Friday, April 30, 2021

COVID Medical Advisory Group Update


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

>> Good Friday Morning! Good luck to all that are participating in Conference championship events this weekend.

>> Today's Word Count: 1,115.

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1. COVID Medical Advisory Group Update

by Connor Bran, NCAA

"The NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 testing for college sports, noting fully vaccinated student-athletes and other Tier 1 individuals with no COVID-19-like symptoms may be exempt from routine testing.

Tier 1 individuals are those with the highest risk of exposure at championships and include team travel parties and officials. Student-athletes and other Tier 1 participants who are not vaccinated must continue to undergo testing at NCAA championships.

This new policy will be effective starting May 1 for NCAA Championships that have not started, or the next round of competition for those championships that are already underway.

If there is evidence of substantial or high transmission in the community, or if there are COVID-19 variants that escape the effect of the vaccine, then testing may need to resume for fully vaccinated individuals. Such decisions will be made in conjunction with local public health authorities and/or federal guidance."

>> The Big Picture: "Further, fully vaccinated student-athletes and other Tier 1 individuals with no COVID-19-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, be restricted from work or get tested after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The updated testing guidance also applies to Tier 2 and 3 individuals who may be subject to testing protocols at member schools and championships. Tier 2 individuals are considered at moderate risk to exposure and may include administrators, security, event staff and league staff. Tier 3 individuals make up the lowest tier of risk to exposure and may include housekeeping, catering, sanitation, transportation, media and broadcast workers."

>> Reality Check: "As the logistics of differentiating vaccinated from nonvaccinated individuals at events remains challenging, the NCAA will continue its policy of universal masking and physical distancing for championships with the exception of student-athletes and officials during competition or practice."

>> Continue Reading


2. All-America

Kendall Sosa - 2020-21 - Women's Basketball - Illinois Wesleyan University  Athletics

The WBCA and have released their 2021 All-America women's basketball teams.

WBCA First Team

F-Shannon Devitt, TCNJ
G-Kiera Downey, Rhodes
G/F-Nicole Heffington, John Carroll
F-Kaylee Otlowski, Salisbury
G-Leah Porath, UW-Oshkosh
G-Kenedy Schoonveld, Hope
G-Kendall Sosa, Illinois Wesleyan
F-Leah Springer, Messiah
F-Jenna Taylor, Simpson
F/C-Olivia Voskuil, Hope

Player of the Year: Kendall Sosa, Illinois Wesleyan
Coach of the Year: Brian Morehouse, Hope

>> Complete Release First Team
G-Kendall Sosa, Illinois Wesleyan
G-Leah Porath, UW-Oshkosh
G-Kiera Downey, Rhodes
F-Jenna Taylor, Simpson
F-Nicole Heffington, John Carroll

>> Complete Team


3.  Selection Monday
The championship fields for women's lacrosse and men's and women's golf will be announced on Monday. Here is what to you need to know.

Lacrosse (W)
Field Size (37 teams) - 33 AQ, 1 Pool B, 3 Pool C
Who's In: Notre Dame, Md. (CSAC), George Fox (NWC), Rhodes (SAA)

Championship Games
  • Atlantic East: Cabrini vs. Marymount
  • Centennial: #1 F&M vs. #5 Gettysburg
  • C2C: #4 Salisbury vs. #20 Christopher Newport
  • CCIW: Carroll vs. Chicago
  • CCC: Endicott vs. Roger Williams
  • GNAC: Emmanuel vs. Johnson and Wales
  • HCAC: Hanover vs. Transylvania
  • Landmark: #6 Catholic vs. Scranton
  • Liberty: #7 Ithaca vs. #19 William Smith
  • Little East: Plymouth State vs. Western Connecticut
  • MAC Commonwealth: #12 Messiah vs. #13 York
  • MAC Freedom: FDU Florham vs. Stevens
  • MASCAC: Framingham vs. Westfield
  • Michigan: Saint Mary's vs. Hope
  • MWLC: Hamline vs. Northwestern
  • NECC: Becker vs. Elms
  • NESCAC: #3 Tufts vs. #11 Wesleyan
  • NEWMAC: Babson vs. Springfield
  • NJAC: #15 TCNJ vs. #23 Montclair State
  • NAC: Cazenovia vs. Husson
  • NCAC: #9 Denison vs. Wooster
  • NEAC: Lancaster Bible vs. Morrisville State
  • NACC: Aurora vs. Concordia Chicago
  • Ohio: John Carroll vs. Mount Union
  • Presidents: Thiel vs. Washington & Jefferson
  • Skyline: Farmingdale State vs Merchant Marine
  • SUNYAC: #14 Brockport vs. #17 Cortland
  • USA South: Meredith vs. Piedmont
Semifinals (Fri.), Final (Sun.) - Empire 8, ODAC

