Friday, February 14, 2020

Warning Signs

FEBRUARY 14, 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!  Happy Valentine's Day.

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1.  Warning Signs?

by Rick Seltzer,

Concordia University Portland announced earlier this week that it will close at the end of the spring semester. A statement from the institution said the university's board decided to close after "years of mounting financial challenges" and a changing landscape for education.

Although not a Division III institution, any time that a college closes its doors eyebrows are raised. What were the warning signs and what can be learned as other colleges sift through the pieces?

>> Situational Awareness: "In 2012, the school spelled out three initiatives already under way that would position Concordia to survive this changing future. One was a law school it had launched in Boise, Idaho, that fall. Another was a pilot program newly launched in homeland security that it hoped to scale up quickly. And the third was a massive expansion of online graduate education.

Two years prior, in 2010, the university had partnered with a third-party service provider with marketing and recruitment expertise. Enrollment went on to double each year, jumping from 350 students in 2010 to 700 in 2011 and about 1,400 in 2012. Looking forward, leaders expected to enroll 2,500 students in 2013.

By all accounts, Concordia was massively successful in the ensuing years. Total enrollment more than doubled from over 3,000 students in 2012 to more than 7,400 in 2014, according to federal data. Much of that growth was among graduate students, where enrollment spiked from about 1,700 students to more than 6,000. Enrollment of adults aged 25 to 64 went from about 1,100 in 2011 to 3,697 in 2014."

>> The Bottom Line: "In the ensuing days, the university revealed to a state agency that its closure will result in more than 1,500 people being terminated from their jobs between Feb. 25 and Sept. 30."

>> Reality Check: "Concordia University Portland isn’t just an important story to watch in the Pacific Northwest. It’s one to watch across higher education. If this can happen to a university that grew rapidly in Portland, a burgeoning urban market, what does it mean about the future of other private liberal arts colleges showing more outward signs of stress?"

>> Between the Lines: "Concordia did many of the things in vogue in higher education strategy circles. It diversified its revenue, branching out from relying on full-time undergraduates and adding graduate students and online muscle over the last decade. The university was still reporting total enrollment of nearly 6,000 students. Its foundation added net assets in 2018, growing from $11.2 million to $12.1 million."

>> Yes, But: "It may also suggest that the popular strategies aren’t enough, at least in some cases. Many colleges and universities are built on a business model that assumes annual growth in enrollment, in revenue or in both. As the economy changes and student populations change, that model may no longer work."

>> Worth Your Time

2.   Hart Sets 200 IM Record

Kenyon junior Crile Hart set a Division III record in winning the 200 individual medley at the NCAC championship in a time of 1:58.04.

She came into Thursday's competition with a seed time of 1:59.56. In the morning, Hart won the preliminary heats with a 2:00.30. Returning for the finals in the evening, Hart blew away the competition, winning the event by 2.80 seconds. Her time automatically qualified her for the NCAA Division III Championship in March and it erased the old NCAA record of 1:58.18 set in 2019 Honore Collins of New York University.


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3. Weekend Preview  

Basketball (W)
  1. Tufts (FRI vs. Middlebury; SAT vs. Williams)
  2. Hope (at Alma)
  3. DePauw (Ohio Wesleyan)
  4. UW-Whitewater (at UW-Eau Claire)
  5. Bowdoin (SUN at Wesleyan)
  6. Amherst (FRI at Trinity; SAT at Connecticut College)
  7. Whitman (FRI vs. George Fox; SAT vs. Pacific)
  8. Transylvania (at Manchester)
  9. Wartburg (Simpson)
  10. Loras
>> Others to Watch: U. of New England at Western New England; St. Joseph's (Maine) at Emmanuel; St. Lawrence at Ithaca; #25 DeSales at Misericordia; Ripon at Monmouth; Merchant Marine at Mount St. Mary;

Basketball (M) -
  1. Swarthmore (Dickinson)
  2. Saint John's (#4 St. Thomas)
  3. Randolph-Macon (Washington and Lee)
  4. St. Thomas (at #2 Saint John's)
  5. Wittenberg (Wooster)
  6. Nebraska Wesleyan (Central)
  7. Johns Hopkins (at Ursinus)
  8. UW-Platteville (UW-River Falls)
  9. Emory (FRI vs. NYU; SUN vs. Brandeis)
  10. Middlebury (FRI vs. #18 Tufts; SAT vs. Bates)
>> Others to Watch: Hobart at Rensselaer (FRI); Cairn at Centenary; Eastern at Stevens.

