Thursday, June 11, 2020

Will College Athletics Survive? Should They?

JUNE 11, 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.

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1.  Will College Athletics Survive?
Should They?

by Paul N. Friga, Chronicle of Higher Education

"As athletic directors and presidents look to the fall, major uncertainty stares back. Will students be on campus? Will the virus be contained? If we have football games, should fans attend? As Covid-19 decimates university resources, many leaders are wondering what changes they should make to athletic programs, or if they should have sports at all.

Whatever changes leaders make to college athletics, a vast enterprise will be affected. Sports provide educational opportunities to hundreds of thousands of students every year, bring large communities together, and require huge expenditures on campuses, more than $18 billion in 2018. Significant issues have arisen with growth, including the financial drain on university budgets, academic abuse and recruiting scandals, and questions of exploitation of the athletes themselves.

The positive impact of organized sports is well documented, as more than eight out of 10 athletes will graduate from college, and more than 35 percent earn postgraduate degrees. College athletes are more likely to have higher incomes, life satisfaction, and overall engagement.

On the other hand, the rise of collegiate athletics has been marred by frequent controversy. In fact, some propose that universities have lost their way and that the current model has become too big and corrupt, essentially generating billions of dollars at the expense of the athlete, who only receives a college scholarship and small living allowance."

>> Why It Matters: "In the wake of the virus, universities are pursuing a wide range of options including complete elimination of athletics, cutting certain sports, and changing travel plans. Dropping athletics is a major decision that can free up resources and increase the focus on academics, but it could negatively affect recruiting, especially for smaller institutions that use athletics to draw students to their campuses."

>> Reality Check: "One thing that we can expect is the presence of Covid-19 on campus. The first students to return to campus, as of early June, are athletes. Reports are already coming in that players and coaches tested positive for the virus at the Universities of Alabama and of Mississippi, and at Arkansas State, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State Universities. That number is likely to increase, and presidents will be faced with the tough choice of whether to shut down a team or program, as President Mitch Daniels of Purdue University mentioned in a recent call with the U.S. Congress."

>> The Final Word: "Like all things, college athletics need to be managed well, with data, and connected to strategy. Higher education should take its unique positioning in society to speak with a collective voice against exploitation and social injustice."

>> Read More ($)

2. Who Gets In?

Football crowd Perkins Stadium photo for Oct. 8
by Eric Olson, Associated Press

"Athletic administrators at schools with high ticket demand for college football are making plans to determine who gets a seat if stadium capacities are reduced because of concerns about the coronavirus.

The ticketing dilemma is just one wrinkle schools are working through as college football pushes toward some kind of season. The complications of bringing students back to school and ensuring they are safe vary from state to state and from campus to campus. But most schools are planning for games -- and putting fans in the seats if they can.

“I’ve been in this industry 50 years and dealt with a lot of stuff, but nothing like this,” said Fred Maglione, a Philadelphia-area consultant in the sports and live entertainment industry. “Everybody’s trying to figure this out. The real challenge is that you don’t just have a Plan A and a Plan B. You’re down to Plan Z. You have so many different scenarios you run through your mind every day because the playing table changes every day.”

>> Situational Awareness: "To get the most people allowable into the stadium, Maglione said, athletic departments likely will need to secure confirmations from those who plan to attend. Space will open for fans lower on the priority list if ticket holders with higher priority don’t feel safe and stay away."

>> Hands Up: “You’re going to have to raise your hand if you want to go, I have a hunch,” Maglione said. “Athletic departments are going to have to be in communication with fans each week to say who wants to attend and then there’s going to be some kind of priority system and/or lottery system.”

>> Be Smart: This will affect Division III. Who, if anyone, gets to attend? Parents? Students? Friends? Alumni? Who do you ask to stay home?

2019 Division III Football Home Attendance Leaders
  1. Hampden-Sydney (6,949 average)
  2. UW-Whitewater (6,095)
  3. St. Thomas, Minn. (5,577)
  4. Wesleyan, Conn. (5,047)
  5. Saint John's (4,975)
  6. Emory & Henry (4,870)
  7. Geneva (4,038)
  8. Simpson (4,012)
  9. Trinity, Conn. (3,890)
  10. Christopher Newport (3,748)

>> Continue Reading

3. Iowa Wesleyan Looks to NAIA
Iowa Wesleyan University has announced its intention to leave the NCAA following the completion of the 2020-21 academic year and pursue membership in the NAIA.

The Tigers will leave the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) as a football-only associate member and the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) as a full member.

>> Quotable I: Iowa Wesleyan University interim President Christine Plunkett stated, "In considering the changing landscape of higher education and the needs of our current and future student-athletes, Iowa Wesleyan intends to apply for membership within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)." 

>> Quotable II: SLIAC Commissioner Dick Kaiser said, "The SLIAC is obviously disappointed that Iowa Wesleyan has chosen to leave the conference for a different affiliation. The Tigers had made significant headway in a variety of SLIAC sports during the past few years. These are very trying times in intercollegiate athletics today and I am sure it was a difficult decision for the Iowa Wesleyan administration. As a conference, we want to wish them well and hope their next opportunities fit their specific needs."