Golf (W)
Field Size (25 teams) - 22 AQ, 1 Pool B, 2 Pool C, 6 individuals
Who's In: Dubuque (American Rivers), #8 Texas-Dallas (ASC), Marymount (Centennial), #16 Illinois Wesleyan (CCIW), Rose-Hulman (HCAC), Catholic (Landmark), #25 Saint Mary's (Michigan), #5 George Fox (Northwest), #12 W&L (ODAC), Westminster (Presidents), #3 Centre (SAA), #1 Redlands (SCIAC)

Ranked Teams Looking for Pool B Bid: #2 Methodist, #4 Carnegie Mellon, #9 UC Santa Cruz, #10 Emory
Ranked Teams Looking for Pool C Bid: #7 Mary Hardin-Baylor, #14 Rhodes, #15 Cal Lutheran, #17 Berry, #18 Chapman

Golf (M)
Field Size (37 teams) - 31 AQ, 3 Pool B, 3 Pool C
Who's In: PSU Behrend (AMCC), #18 Mary Hardin-Baylor (ASC), F&M (Centennial), Rosemont (CSAC), Western New England (CCC), Utica (Empire 8), Albertus Magnus (GNAC), York (MAC Commonwealth), Stevens (MAC Freedom), #25 Aurora (NACC), Penn College (NEAC), Whitworth (NWC), #1 Guilford (ODAC), Westminster (Presidents), Sewanee (SAA), Chapman (SCIAC), Webster (SLIAC), #6 Piedmont (USA South)

Ranked Teams Looking for Pool B Bid: #4 Emory, #7 Carnegie Mellon, #8 Trinity (Texas), #16 Christopher Newport
Ranked Teams Looking for Pool C Bid: #2 Methodist, #3 Huntingdon, #9 W&L, #10 Pfeiffer, #11 Greensboro, #13 McMurry, #14 Averett, #15 LaGrange


4.  Regional Rankings
James Hopper fist pump


Atlantic South

1-Emory, 2-Mary Washington, 3-Johns Hopkins
S: 1-Gonzalez-Rico, Emory. D: 1-Gonzalez-Rico/Chang, Emory

1-Kenyon, 2-Washington U., 3-Case Western
S: 1-Paolucci, Case Western. D: Beshentseva/Oku, Kenyon

1-Wesleyan, 2-Tufts, 3-Middlebury
S: 1-Bukzin, Amherst. D: Dorr/Garrido, Tufts

1-Southwestern, 2-Trinity, 3-Texas-Dallas
S: 1-Mitrofanova, Southwestern. D: 1-Joseph/Wong, Texas-Dallas

>> Complete Rankings


Atlantic South
1-Emory, 2-N.C. Wesleyan, 3-Carnegie Mellon
S: 1-Cassone, Emory. D: 1-Dias/Blonquist, Southern Virginia

1-Case Western, 2-Washington U., 3-Chicago
S: 1-Hopper, Case Western. D: Hopper/Chen, Case Western

1-Williams, 2-Brandeis, 3-Tufts
S: 1-Sorkin, Tufts. D: Kam/Chung, Williams

1-Trinity, 2- Southwestern, 3-George Fox
S: 1-Krimbill, Trinity. D: 1-Martinez/Daniell, McMurry

5.  Vaccine Update

As colleges look toward the fall-2021 semester, they’re grappling with whether to require — or just strongly encourage — students to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Here’s a chart of institutions that have decided to issue blanket vaccination requirements of all students, students living on campus, and/or employees.