Ice Hockey (M) - USCHO
  1. Norwich (FRI vs. Johnson & Wales; SAT vs. Suffolk)
  2. UW-Eau Claire (FRI/SAT at UW-River Falls)
  3. Geneseo (FRI vs. Buffalo State; SAT at Fredonia)
  4. Utica (FRI vs. Chatham; SAT vs. Stevenson)
  5. Hobart (FRI at UMass Boston; SAT at #6 Babson)
  6. Babson (FRI vs. Skidmore; SAT vs. #5 Hobart)
  7. Trinity (FRI at Bowdoin; SAT at Colby)
  8. Adrian (FRI/SAT at Trine)
  9. Lake Forest (FRI/SAT vs. Concordia WI)
  10. U. of New England (FRI/SAT vs. W. New England)

Ice Hockey (W) - USCHO
  1. Plattsburgh (FRI vs. #4 Elmira)
  2. Middlebury (FRI/SAT vs. Williams)
  3. UW-Eau Claire (FRI/SAT vs. Northland)
  4. Elmira (FRI at #1 Plattsburgh; SUN at William Smith)
  5. Gustavus Adolphus (FRI at Saint Benedict)
  6. Hamline (FRI/SAT vs. St. Thomas)
  7. Norwich (FRI vs. UMass Boston; SAT vs. Johnson & Wales)
  8. UW-River Falls
  9. Endicott (FRI/SAT vs. Nichols)
  10. Adrian (FRI/SAT vs. St. Norbert)

all games/matches Saturday unless indicated

4. Weekend Preview   

Swimming (W) CSCAA
  1. Denison (NCAC Championship)
  2. Emory (UAA Championship)
  3. Kenyon (NCAC Championship)
  4. Williams
  5. Johns Hopkins
  6. MIT 
  7. Chicago (UAA Championship)
  8. Tufts 
  9. Washington U. (UAA Championship)
  10. NYU (UAA Championship)

Swimming (M) - CSCAA
  1. Kenyon (NCAC Championship)
  2. Denison (NCAC Championship)
  3. Johns Hopkins
  4. MIT 
  5. Carnegie Mellon (UAA Championship)
  6. Washington U. (UAA Championship)
  7. Emory (UAA Championship)
  8. Williams
  9. Chicago (UAA Championship)
  10. Tufts 

Wrestling (Dual Meet) - NWCA
  1. Wartburg (FRI vs. #3 Loras)
  2. Augsburg (SAT vs. Minnesota State Moorhead; at Winona State Open)
  3. Loras (FRI at #1 Wartburg; SAT at Central Last Chance Invite)
  4. Wabash (Mid-States Invitational)
  5. Coe (FRI at #25 Dubuque)
  6. TCNJ (FRI vs. Delaware Valley; SAT at #17 Messiah)
  7. Baldwin Wallace (FRI vs. West Liberty; SUN at John Carroll Open)
  8. Johnson & Wales, R.I. (FRI vs. Roger Williams)
  9. NYU (Case Western/Chicago)
  10. Mount Union
all contests Saturday unless indicated

5.  Comings and Goings

6.   What We're Watching

  Former Williams College standout Duncan Robinson will participate in the 3-point contest during NBA All-Star Weekend. He currently ranks fourth in the league with 191 three-pointers and is averaging a career-high 12.6 points per game.

  Millikin captured its first CCIW title in program history last night, edging defending champ North Central, 135-134. Junior 165 Braden Birt was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler.

  #1 Wartburg (16-0) takes on #3 Loras (13-1) for the American Rivers Conference title tonight. The Knights have won 27 consecutive conference championships dating back to 1993.

Lacrosse on Apple iOS 13.3  Weekend's top men's games: #14 Franklin & Marshall at #12 Lynchburg; #20 Stevenson at #15 Ursinus; #8 Denison at #13 Washington and Lee (SUN).

