Thursday, April 1, 2021

Amateurism on Trial


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1. Amateurism On Trial

Supreme Court Justices Could Side With Athletes Against the NCAA
by Dan Murphy, ESPN

"The justices of the Supreme Court of the United States questioned whether amateurism is an essential part of the NCAA's business model Wednesday during a landmark hearing for the future of college sports while also expressing concerns about starting a slippery slope of judicial rulings that could lead to the destruction of an American tradition.

The Supreme Court heard more than 90 minutes of oral arguments Wednesday morning in the NCAA v. Alston case, the first time the nation's highest court has weighed in on the business of college sports in nearly four decades. The question in front of the court is whether the NCAA deserves special relief from normal antitrust rules in order to protect its educational mission and preserve a tradition of amateurism in college sports. The court is expected to make a ruling sometime in late spring or early summer.

Seth Waxman, the NCAA's lead attorney, and the NCAA claim that the unpaid status of college athletes is a key part of their appeal to consumers. Waxman says that because amateurism is the characteristic that sets the NCAA apart from others in the marketplace of sports entertainment, the organization should get to decide how to define the line between amateurs and professionals. He said that the ruling in district court amounted to a judge micromanaging the NCAA's business.

Plaintiff's attorney Jeffrey Kessler and several of the justices pushed back on the idea that providing athletes with money would cause the public to lose interest in college sports."

>> What They're Saying: "The courts are appropriately focused on that, but we believe nothing bad will happen," Kessler told ESPN on Wednesday afternoon. "Just like nothing bad happened after the O'Bannon case they lost. Nothing bad happened after the Board of Regents case they lost. Nothing bad happened after the NCAA v. Law case that they lost. They always warn, the NCAA, that this will be the thing that ruins college sports. And what we find instead is that when they're forced to comply with the law it actually helps college sports."

>> Yes, But: "I think if we really have a case here, it's a tough case for me," Justice Stephen Breyer said. "This is not an ordinary product. This is an effort to bring into the world something that has brought joy and all kinds of things to millions and millions of people, and it's only partly economic. OK, so, I worry a lot about judges getting into the business of deciding how amateur sports should be run."

>> Continue Reading
>> Go Deeper with Sportico


2. Hall of Famers

A pair of former Division III athletic directors have been selected to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

Dr. Cathie Schweitzer To Be Inducted Into NACDA Hall of Fame

Cathie Schweitzer, Springfield College
Schweitzer is the first-ever Springfield College Director of Athletics to be inducted into the NACDA Hall of Fame. She became the first female director of athletics on Alden Street in 2000 after serving as associate athletic director for the previous four years. Under Schweitzer's direction, Springfield captured 59 conference championships, had 24 individual national champions, and eight team national champions. She instilled a commitment to giving back to the community as Springfield College Athletics continually received the Jostens/National Association Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) Community Service Award.

>> Read More on Schweitzer

Photo of Julie Soriero in Rockwell Cage at MIT.

Julie Soriero, MIT
Soriero arrived at MIT in July 2007 as the Director of Athletics and the Department Head of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER). Retiring in January 2020, she led MIT intercollegiate athletics through a transformation into one of the top intercollegiate athletic programs in the country. 

Boasting one the largest athletics programs in the country with 33 varsity sports, under her leadership, MIT captured numerous New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships and was awarded both the men's and women's NEWMAC President's Cups from 2016-17 through 2018-19. Competitively, MIT finished consistently in the top 10 in the Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup during much of her tenure, including an Institute-record second-place finish in 2017-18.

>> Read More on Soriero

The honorees will be recognized in conjunction with the 56th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention, to be held virtually, July 27-28. 



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3. The Penultimate Round

Since the more popular phrase to describe the remaining four teams in a bracket is trademarked, we'll go with big words like penultimate to describe the DIII Fight Song Madness semifinals.

We've asked you to participate all week ... and we thank all those who have voted. Now - can you get your institution's fight song to the championship round?

Semifinal I (click on link to listen)

The Heidelberg Victory March - Heidelberg 
The Washington and Lee Swing - Washington and Lee

Semifinal II

On! Mount to Victory - Mount Union 
Hail Adrian! - Adrian 

>> Vote for your favorite on Twitter @D3Playbook


4. In the Circle

This Week's NFCA Top 10

  1. Linfield (8), 19-1
  2. Virginia Wesleyan, 17-3-1
  3. Texas Lutheran, 16-4
  4. Christopher Newport, 14-6
  5. East Texas Baptist, 13-3
  6. Salisbury, 12-4
  7. DePauw, 16-2
  8. Kean, 10-0
  9. Birmingham-Southern, 20-3
  10. Belhaven, 17-6
11-15: St. John Fisher, E. Connecticut, Transylvania, Berry, Moravian
16-20: Wartburg, MSOE, Dubuque, Emory & Henry, Mount Union
21-25: Alvernia, Cortland (tie), Randolph-Macon (tie), Saint Benedict, Aurora

>> Hello: Alvernia, Cortland, Aurora

>> Games to Watch: #4 CNU vs. Bridgewater (Thu)

>> Complete Poll



5.  At The Net


This Week's AVCA Men's Top 15
  1. Springfield (14), 3-0
  2. Carthage (7), 16-0
  3. Dominican, 12-1
  4. Vassar, 4-2
  5. New Paltz, 1-3
  6. St. John Fisher, 6-3
  7. Benedictine, 10-2
  8. Endicott, 5-2
  9. Juniata, 12-2
  10. North Central, Ill., 9-3
11-15: Kean, Southern Virginia, Nazareth, Rutgers-Newark, Lancaster Bible

>> Welcome: Kean, Nazareth

>> Matches to Watch: #7 Benedictine vs. UC Santa Cruz (Thu); #4 Vassar vs. #6 St. John Fisher (Fri); Mount St. Joseph vs. Mount Union (Sat)

>> Complete Poll

This Week's AVCA Women's Top 10
  1. Colorado College (30), 12-0
  2. Trinity, Texas, 11-2
  3. Texas-Dallas (1), 16-0
  4. Transylvania, 15-1
  5. Carthage, 4-1
  6. Berry, 8-0
  7. Millikin, 4-1
  8. Elmhurst, 5-0
  9. Mary Hardin-Baylor, 12-2
  10. Birmingham-Southern, 7-1
11-15: Coe, Otterbein (tie), Whitworth (tie), Calvin, Muskingum
16-20: Northwestern, Greenville, Mount St. Joseph, Stockton, Westminster (Mo.)
21-25: Hope, Cornell, Aurora, Ohio Northern, Webster

>> Hello: Ohio Northern

>> Matches to Watch: #12 Otterbein vs. #15 Muskingum (Fri); #6 Berry vs. #10 Birmingham-Southern (Sat)

>> Complete Poll


6.  League of Pigs

Yes, you read that correctly. League. Of. Pigs.

"Pigs from across the globe travel to the heart of England to race in the greatest Pig Championship of all time."

Except for the random county fair, they might be right.


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