  • California: Caltech, Claremont-M-S, Pomona-Pitzer
  • Colorado: Colorado College
  • Connecticut: Wesleyan
  • DC: Trinity Washington
  • Georgia: Emory
  • Indiana: DePauw, Saint Mary's
  • Iowa: Grinnell
  • Massachusetts: Amherst, Brandeis, Bridgewater State, Emerson, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Lasell, MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime, Mount Holyoke, Salem State, Smith, Tufts, Westfield State, Williams, Worcester State
  • Maine: Bowdoin
  • Maryland: Johns Hopkins, Salisbury
  • Minnesota: Carleton, Macalester
  • Missouri: Washington U.
  • New Jersey: Drew, Fairleigh Dickinson, Montclair Sate, NJCU, Rutgers, Stevens
  • New York: Hamilton, Ithaca, Manhattanville, NYU, Rensselaer, Rochester, Sarah Lawrence, Vassar
  • North Carolina: Brevard
  • Ohio: Kenyon
  • Oregon: Lewis & Clark, Willamette
  • Pennsylvania: Bryn Mawr, Haverford
  • Rhode Island: Roger Williams
  • Tennessee: Maryville
  • Virginia: Mary Baldwin, Virginia Wesleyan
  • Washington: Whitman
  • Wisconsin: Lawrence
>> Complete List

6. Comings and Goings
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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Presidents Council Recap


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


>> Welcome to Thursday. 

>> Today's Word Count: 1,295 (5 minutes)

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1. Presidents Council Recap

by Jeremy Villanueva, NCAA

"The Division III Presidents Council made a motion of support Wednesday for the Division III Administrative Committee to act on name, image and likeness legislation between quarterly governance meetings.

With the NCAA Board of Governors, the Association’s top governing body, reinforcing its commitment Tuesday to modernizing NCAA rules around name, image and likeness this summer, the council affirmed the Administrative Committee’s authority to take action between the Management and Presidents Councils’ standing quarterly meetings, conducting items of business necessary to promote the normal and orderly administration of Division III.

The division’s legislative proposal on name, image and likeness focuses on two concepts. The first concept would allow student-athletes to use their status as athletes to promote their own work product or service. The second concept would allow student-athletes to use their status as athletes to endorse third-party products or services, provided there is no institutional involvement in procuring promotional opportunities for student-athletes (except to the extent the school is involved with assisting students generally).

Elsewhere ...

  • The Division III Presidents Council approved a blanket waiver allowing student-athletes in the upcoming academic year to participate while enrolled less than full time for both semesters.
  • The Presidents Council will sponsor 2022 NCAA Convention legislation permitting the council to adopt emergency legislation by at least a three-fourths majority of council members present and voting. The process would be used when the division must respond to, or comply with, a court, alternative dispute resolution or government order and the use of the regular legislative cycle is likely to cause undue hardship to the Association or division membership because of the delay.

>> Continue Reading


2. Hale of a Gift for Conn

courtesy of Connecticut College

"Students, faculty and staff gathered on the glorious expanse of Tempel Green this afternoon as President Katherine Bergeron and trustee leadership joined to announce the largest philanthropic gift in the College’s history: a gift of $30 million from Rob ’88 and Karen Hale ’P20 that, in combination with their prior gift of $20 million, invests $50 million in financial aid, athletics, career and an expansive 21st-century liberal arts education.

Bergeron noted that the Hales’ newest gift prioritizes three areas: $10 million for financial aid, $10 million for athletics and $10 million for immediate improvements to campus infrastructure. This gift builds on their original 2015 contribution of $20 million—previously, the largest gift in the College’s history—that set the stage for the current campaign.

The gift will support the goals and objectives of the College’s recent Action Plan for Competitive Success, which seeks to elevate the student-athlete experience through investments in coaching, facilities and team support."

