Thursday, June 18, 2020

A Pathway from DIII to DI

D3Playbook
JUNE 18, 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.  A Pathway from DIII to DI
 
St. Thomas' proposal to move to Division I being considered by ...
by Meghan Durham, NCAA

"During its June meeting by videoconference, the Division I Council introduced a proposal into the 2020-21 legislative cycle that would establish a reclassification process for schools to transition directly from Division III to Division I.

The proposal was recommended by the Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, which met by videoconference Monday.

The current 12-year process requires Division III schools to first reclassify to Division II before joining Division I. If adopted, the process to transition directly from Division III to Division I would require at minimum five years.

Under this proposal, Division III members planning to reclassify to Division I would be required to spend at least one year in the pre-application process. Criteria to move forward from that pre-application period to the existing Division I reclassification process would include, but not be limited to, the following:
  • Submitting a strategic plan.
  • Conducting a feasibility study for Division I requirements, including provision of athletics scholarships and meeting compliance standards.
  • Securing a formal invitation to join a Division I conference.
  • Establishing school policies and procedures that reflect a commitment to Division I principles, including academic integrity, diversity and inclusion, and student-athlete health and well-being.
Under this proposed model, the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee would closely evaluate pre-application benchmarks and requirements submitted by the school. Once the school has satisfied the requirements of the pre-application period, the school would submit its application, including application fee, and begin the existing four-year reclassification process."

>> What They're Saying: “This proposed pathway for Division III schools to successfully make the transition to Division I accounts for any additional challenges those schools may face in reaching membership requirements.” - Rick George, chair of the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee and athletics director at Colorado.

>> Why It Matters: "While this legislation is under consideration, the Council indicated it would be receptive to a formal waiver request from Division III St. Thomas (Minnesota) and the Summit League that would allow the school to begin the reclassification process."

>> Continue Reading 

 
2.  MIT Won't Bring All Students Back

 
MIT Athletics (@MITAthletics) | Twitter

"The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Wednesday that probably fewer than 60 percent of undergraduates will be allowed to return to campus this fall, and all courses are likely to conclude in-person teaching by Thanksgiving, part of a massive effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

In an e-mail to the MIT campus, president L. Rafael Reif also said students will live in individual dormitory rooms to allow for physical distancing, and the school will conduct mandatory virus testing and prohibit large lectures and gatherings."
  • To allow students to stay on track to their degrees, we will maintain the basic two-semester structure of our academic calendar. However, we may need to start a week early (around September 1), end any in-person instruction before Thanksgiving, and finish the term remotely. 
  • At least for the fall, we can only bring some of our undergraduates back to campus. 
  • Everything that can be taught effectively online will be taught online.
  • Every undergraduate living on campus will have an individual room, to allow for physical distancing. 

>> Why It Matters: MIT can conceive as many as 60 percent of its students on campus this fall. What does that mean for intercollegiate athletics for MIT and the NEWMAC? A new twist has been added to the equation.

>> What They're Saying: "Obviously, we cannot control the trajectory of the pandemic this fall, either here in Massachusetts or in the places around the world our students call home. We also have no control over the government response. We must accept these as unknowns and be ready to adapt."

>> Quotable: "I join you in feeling frustrated by the persistent uncertainty of the situation. We need to make decisions with incomplete, imprecise and dynamic information, and we are taking time to consult broadly."

>> Keep Reading from the Boston Globe
>> MIT Email

 
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3.  Budget Cuts for DIII


NCAA slashes distribution to Division I schools by $375M
by Jeremy Villanueva, NCAA


"The Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee endorsed championship and nonchampionship budget cuts of nearly $2 million annually for fiscal years 2021-24 to offset budget shortfalls due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee met last Thursday by videoconference.

The cuts are necessary in light of this year’s budget shortfall of about $9 million. The three years of reductions also will allow the division to maintain its mandated reserve policy (50% of the annual revenue) through the remainder of the current CBS/Turner contract (2023-24). The Division III Management and Presidents Councils will review and finalize the recommendations during their summer meetings.

With the revenue going flat in the final two years of the current CBS/Turner contract, the committee recommended the cuts go through 2023-24.

The estimated cost savings from championships is $1.32 million annually, with the Championships Committee recommending not reimbursing local ground transportation in team sports and individual/team sports and suspending the pilot program (currently in year one of two) that separates conference opponents in the first round of a championship.

>> Quotable: “The budget savings that are being implemented ensure that the NCAA is able to maintain its commitments to student and member institutions while at the same time preparing, in a thoughtful and informed manner, for the challenges due to COVID-19 now and in the future." - Fayneese Miller, chair of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee and president at Hamline.

>> Keep Reading


 

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4. SUNYAC Goes Divisional
 
2018 SUNYAC Indoor Track and Field Championships - College at ...

"The State University of New York Athletic Conference will split into two divisions in the sports of men's and women's soccer, and in the sport of women's volleyball for the 2020 athletic season, while the sport of women's tennis will move its entire conference schedule and championship to the spring of 2021.

