules compliance used to be.

>> Resolution: "As the event is both a meal and entertainment, the analysis should focus on what is the purpose of the event. For example, is the event primarily for entertainment but food is served? Or is the event primarily for a meal and entertainment will simply occur while the meal is consumed?"
>> Enjoy this read from the co-editors of The Intercollegiate

2.  More 20/20 Predictions Crystal Ball Emoji, Apple style

We asked Division III leaders to give their predictions for 2020 and share the stories they’ll be most interested in following this year. Here’s what they said.

Image result for newmac logo  Patrick Summers, Executive Director, New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)
Change, evolution and collaboration. An association-centric organization, the NCAA will have to address the changing landscape of college athletics and higher education. Founded on the principles of amateurism and student-athlete well-being, our focus needs to remain true to these values while also allowing student-athletes to benefit from similar opportunities to the regular student body. The statistics are conclusive that student-athletes are out pacing the students on campus regarding retention and grad rates. Academically, these are some of our best students. The overall success of institutions will depend on maximizing athletic programs as part of their brand and admissions strategy. We will continue to lead in areas of diversity and inclusion. The last decade was fun…more exciting times ahead.

Image result for mascac logo Angela Baumann, Commissioner, Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)
My predictions for 2020 are that the national DIII conversation will be centered around NIL (name, image and likeness) and gambling.  These topics will initiate philosophical discussions to lead the division into the future.  On a conference scale, in 2020-2021 the MASCAC will celebrate 50 years of student-athlete and member successes.

Image result for amcc logo Donna Ledwin, Commissioner, Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference
There seem to be an unusually high number of AD jobs open and more commissioner positions as well.  I suspect we will see more and more folks "aging out" on to the retirement track, signalling a changing of the guard in D3.  What I'm curious to see is if D3's efforts at cultivating diversity will bear fruit and how many of these openings will be filled by women and ethnic minorities.

Image result for hoopsville logo  Dave McHugh, dmac Productions, Host of Hoopsville
The (conference) shuffle will continue for some time to come especially in the Mid-Atlantic Region. While the Capital Athletic Conference seems to be in trouble, their situation is far from over and depending, apparently, on who you are talking with they could have a plan in sight. The upcoming NCAA Convention apparently will be a significant moment on what the future of the CAC will be. I also predict that two other conferences could lose members soon. The idea to expand to more regions (10 in basketball, 6 in football as examples) is one that needs to happen. It will help handle the size of Division III while also helping solve the numbers problems (too many or too little) that plague the current regional set-up. The trend of schools closing will continue in 2020. I could see 6-12 more schools in Division III closing their doors.

Our Take
Division III will continue to evolve as it deals with shifts in higher education. Conference alignment will chang e, as reduced resources for travel make colleges look for closer competition. Regional realignment is on the horizon, despite those who support the status quo, and will prove to be a sensible solution to the current system. As athletics plays a larger and larger role in institutional recruitment, departments will need to be even more creative in funding to accommodate more students and more programs. And the Division III membership will be challenged to find a solution to the NIL issue which will it closer to home than most realize.

3.  Wrestling Poll 

Top-Ranked Wrestlers
125-Mike Tortorice, UW-Whitewater
133-Kristian Rumph, Wartburg
141-David Flynn, Augsburg
149-Brett Kaliner, Stevens
157-Ryan Epps, Augsburg
165-Lucas Jeske, Augsburg
174-Darden Schurg, Wabash
184-Kyle Briggs, Wartburg
197-Lance Benick, Augsburg
285-Drew Kasper, Otterbein


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4.  About Last Night 

  WPI head coach Cherise Galasso will not soon forget her 350th victory, as the Crimson and Gray (8-5) handed Williams its first loss of the season, 64-58.
  Chris LaBelle set a school record with 45 points as Centenary held off Clarks Summit, 98-94, in overtime.

  Ferrum (7-6) toppled No. 19 Guilford, 68-65, in ODAC action. Four Panthers scored in double figures, led by James Smith Jr. with 13.

  Antone Walker made a pair of free throws with :05 left to lift Wesleyan (9-2) past No. 15 Amherst, 79-77.

  UW-Platteville (3-1) edged No. 21 UW-Eau Claire, 24-20, in a WIAC dual-match. Lucius Rinehart sealed the win for the Pioneers with a 7-1 victory at 285.

 New England College head coach Tom Carroll picked up his 250th career win as the Pilgrims (9-4-1) defeated Plymouth State, 7-4.

  Caty Flagg made 45 saves as UMass Boston (9-6-1) nipped No. 10 Colby, 2-1, handing the White Mules their first loss of the season.

5.  Comings and Goings

6.  1 Fun Thing 

Photo: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The latest version of America's Keurigization: cocktails in a pod.
  • Drop in a pod filled with ingredients, slide in a glass, and less than a minute later, you'll have a martini or a Moscow mule, AP reports.
  • The Bartesian sells pods for $2.50 each, but they don't have alcohol. Instead, you fill canisters with your own liquor and the pods mix in the rest.
  • Flashback: Last year, we introduced you to Drinkworks by Keurig, which can make Cosmopolitans and fizzy drinks and costs about $4 a pod. 
Between the lines: The companies hope to target those who like to host parties but don't want to stock a bar, don't know how to make drinks, or would rather push a button then spend time putting together a mojito.

- courtesy of Axios

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