Lacrosse on Apple iOS 13.3  Sunday's top women's game: #12 Mary Washington at #8 Washington and Lee (SUN).

Tennis on Apple iOS 13.3  Weekend's Best Matches: #10 Brandeis women at #9 MIT (SAT); #14 Carnegie Mellon men at #26 Denison (SUN).

  Baseball Schedule: #17 Trinity (Texas) at #13 Concordia TX (SAT); #18 Misericordia at #21 Shenandoah (SUN, DH).

7.  1 Valentine Thing  Heart with Arrow on Apple iOS 13.3

Each state's favorite romantic movie

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
Wine? Chocolate? Hallmark card? Dinner out? A movie? can help you with the movie thing. The company recently released information compiled by Mindnet Analytics that determined the “Top Romantic Movie Each State Loves.”

The movie that was the favorite in the most states was “Stolen Kisses” – in Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

>> Read On to Find Your Favorite Movie in your State

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Retail Admissions: "Act Now"

FEBRUARY 13, 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!  Let's look at the day in DIII.

>> Today's Word Count: 1,049. Brief, concise. Easy to digest.

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1. Retail Admissions: "Act Now"
by Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education
"In mid-January, a college applicant in the suburbs of Chicago received an enticing offer. It came from an admissions counselor at Illinois Wesleyan University, who left him a voicemail message and followed up with a text. "You have been selected," the text said, "to receive an extra $2,000 per year in scholarship money!"

There was one stipulation. Because funds were limited, the university would hold the offer for just two weeks. "If you deposit by February 1st," the text said, "then you are guaranteed the extra 2k. Let me know if you have any questions!"

Later that day, the young man shared the news with Augustana College, in Rock Island, Ill., which had sent him a financial-aid package weeks earlier. Could Augustana, he asked, match Illinois Wesleyan’s latest offer? He needed an answer by February 1.

That snapshot from the heartland shows how the admissions realm is changing. It increasingly resembles the rest of the commercial world, in which come-ons relentlessly pelt consumers’ skulls, incentives drive decisions, and everyone expects to bargain. Here’s a 40-percent-off promo code! We will not be undersold! Act now — this special offer expires soon!

The 2019-20 admissions cycle marks the end of student recruitment as we know it. Colleges are using fiercer tactics, and the official rules of competition are kaput.

>> Situational Awareness: Like it or not, the demise of the NACAC guidelines is hastening the industry’s push into murky territory. New tactics — like Illinois Wesleyan’s offering applicants extra aid in exchange for a deposit three months before the traditional deadline — could affect hordes of colleges. Even those not trying new strategies of their own must decide how, or whether, to counter a competitor’s gambit.

>> What's Next: Last fall, Clarkson University, in Potsdam, N.Y., emailed prospective applicants to announce a new benefit called the Early Decision Incentive Scholarship. The pitch: Students who applied by December 1 would, if accepted, get an additional $2,000 a year for four years.

>> Reality Check: Last fall the mother of a 2019 Minnetonka HS graduate contacted Phil Trout, a college counselor, to say that her son, a college freshman, had received transfer solicitations from seven institutions. He hadn’t even applied to three of them. "She said, ‘This isn’t right,’" Trout recalls. "And I said, ‘Well … actually, now it’s allowed.’"

>> Worth NotingEarly Deposit Awards Programs. Yes, it's what you think it is.

>> You Will Want to Read This (find someone with a subscription)

2.  Regional Rankings 
ODell Layup
Men's Rankings
Atlantic: 1-Stevens, 2-Yeshiva
Central: 1-UW-Platteville, 2-Washington U.
East: 1-Brockport, 2-Rensselaer
Great Lakes: 1-Mount Union, 2-Marietta
Mid-Atlantic: 1-Swarthmore, 2-Johns Hopkins
Northeast: 1-Tufts, 2-Middlebury
South: 1-Emory, 2-Randolph-Macon
West: 1-St. Thomas, 2-Nebraska Wesleyan

Women's Rankings
Atlantic: 1-Marymount, 2-Rowan
Central: 1-UW-Whitewater, 2-UW-La Crosse
East: 1-Ithaca, 2-NYU
Great Lakes: 1-Hope, 2-DePauw
Mid-Atlantic: 1-Messiah, 2-Gettysburg
Northeast: 1-Tufts, 2-Amherst
South: 1-Oglethorpe, 2-Trinity (Texas)
West: 1-Loras, 2-Wartburg

3.  Wrestling Poll 

>> On The Move: Coast Guard (+7), Stevens (+7)

>> Hello: Brockport, UW-Eau Claire.