>> Quotable III: “The UMAC is disappointed to have Iowa Wesleyan leave our conference as an associate member,” said UMAC Commissioner Corey Borchardt. “Iowa Wesleyan has been a positive contributor to the conference in football and has upheld the conference’s mission and core values over the last seven years.”

>> What's Next: The SLIAC, formed in 1989, will move to an eight-member league, beginning in the 2021-22 academic year. Member institutions include Blackburn, Eureka, Fontbonne, Greenville, Principia, Spalding, Webster, and Westminster.

>> Be Smart: The UMAC, formed in 1972, will still maintain its automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III championships for football for a minimum of two years (through the 2022-2023 academic year). Member institutions include Bethany Lutheran, St. Scholastica, Crown, Martin Luther, North Central University, Northland, the University of Minnesota, Morris, the University of Northwestern, and Wisconsin-Superior make up the league's full-time membership.

4. The Coming Collision

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"College athletes are facing unprecedented pressure and expectations as universities bring them back to campus during COVID-19.
Why it matters: It’s one thing when “stick to sports” gets thrown around at pro athletes, but a cohort of college kids coming off a summer of activism amid the Black Lives Matter movement will be forced to navigate the tricky combination of sports, the pandemic and a new role as social justice warrior, writes Axios' Jeff Tracy."
  • Empowered by social media, student-athletes who’d previously been unable or unwilling to speak out have already begun leading the charge toward effecting meaningful change.
  • Backed by a public that increasingly supports Black Lives Matter and teammates that stand behind them in solidarity, athletes will only gain confidence as they continue to make their voices heard.
  • Yes, but: All of that momentum is at the whim of the coronavirus, which could throw the country back into a shutdown with little warning.
The big picture: There are over 460,000 NCAA student-athletes, and those with the biggest platforms and loudest voices are the most likely to be back in action when school starts up.
  • College football players have already been the most outspoken (at Auburn and Missouri, to name two prime examples), and they number over 73,000.
  • Basketball players, both men and women, meanwhile, are about 35,000 strong, and though their season begins in November, practices and preseason will ensure they’re on the courts soon after the semester begins.  
Between the lines: Most recently, student-athletes took a huge step forward in their decades-long fight for compensation regarding their name, image and likeness, which is likely to begin in the 2021–22 season.
The bottom line: The increased control athletes are wresting away from their institutions, paired with some expected fan outrage over a season in peril and athletes who refuse to "stick to sports," could take the sports culture wars to a whole new level.

- courtesy of Axios


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5.  Comings and Goings

6.  1 Paloma Thing
Ruby Red Pamplemousse Paloma Recipe
by Margaret Eby, Food & Wine

"I have nothing against Margaritas. They’re delicious, and they can be improvised upon a thousand ways, depending on what ingredients you have on hand. They’re great frozen or on the rocks, and an excellent pairing for summer meals. But if I have a bottle of tequila knocking around the house, the drink that I’ll go to first isn’t a Margarita. It’s a Paloma.

A Paloma, the Spanish word for dove, is a tequila cocktail that’s got a balance of bitter, sour, salty, sweet, and, depending on the tequila you use, a little spicy or umami. For something so flavorful, the ingredients are incredibly simple: tequila, grapefruit soda, lime juice, and a little salt on the rim if you care for it. That’s it. Not only is it delicious, you can make them in the can of grapefruit soda, if you want. It’s a great drink to have on hand at the beach or in the park, or in a backyard party, when we can have those safely again."

>> Enjoy Your Weekend

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Admissions Update

JUNE 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.
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1.  Admissions Update

by Scott Jaschik,

"Occidental College is a good illustration of the admissions challenges facing private colleges this year.

On June 1, Occidental had 572 deposits from freshmen for the fall. That is just slightly below the 580 to 590 Occidental estimates it needs to have a good class, when considering the inevitability of summer melt. The college's target was 535.

But this year, summer melt -- when some students who have accepted offers of admission say they will go elsewhere -- started early. The college has already lost 41 students to summer melt. (Some committed prior to June 1.) So with 531 students now, it is likely (if summer melt continues) to be short of its enrollment goals, likely by 10 percent or more.

Some would say that being down 10 percent in freshmen would be good for a college like Occidental. Surveys of potential college students have suggested that as many as 20 percent of college freshmen aren't going to their original first-choice college. Some will stay home and go to a community college. Others will enroll closer to home. Others won't go to college at all.

In reviewing private colleges' real numbers as of June 1 (the date many of them gave students to reply to admissions offers), Inside Higher Ed came up with no single trend to define their performance. All are working hard (well into summer) on their classes. For some, this is later than they usually have to focus on a new class. But their successes and disappointments vary."

>> Signs of Health: "Janet Lape Marsden, vice president for communications at Kenyon (Ohio) College, said the college has a goal of enrolling 500 new students in the fall, and it has 538 deposits. The class is expected to be Kenyon's most racially diverse ever. Muhlenberg (Pa.) College surpassed its first-year budget target of 550 with 575 deposits for the fall. In Oregon, Lewis & Clark College is having a good year. As of June 1, the college has 565 deposits. Last year, it had 531 deposits, which resulted in 506 matriculating students. If this year's summer melt is the same, it will have 530 freshmen in the fall, which exceeds the budget target of 526."