The decision was made by the SUNYAC Board of Directors that is comprised of the 10 directors of athletics from each member institution on Monday, June 15, during its weekly conference meeting.

Using I-81 as a rough roadmap, the SUNYAC will divide into an East-West configuration using a double round-robin format in soccer and volleyball with teams playing contests on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting September 30.

The West Division will be comprised of Brockport, Buffalo State, Fredonia, Geneseo and Oswego, while the East Division will consist of Cortland, New Paltz, Oneonta, Plattsburgh and Potsdam.

Teams will play home-and-home divisional contests with the top two teams in each division securing a playoff berth. Institutions still have the autonomy to schedule non-conference opponents at their discretion, while members of the two divisions potentially could schedule non-conference crossover contests against each other that would have no impact on the SUNYAC standings.

>> They Said It: "The reality is that no playbook exists for conducting intercollegiate athletics during a pandemic. As a conference, we need to be proactive and use the best information available to make plans for the fall. " - Tom DiCamillo, commissioner of the SUNYAC.

>> Read More

 

5. Fall Academic Openings

Colleges and universities are beginning to unveil their plans for reopening for the fall semester. To add your institution to our list, please send a relevant link with the information to D3Playbook@gmail.com.

August 10 - Ohio NorthernPiedmont
August 11 Sweet Briar
August 17 - Meredith
August 19 - AverettWooster
August 20 - McDaniel
August 24 - EasternElizabethtownGrove CityHamiltonHoward PayneKenyonOccidentalPenn State BehrendSt. John FisherSouthern VirginiaWilson
August 26 - CentralU. of New EnglandWheaton (Ill.)
August 31 - ElmiraHussonStevensonTransylvania
September 1 - Kean
September 3 Suffolk

>> Be Smart: What does an earlier end to the fall semester - prior to Thanksgiving - mean for those participating in winter sports? Just one more question to add to the ever-growing list.

6.  Comings and Goings
 

 
7.  1 Father/Son Thing
 

Photo: Lucas Uebel/Getty Images

A son hugs his father in Gravataí, Brazil.
  • The Túnel do Abraço (hug tunnel) is for elderly residents to be able to hug relatives during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Monday, June 15, 2020

The Crippling Effects of Cutting Sports

D3Playbook
JUNE 15, 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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>> Editor's Note: D3Playbook is on its summer schedule, publishing twice per week on Mondays and Thursday (since you're not in the office on Fridays, wink). We will also bring any breaking news when it happens.

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1.  The Crippling Effect of Cutting Sports

Sports Illustrated Daily Cover: Rough Cuts
by Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde, Sports Illustrated

"As universities scramble to cover virus-related financial hardships, they’re sacrificing a piece of unique fabric in the American quilt: Olympic sports. In Division I alone, 30 athletic teams have been eliminated in eight weeks. Four schools have cut at least three sports and a fifth, Brown, discontinued a whopping eight athletic programs. According to one site tracking the cuts, more than 80 programs have been eliminated across all levels.

Thousands of advocates have rushed to the sides of coaches and athletes of discontinued sports, challenging school leaders, signing petitions and raising funds. They fear that the cuts are far from over.

“It’s clear that the D-I model of intercollegiate athletics has been broken,” says Mike Moyer, executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, “and COVID-19 is exposing it.”

Colleges around the country are bracing for significant losses in the coming fiscal year. Many programs are projecting at least a 20% reduction in revenue from various sources: cuts in state and federal funding; a decrease in institutional support; loss in ticket sales; and a drop in donations.

Many administrators are following a systematic route to downsizing—salary reductions, staff furloughs and travel cuts—but when more is needed, “Olympic sports are being sacrificed,” said Western Michigan athletic director Kathy Beauregard. “There’s nothing worse you can ever have to do than cut sports.”

>> Under the Gun: Since 1990, NCAA Division I membership has grown by 58 schools, yet at least eight sports—all men’s teams—are sponsored by fewer schools today than they were 30 years ago, including wrestling (37 fewer teams), swimming (25), gymnastics (24) and tennis (22). Proportionally, no sport has taken more of a hit than men’s tennis, which is sponsored today by 71.5% of the D-I membership. In 1990, 93.2% schools had men’s tennis.

>> Keep An Eye On: In 1990, more than half of D-I membership sponsored men’s swimming. That number is now at 37%, trailing 19 other sports in sponsorships. In fact, women’s swimming, compared with other female sports, is also on the low end: Just over half of D-I schools have a women’s swim team.

>> What They're Saying: “I’ll be darned if I’m going to let COVID take more women’s sports,” says Nancy Hogshead-Makar, herself a former Olympic gold medal winner in swimming. “People say we shouldn’t be pushing Title IX right now because it’s a pandemic and there’s no money. My response is that when you go to fight to save women’s sports, it saves the guys, too.”

>> Worth Noting: "Donna Lopiano, a longtime former college administrator now at the Drake Group, sees something else. “I’ve seen so many college presidents so shortsighted,” she says. “They're almost trying to prove that athletics are not above any department, instead of realizing how athletics is tied to enrollment and tuition numbers.”