>> Notable: Hale, a 1988 graduate, still remembers the pain he felt the day that men's lacrosse coach Fran Shields cut him from the team during his sophomore year. "At the time, it was bitterly disappointing. But by the same token, it became an important life lesson. I realized that I had something very, very special by being on the team," Hale said. "And I wanted back badly. So I rededicated myself to making the team. They were some of the best times of my life."

>> Read More



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3.  Meinerz Awaits Call

Chargers Prospect Interview: UW Wisconsin OL Quinn Meinerz
 by Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

"In the summer of 2018, Denver Broncos scout Scott DiStefano stood on the sideline at Wisconsin Whitewater’s first full-pads practice of the year. DiStefano had traveled to the Division III powerhouse to study a senior offensive lineman named Nate Trewyn. Almost every team had sent a scout to evaluate Trewyn, and Whitewater Coach Kevin Bullis had grown used to the routine. A scout would come, watch Trewyn and then ask him if there was anybody else worth keeping tabs on.

After practice, DiStefano walked up to Bullis and dispensed with the usual question. He had already identified another player he wanted to know more about.

“Hey,” DiStefano asked. “How about the guy with the gut?”

>> Situational Awareness: "Quinn Meinerz has become one of the most fascinating figures of the NFL draft. A prospect from Division III, where the coronavirus pandemic canceled fall seasons, Meinerz improved his draft stock despite — or maybe, in retrospect, because of — not playing football for more than a year. He turned into a spring revelation after a dominant Senior Bowl performance, charmingly accompanied by viral photos of his stomach, boosted his draft position."

>> What's Next: "After high school, Meinerz received no big-school scholarship offers and wondered how many more years of football he had left. In the early spring, he hoped he would be drafted in the sixth or seventh round, just so he could hear his name called. By the fall, he might be your favorite team’s starting center."

>> Quotable: “He wants to show everybody that he’s special,” Bullis said. “I don’t say that as he’s arrogant. … He is humble as all get-out. But he knows that he’s talented, and he knows he was missed in high school. He’s not going to be missed with his opportunity here.”

>> The Final Word: Meinerz has been back in Wisconsin training at NX Level, and he has seen the Watt brothers (JJ, TJ) in recent weeks. Out of respect, he has avoided interrupting their work with an introduction. When reminded that next season he might have to block them, he offered a clarification. “I get to,” Meinerz said."

>> Keep Reading

Division III Draftees since 2007

  • Ben Bartch, OL, Saint John's, Jacksonville, 4th round, 2020
  • Ali Marpet, OL, Hobart, Tampa Bay, 2nd round, 2015
  • Chris Greenwood, CB, Albion, Detroit, 5th round, 2012
  • Cecil Shorts, WR, Mount Union, Jacksonville, 4th round, 2011
  • Andy Studebaker, DE/LB, Wheaton, Ill., Philadelphia, 6th round, 2008
  • Pierre Garcon, WR, Mount Union, Indianapolis, 6th round, 2008
  • Michael Allan, TE, Whitworth, Kansas City, 7th round, 2007
  • Derek Stanley, WR,RET, UW-Whitewater, Rams, 7th round, 2007


4. Regional Rankings Thursday

Here are the top teams in each region in this week's regional rankings.

Lacrosse (M)

  1. Tufts
  2. RIT
  3. Salisbury
  4. Lynchburg
  5. Illinois Wesleyan
Lacrosse (W)
  • E: Ithaca
  • GL: Denison
  • MA: Messiah
  • N: Framingham State
  • NE: Emmanuel
  • S: Salisbury
  • W: Chicago

Golf (W)

  • C: St. Catherine
  • E: Williams
  • GL: Carnegie Mellon
  • SE: Methodist
  • W: Redlands
Golf (M)
  • C: Illinois Wesleyan
  • GL: Denison
  • MA: Carnegie Mellon
  • NE: Rochester
  • SE: Methodist
  • W: Trinity, Texas


5. TLU Back on Top

Kelly Jurden (photo by Tim Clark)

