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
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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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