>> What We're Watching: #1 Wartburg vs. #3 Loras (FRI); #5 Coe vs. #25 Dubuque (FRI); WIAC Championship (FRI); #6 TCNJ vs. #17 Messiah (SAT).

4.  Finale Goes to the Bank

The St. John’s/St. Thomas football rivalry is heading for U.S. Bank Stadium this fall, and that likely will be the end of it.
The schools announced Wednesday that the teams will meet at 1 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Vikings’ stadium. It will technically be a home game for St. John’s.
The rivalry spans 119 years. The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) voted last spring to remove St. Thomas, and this fall will bring the Tommies’ final football season in the conference they helped form.
This won’t be the first off-campus matchup for the two teams. They played at the Metrodome in 1996 and 1997, and at Target Field before an announced crowd of 37,355 fans in 2017.



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5.   About Last Night

  40 minutes wasn't enough. Neither was 45 or 50 ... or 55. No, SUNY Poly and Keuka needed 60 minutes last night before the Wildcats defeated the Wolves, 115-110, in four overtimes. It is the second four-OT game this season (UW-Whitewater-Beloit on Dec. 18)

  Nyasha Howard (pictured) of John Jay recorded a quadruple-double in the Bloodhounds' game vs. Medgar Evers. She had 11 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals for her third straight triple-double.

  Congrats to Muskingum junior Marcus Dempsey who became the first player in program history to reach 2,000 career points.

  Salute to Augsburg's Aiza Wilson who set the MIAC all-time record for three-point field goals (214).

  Conor Harkins scored 25 points as No. 1 Swarthmore moved to 22-0 with an 83-69 victory at No. 7 Johns Hopkins (19-3).

  No. 1 Springfield (10-1) pulled out a 17-15 victory in the fifth and deciding set to defeat No. 2 Vassar (8-3), 16-25, 25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 17-15. Jarrett Anderson had 26 kills for the Pride.

6. Comings and Goings

7.  1 Streaming Thing

Streaming accounts for nearly 20% of TV consumption for most Americans, almost doubling since 2018, Axios' Sara Fischer writes from a new Nielsen report.
  • Why it matters: The data shows how quickly consumers are flocking to streaming as a replacement or complement to traditional TV.
  • The report finds that Netflix accounts for a whopping 31% of streaming time — the largest share of any service — followed by YouTube (21%), Hulu (12%) and Amazon Prime (8%).
Between the lines: Nearly half of U.S. viewers subscribe to three or more steaming services — a number likely to increase as options grow.
  • While one study has suggested that the average American is willing to pay around $42 monthly for streaming services, Nielsen found most consumers (93%) are willing to increase the amount of streaming services they pay for — or at the very least, to keep the ones they currently have.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Everybody Into the Pool

FEBRUARY 12, 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.
>> Welcome to Wednesday. Four best words in sports - pitchers and catchers report.

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>> Today's Word Count: 903. An easy morning read. Less than four minutes.

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1. Everybody Into The Pool 

Women's Swimming & Diving Wins 21st Consecutive & 27th Overall UAA Title
Conference championship season shifts into high gear as seven conference meets get underway today. Eight more begin on Thursday, while three more start on Friday.

Follow your favorite conference here.

What We're Watching (M)
  • The NCAC meet pits the top two men's teams - Kenyon and Denison - in DIII.
  • The UAA meet has six teams ranked in the top 20 - Carnegie Mellon (5), Washington U. (6), Emory (7), Chicago (9), NYU (14) and Case (20). The Eagles go for their 22nd straight crown.
  • The Mary Washington men go for their 20th consecutive CAC title, while UW-Stevens Point goes for No. 21 in a row in the WIAC.
  • The UAA 500 free will showcase the men with the top two times this season - Emory's Patrick Pema (4:23.08) and WashU's Mason Kelber (4:25.89).
What We're Watching (W)
  • The UAA championship finds No. 2 Emory in the hunt for its 22nd straight title. Hunting the Eagles are Chicago (7), WashU (9), NYU (10), Carnegie Mellon (11) and Case (20).
  • The NESCAC meet has five teams in the top 20 - Williams (4), Tufts (8), Amherst (12), Bates (16) and Bowdoin (18).
  • Mary Washington looks to run its CAC streak to 30 years, while Trinity (Texas) goes for No. 17 in a row in the SCAC.
  • UW-La Crosse shoots for its ninth consecutive WIAC title, while Susquehanna (Landmark) and Messiah (MAC) are in the hunt for their ninth and seventh crowns, respectively. Grinnell is the favorite to win its eighth straight Midwest championship.