This Week's NFCA Top 10

  1. Texas Lutheran (8), 27-4
  2. Virginia Wesleyan, 31-5-1
  3. (tie) Birmingham-Southern, 28-4
  4. (tie) Eastern Connecticut, 20-0
  5. DePauw, 25-2
  6. Belhaven, 27-8
  7. East Texas Baptist, 23-5
  8. Linfield, 31-5
  9. Moravian, 18-0
  10. Emory & Henry, 23-5
11-15: Berry, St. John Fisher, Salisbury, CNU, Wartburg
16-20: Randolph-Macon, St. Scholastica, TCNJ, Mount Union, Concordia (Wis.)
21-25: Rowan, St. Olaf, Williams, MSOE, Rochester

>> Hello: Williams, Rochester
>> Rising: Concordia, Wis. (+4), Birmingham-Southern (+3)
>> Slipping: MSOE (-7), Mount Union (-4)

>> Games to Watch: #8 Linfield vs. George Fox (Sat/Sun.); #22 St. Olaf vs. St. Catherine (Sat.); 

>> Complete Poll



6.  Comings and Goings

7.  It's About Time

President Biden opened his first joint address to Congress lauding the momentous nature of Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's presence behind him.

>> Why it matters: This is the first time the No. 1 and No. 2 people in the line of presidential succession are both women, Axios' Kadia Goba writes. "No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time," Biden said Wednesday night.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Hold That Line


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
>> Good Wednesday morning. 

>> Today's Word Count1,145 words (no more than 5 minutes)

>> Congrats to the Mary Hardin-Baylor (ASC), Webster (SLIAC) and Chapman (SCIAC) men and the Redlands women (SCIAC) on winning their respective Conference golf championships.

>> Thanks for reading D3Playbook. Share our newsletter with a friend.


1. Hold That Line

Colorado College – College Right
by Hallie Busta, Higher Ed Dive
  • Private higher education institutions kept their expenses in line with revenue during fiscal 2020, showing they "are flexible enough" to endure short economic contractions, a new report from Moody's Investors Service explains.
  • The nearly $14 billion in federal relief made available to colleges early in the pandemic offset some initial losses, according to the analysis, which is based on schools Moody's rates.
  • But continued expenses, lost revenue and enrollment declines have been a strain on colleges in the months since.

Operating revenue fell at half of the private institutions Moody's rates in fiscal 2020, up from 20% of schools the year before. But among large universities, it rose a median 1.5%. Overall, median net auxiliary revenue fell 19% during the year, compared to a 2% increase the prior year.

Some factors straining revenue may stem from pre-pandemic efforts to reduce students' cost of attendance. The median net tuition revenue increase per student of 1.6% in fiscal 2020 was half of what it was the prior year. And the median tuition discount rate at small private colleges rose two percentage points, to 46.8%. Enrollment decreases compounded the income loss, particularly at small schools."

>> The Big Picture: "Still, the schools' financial reserves remained intact. Low interest rates made debt an attractive option for financing capital spending and improving liquidity. Aggregate long-term debt rose 15% last year compared to 2% in 2019, though median capital spending was slightly lower in 2020 than the average of the prior three years."

>> What's Next: "Looking ahead, Moody's analysts say federal aid will help colleges' financial situation, but that enrollment declines this past fall will "constrain" revenue growth in fiscal 2021."

>> Continue Reading


2.  Understanding the Selection Process

Beginning Sunday night, NCAA Division III sports committees will tackle the task of selecting the fields for the 2021 spring championship tournaments. How do the committees arrive at these decisions? Glad you asked.

  • The size of the national championship field is determined by the Division III Championships Committee after receiving a recommendation from the various sports committees.
  • Pool A will be composed of the conference champions from each conference that meets the requirements for automatic qualification (NCAA Bylaw 31.3.2). Conferences that meet automatic-qualification requirements are guaranteed only one Pool A berth.
  • After the determination of the automatic (Pool A) berths, the committee will determine the Pool B selections followed by the Pool C selections.
  • Pool B will be composed of independent institutions and institutions that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification.
  • Pool C will be reserved for institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not their conference champion and the remaining teams in Pool B. There shall be a minimum of two berths in Pool C.
  • Berths from Pools B and C will be selected on a national basis, using regional selection criteria. There will be no predetermined regional allocations for Pools B and C.
  • To be considered during the at-large selection process (Pool B or C), an institution must play at least 70% of its competition against Division III in-region opponents, unless a waiver has been approved by the Division III Championships Committee.
  • There will be no maximum or minimum number of berths from one region.
  • No conference will receive more than one automatic berth.