>> Worth Your Time
 

2.  Fall Preseason Lengthened

Image
by Rachel Stern, NCAA
 
"For the upcoming 2020-21 season, the first practice date for all Division III fall sports will be Aug. 10 or the first day of class, whichever is earlier.

The Division III Administrative Committee approved lengthening preseasons for fall sports during a videoconference Wednesday, in response to recommendations from the Management Council’s Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee. There also will be an unlimited number of administrative days for schools to conduct nonathletics-related activities, or days on which schools can provide housing and meal expenses to student-athletes before the start of practice.

The Administrative Committee concluded that this change gives schools the flexibility to conduct preseasons while putting the health and safety of student-athletes first.

>> Situational Awareness: "Before this change, the permissible start date was based on a team’s first contest date. Given the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, schools are unsure when that first contest date is going to be."

>> What They're Saying: “The NCAA continues to keep the health of students as a top priority,” said Tori Murden McClure, chair of the committee and the Division III Presidents Council, and Spalding president. “Colleges and universities across the nation need guidelines that will allow students to return to play in a manner that preserves fundamental fairness as much as possible.”

>> Continue Reading

 
3. NCAA Statement on Social Activism

 
"President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors recognize the important role social engagement has on driving positive societal change. The recent demonstrations following the tragic killing of George Floyd showed the world the power of protest and student-athletes across the country were at the center of that movement. We commend NCAA student-athletes who recognized the need for change and took action through safe and peaceful protest. We encourage students to continue to make their voices heard on these important issues, engage in community activism and exercise their Constitutional rights.

Further, we encourage all member schools to assist students in registering to vote in the upcoming national election and to designate November 3, 2020 as a day off from athletics activity so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens."
 
4. From DIII to MLB

New Pirates pitcher Nick Garcia made the transition from position player to third-round pick on the mound.
by Mike Persak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
"Nick Garcia, a right-handed pitcher from Division III Chapman University became a Pirate on Thursday night, selected in the third round of the MLB draft.

Just two years ago, he wasn’t even a pitcher.

His freshman year with (Chapman), in 2018, he played mostly third base, hitting .268 with six RBIs in 24 games.

Pitching coach Dave Edwards had some success in the past moving position players to the mound and helping morph them into good pitchers. Garcia’s arm strength made him a strong candidate for that move, so they pulled the trigger.

The development from there was slow and steady - around 88-90 mph with his fastball at the beginning of the summer of 2018. Playing in a New York summer league, that crept up to 90-91. In the fall, rested and reunited with Edwards, some physical strengthening and tinkering with his mechanics got that up to 92-95.

In 56 innings as a reliever in the spring, Garcia finished with a 0.64 ERA, striking out 82 batters and allowing just four runs. He went 9-0 on the season with 12 saves. He went on to become an American Baseball Coaches Association first-team All-American, a member of the Division III National Championship All-Tournament team and the D-III College World Series’ most outstanding player.

Now, he’s a fireballer with a mid-to-upper-90s fastball, and a slider, curveball and changeup that are coming around, too."

>> Between The Lines: "I knew going (to the Cape Cod League) I was going to fail, but I also knew that it was a chance for me to learn fast and succeed and show that I am who I am as a college pitcher and a professional pitcher now, and that I hope to keep moving and learning each outing that I can and just be great. And I took something out of every time I went out there on the mound."

>> Keep Reading

 
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5. Fall Academic Openings
 
Colleges and universities are beginning to unveil their plans for reopening for the fall semester. To add your institution to our list, please send a relevant link with the information to D3Playbook@gmail.com.

August 10 - Centenary (La.)
August 17 - BlufftonDenisonMariettaNazarethRiponSaint Vincent 
August 19 - GreensboroGuilfordRITRoanoke
August 20 - LycomingOhio Wesleyan
August 24 - BabsonCase WesternClaremont CollegesClarkConcordia (Wis.)DrewMary WashingtonMoravianSalemSt. NorbertWebster
August 26 - Brandeis, Centre
August 31 - AlleghenyEmerson
September 1 - Rowan
September 2 - Macalester
September 7 - Trinity (Conn.)
September 8 - Bryn MawrHaverford
October 5 - Ithaca

>> Be Smart: What does an earlier end to the fall semester - prior to Thanksgiving - mean for those participating in winter sports? Just one more question to add to the ever-growing list.

 
6.  Comings and Goings
 
 
7.  1 Golf Thing 




GolfWeek magazine's annual list of the top campus golf courses has three Division III has representatives.

 3. Taconic GC, Williamstown, Mass. (Williams)
11. Orchards GC, South Hadley, Mass. (Mount Holyoke)
17. The Course at Sewanee, Sewanee, Tenn. (U. of the South)

>> Worth Noting: Courses are rated by Golfweek’s national group of players, with ratings based on multiple criteria such as memorability of the holes and the “walk-in-the-park-test.” The raters then give each course an overall rating.

>> See the Entire List

 
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