>> Difficulties: "At Wells Collegewhich has said it would be forced to close if New York governor Andrew Cuomo does not permit the resumption of in-person classes, the college had 140 deposits for new first-year students as of June 3. The college's goal for the year is 145 to 165 first-year students. Union (N.Y.) College has 520 deposits toward a target of 570. The college is working off its waiting list and has reopened admissions for those looking for a spot. Otterbein (Ohio) University currently has 500 freshmen signed up for the fall. The goal (based on where the college was last year at this time) is 623. Paul Steenis, vice president of enrollment and dean of admission at Knox (Ill.) College, said the college currently has 290 freshmen signed up. The original goal was 320."

>> Continue Reading

2. Redlands FB Coach Placed on Leave

by Josh Peter, USA TODAY

"Mike Maynard, head football coach at the University of Redlands in Southern California, was placed on administrative leave Saturday because of a social media post “that has been causing distress in our community,’’ athletic director Jeff Martinez announced.

Earlier this week, Maynard commented on a video showing an explosive detonating inside a car during protests in Riverside, California, replying to the post with: “What kind of bomb? I want one of those.’’

Protests have been staged across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.

Martinez said the school became aware of the social media post on Wednesday and did not explain why the school waited until Saturday to announce it has taken action."

>> What's Next: The school’s Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer will lead a formal review of the matter at the request of the school’s dean, Donna Eddleman, according to Martinez. Martinez also said Maynard was put on administrative leave “without prejudgment.’’

>> Keep Reading

3.  Video Review Approved in Hoops

CBS Sports and Turner Sports announce 2020 NCAA Division I Men's ...
by Greg Jackson, NCAA

"The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved allowing officials to conduct instant replay reviews in scenarios where they call a possession dead due to a shot-clock violation.

If the official sees on video review that the shot-clock violation was called in error and the shot was made, the call will be reversed and the field goal will count. The rule will be effective for the 2020-21 academic year.

Previously, if that scenario occurred, officials did not have the opportunity to correct the call via video review, because once they whistled the possession dead for a shot-clock violation, it didn’t matter if the ball went in the basket or not."

>> Situational Awareness: "NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee members, who recommended the rules change, think an error of this kind could lead to a game-winning or game-losing field goal being wiped away. Since shot-clock judgments require split-second decisions, they think officials should have the opportunity to use video review in this situation to ensure that the integrity of the game is maintained."

>> Re-Set: "The panel approved expanding that rule so that most times the offense retains possession of the ball for a throw-in in the frontcourt, the shot clock will be reset to 20 seconds or the time remaining, whichever is greater. However, when there is a change of team possession in the backcourt and the ball remains live, the shot clock would reset to 30 seconds."

>> Keep Reading

4. Changes Coming to Hockey OT

by Greg Johnson, NCAA

"The Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee proposed changes to the current overtime format in the sport, starting with the 2020-21 academic year.

Committee members, who met virtually for four days this week, recommended that all teams tied at the end of regulation would play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime period to decide a winner. If neither team scores, a three-person shootout could be used in conference games or in-season tournaments for advancement purposes.

In regular-season nonconference games that go into overtime, teams would be allowed to play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death period. If neither team scores, the result of the game would be a tie."

>> Background: "Committee members think this proposal aligns NCAA ice hockey with all the other high-level leagues around the world. They feel the 3-on-3 overtime format is widely recognizable and exciting for all participants."

>> Quotable: “Our committee’s job is to do what we believe is best for the game,” said Hilary Witt, women’s ice hockey coach at New Hampshire and interim rules committee chair. “As the game continues to evolve at all levels, we feel it is important for college hockey to evolve with it.”

>> More from the Rules Committee

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5. For the Love of Sport

by Lois Elfman,

"With no athletic scholarships and schedules often jam-packed with multiple obligations, Division III student-athletes still make time for the sports they love while pursuing academic excellence.

In Division III, pretty much all sports are non-revenue-generating, and student-athletes compete in front of small groups of fellow students and diehard fans. There are few perks though. Athletic departments try to make the most with what they have, driven by the desire to give sports-minded students a complete collegiate experience.

These schools are both rural and urban, and some are known for their exceptional academics. No matter the situation, you can always find athletes as passionate about their sports as a cornerback at an FBS school in the Power Five.

The lack of glamour doesn’t diminish their love of competing and the pride they take in representing their college or university. We check in with three D-III student-athletes, who share what is driving them to achieve excellence."

>> Go Deeper

6.  Comings and Goings

7.  1 Amusement Park Thing 

photo: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

"[T]he return of Universal Orlando’s theme parks after a nearly three-month shutdown saw light attendance ... and no major back-ups as visitors mostly complied with new safety procedures, like temperature checks," the Orlando Sentinel reports.
  • "The parks — Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and the Volcano Bay water park — had been shut down since March 16."
  • "The vast majority of guests wore their masks."

- courtesy of Axios

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