The sports committee will select teams in Pools B and C based on the criteria below. The criteria of two or more teams will be compared to determine the higher-ranked team.

The primary criteria emphasize regional competition (all contests leading up to NCAA championships); all criteria listed will be evaluated (not listed in priority order).
  • Won-lost percentage against Division III opponents;
  • Division III head-to-head competition;
  • Results versus common Division III opponents;
  • Results versus ranked Division III teams as established by the final ranking. Conference postseason contests are included;
  • Division III strength of schedule. - Opponents’ Average Winning Percentage (OWP). - Opponents’ Opponents’ Average Winning Percentage (OOWP).
If the evaluation of the primary criteria does not result in a decision, the secondary criteria will be reviewed. All the criteria listed will be evaluated (not listed in priority order). The secondary criteria introduce results against out-of-region Division III and all other opponents including those contests versus opponents from other classifications (i.e., provisionals, NAIA, NCAA Divisions I and II).
  • Won-lost percentage during the last 25% of the season;
  • Non-Division III won-lost percentage;
  • Results versus common non-Division III opponents;
  • Division III non-conference strength of schedule.


3.  Membership Committee Recap

The NCAA Division III Membership Committee met virtually on April 15.

The committee reconsidered membership requirements for two institutions that did not cast a vote during the NCAA Division III Business Session at the 2021 NCAA Convention. NCAA staff provided the committee with voting system information that was not previously available.

  • The committee overturned its February 2021 decision and March 2021 reconsideration on Edgewood and Northland Colleges . As a result, neither schools will be placed on probation and will not be required to submit an athletics program assessment in 2022.
  • The committee revisited the issue of a method to determine if an institution has satisfied the Regional Rules Seminars attendance requirement. Attendance at Regional Rules Seminars is a requirement per NCAA Constitution where each member institution must attend once every three years. The committee confirmed at least one institutional representative must attend all six live webinars to be conducted June 7-9, 2021.
>> Read More

4.  Around the Diamond

photo: Nick Feldman

This Week's NCBWA/ Poll

  1. Trinity, Texas (15), 25-4
  2. Washington, Mo. (5), 22-3
  3. Webster, 25-5
  4. Salisbury, 16-3
  5. Marietta (1), 21-3
  6. Washington & Jefferson (1), 27-1
  7. Aurora, 24-4
  8. UW-Whitewater, 21-4
  9. North Central, Ill., 23-5
  10. Babson, 8-2
11-15: Rowan, NC Wesleyan, Adrian, Chapman (1), Shenandoah
16-20: Berry, Randolph-Macon, Coe, Wheaton, Mass., Centenary, La.
21-25: E. Connecticut, Southern Maine, William Paterson, Cal Lutheran, Wooster

>> Rising: Rowan (+5), Adrian (+5)
>> Falling: Cal Lutheran (-7)

>> Games to Watch: #4 Salisbury vs. Christopher Newport (Wed.); #9 North Central vs. Augustana (Wed.); #23 William Paterson vs. Montclair State (Thurs.); #20 Centenary vs. Texas Lutheran (Fri/Sat.)

>> Complete Poll
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5.  Comings and Goings

6. The College Degree Barrier

America's credentialism gap: Around 75% of new jobs that were added to the U.S. economy between 2008 and 2017 required college degrees or higher, but nearly 2/3 of the labor force lack those degrees, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

  • Between the lines: Making higher education a requirement has turned into a quick way for employers to find candidates with soft skills, like management or communication, even though these skills can be acquired elsewhere.

Go deeper.

courtesy of Axios

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