2.  Regional Ranking Day 

The first NCAA Division III regional rankings will be released in basketball later today. Here is your refresher course in what exactly that means.

>> The Big Picture: In-region competition is defined as competition within an institution's defined region; within a 500-mile radius from one institution to another; within an institution's NCAA geographical region; and all conference games.

>> Primary Criteria: W-L percentage vs. DIII opponents; strength of schedule; head-to-head competition; results vs. common opponents; results vs. ranked DIII teams; W-L percentage during last 25% of season.

>> Secondary Criteria: results vs. non-DIII opponents; non-DIII W-L percentage; results vs. common non-DIII opponents; non-conference strength of schedule.

>> The Key Stat: The committee ranks the top 15-21% of eligible teams in each region (or a minimum of four, whichever is greater).

>> Be Smart: After conferences determine their champion (automatic qualifiers or AQ) and the independents are selected, remaining teams are considered according to their regional ranking. Example: In Region X, team A is considered before teams B and C. Until A is selected as an at-large, B is not under discussion. B has to be selected before C is under consideration.
  • Basketball (M/W) - 64 teams selected to NCAA field
    43 conference champions; 1 independents; 20 at-large

3.  Big Wednesday

Conner Delaney vs. Dickinson

It's a huge night around Division III basketball as five games involve a pair of Top-25 teams, while a number of others pit teams fighting for first place in their conference.

#11 Bethel (20-1) at #19 St. Thomas (17-4) - watch
#21 John Carroll (19-2) at #12 Baldwin Wallace (19-2) - watch
Albright (19-2) at Widener (17-4) - watch
Eastern Connecticut (18-3) at Rhode Island College (18-4) - watch
Trine (17-4) at Albion (18-4) - watch

#1 Swarthmore (21-0) at #7 Johns Hopkins (19-2) - watch
#11 Mount Union (18-3) at #15 Marietta (18-3) - watch
#14 North Central (17-4) at #25 Augustana (16-6) - watch
#17 Elmhurst (18-4) at Illinois Wesleyan (14-7) - watch
WPI (17-4) at #19 Babson (18-3) - watch
Stevens (17-4) at DeSales (15-6) - watch
Bethany Lutheran (16-5) at Northwestern (16-6) - watch


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4.  About Last Night 

O’Donnell Drops Career-High 40 Points as Women’s Basketball Cracks Century Mark Against Yeshiva

  Kelly O'Donnell (pictured) scored a career-best 40 points as St. Joseph's (Brooklyn) tied a program record for points in a game, defeating Yeshiva, 111-74. It is the 22nd time this season that a DIII player has tallied 40+ points in a game.

  Cameron Collins scored 34 points as Salve Regina (9-13) knocked off CCC leading Endicott (16-7), 98-89. He made 14 of 17 shots from the floor as the team shot 66.7 percent.

  Kaleigh D'Arcy scored 26 points and collected nine rebounds as Merchant Marine (19-3) took over sole possession of first place in the Skyline with a 60-43 win over Manhattanville (19-3).

5.   Rankings

>> Welcome: Rutgers-Newark, Dominican, St. John Fisher.
>> Movers and Shakers: MSOE (+5)

6.  Comings and Goings

7.  1 Stressful Thing 

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

There were over 646,000 shows available in the U.S. across linear and streaming services last year, according to Nielsen's latest Total Audience report, a 10% increase from all of 2018.

>> Why it matters: As more streaming platforms emerge to compete for consumers' attention and budgets, the burden is falling on consumers to navigate an overwhelming number of content choices.

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