Friday, May 28, 2021

Athletes as Employees?


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

>> Good Friday Morning. The weekend is here!

>> Today's Word Count: 1,301 (5 minutes)

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1. Athletes as Employees?

Senate bill backed by Bernie Sanders would classify college athletes as  employees of their schools
by Dennis Dodd,

"College athletes would be considered employees who are able to collectively bargain for basic labor rights if a new Congressional bill introduced Thursday morning eventually becomes law.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT) have sponsored the College Athlete Right To Organize Act in the Senate. The bill defines "any college athlete as an employee if they receive direct compensation" from their school in terms of scholarship money.

That presents a direct challenge to the NCAA's long-held operating principle of amateurism that has allowed it to maintain control over college sports for decades.

The bill would prohibit any scholarship that would keep an athlete from collectively bargaining for their rights. Scholarships would be defined as compensation that would give athletes the right to collectively organize and have a say in their working conditions. Companion legislation was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Jamal Bowman (D-NY), Andy Levin (D-MI) and Lori Trahan (D-MA).

>> Point: "College athletes are students and not employees of their college or university. This bill would directly undercut the purpose of college: earning a degree. The NCAA and its member schools support student-athletes through scholarships -- many of which cover their full cost of education debt free -- and numerous other benefits. NCAA members also are committed to modernizing name, image and likeness rules so student-athletes can benefit from those opportunities but not become employees of their school." - NCAA

>> Counterpoint: "College athletes face exploitative and unfair labor practices by the National Collegiate Athletic Association ... (NCAA) and its member institutions, primarily through the denial of the basic economic and labor rights of such athletes, which the NCAA and its member institutions have justified by defining college athletes as amateurs."

>> Continue Reading
>> Full NCAA Statement



2. Restoring Retirement Benefit

by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

"With some exceptions, colleges and universities are planning to restore or have already restored the faculty retirement benefits they cut during COVID-19. Having fared better than expected during the pandemic in term of finances, certain institutions are even retroactively contributing to their professors’ retirement plans to make up for those cuts.

A forthcoming full-length report on faculty compensation from the American Association of University Professors says that more than a quarter of institutions eliminated or reduced fringe benefits for full-time faculty members during the 2020-21 academic year. Private institutions were much more likely to do so than public institutions."

>> Background: According to data from the College and University Professionals Association-Human Resources, 71 percent of college and universities contributed to employee 403(b) plans, the most commonly offered retirement plan in higher education, in January 2020. As of January 2021, that figure was just 63 percent.

>> Coming Back: While the AAUP and CUPA-HR don’t have current data on how many institutions plan to resume their stalled benefits, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, or TIAA, said that nearly all of its top 200 client institutions that are still suspending retirement matching contributions plan a full reinstatement by July 1."

>> Keep Reading



3.  Then There Were Two

The Division III men's lacrosse championship will be played Sunday at 4 p.m. at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. between #2 Salisbury and #3 RIT.

Tickets will be combined with the Division II National Championship and will be $20. An all-session pass is also available for $140, good for admittance to both Division I semifinal games on Saturday, Monday's Division I National Championship and Sunday's Division II and Division III Championship game. All tickets will be physically distanced in PODS per sets of two and four.

It will be the 19th appearance in the national final for the Sea Gulls who have captured the title 12 times (1994-95-99-2003-04-05-07-08-11-12-16-17). The Tigers play for the national title for the third time in program history and first since 2017. 

>> RIT Preview
>> Inside Lacrosse Podcast
>> Live Video

4.  Pomainville's Record Highlights Day One
Franklin Academy alumna Emily Pomainville ready for nationals amid stellar  outdoor track season at SUNY Geneseo | Local Sports |

A national record fell by the wayside on day one of the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field championship in Greensboro, N.C.

Geneseo senior Emily Pomainville shattered a 17-year-old record in the 1500 meters, winning her prelim in a record time of 4:13.69. Liz Woodworth of UW-Oshkosh set the previous mark of 4:15,20 in 2004.

Pomainville went out in 49.03 and kept it remarkably consistent the rest of the way – 68.40, 69.20 and 67.05. Her time was 19 seconds faster than the second-best qualifying time.

>> Results

5.  Day One Recap

Leah Wood NCAA Championships

The NCAA Division III softball championship concluded day one with four teams with victories and four teams facing elimination.

DePauw d. UW-Oshkosh, 2-1
  • The Tigers (39-3) scored two runs in the fifth and Cami Henry did the rest from the circle, allowing just three hits. [Link]
Texas Lutheran d. Tufts, 4-3
  • The Bulldogs (33-4) struck for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to overcome the Jumbos. Laura Hernandez hit a game-tying HR and Rebecca Snow added the walk-off RBI single. [Link]
Virginia Wesleyan d. St. Thomas, Minn., 3-0
  • Hanna Hull twirled a two-hit complete-game shutout for the Marlins (41-5-1). Kayla Womack delivered a two-run 1B in the sixth and scored later in the inning. [Link]
Birmingham-Southern d. Rochester, 3-2 (9 innings)
  • Leah Wood belted a walk-off HR in the bottom of the ninth for the Panthers (32-6)

6.  Championship Weekend

Women's Rowing Set to Compete for a National Championship at 2021 NCAA DIII Championships; Watch Live

The NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing championship will be held May 28-29 at the Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, hosted by the University of Central Florida and Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates.

The 2V8 will take to the water at 8:12 a.m. on Friday, while the 1V8 competes at 8:48 a.m. The petite and grand finals will begin around 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Lane Assignments

Heat A: Bates (3), Wesleyan (4), Pacific Lutheran (2)
Heat B: Ithaca (3), Hamilton (4), Washington College (2)

Heat A: Wesleyan (3), Pacific Lutheran (4) Ithaca (2)
Heat B: Hamilton (3), Bates (4), Washington College (2) 

>> Live Video


7. Comings and Goings



8. The COVID Sniffers


"Meet the Covid-sniffers: Millie, Kyp, Lexi, Marlow, Asher, and Tala are six British canines who can tell if you have Covid-19. Trained by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham University, the dogs can discern by scent whether people have Covid, even if they're asymptomatic. That’s because Covid-19 comes with its own odor, which we relatively anosmic human beings cannot smell (even when our sense of smell is normal and not affected by the disease).

A study of the dogs' smelling talent has not yet been peer-reviewed, but Durham University calls it the “most extensive of its kind,” adding that “the preliminary results show that specially trained dogs can rapidly, noninvasively sniff out Covid-19.”

Durham says the dogs could, for example, in just 30 minutes smell all the Covid infections among 300 passengers about to board a plane. So let’s say your college’s rec center just reopened and is not requiring masks; you must be vaccinated, but it’s on the honor system. Having a dog like Kyp, trained to sniff entering sportspeople, might make a difference to you and your workout companions’ health."

- courtesy of Chronicle of Higher Education

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Fly Eagles Fly!


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: 754. Smart, concise, worthy of your time.

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1. Fly Eagles Fly!

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS - Emory Men's Tennis Tops Case Western In NCAA D-III Title Match NATIONAL CHAMPIONS - Emory Women's Tennis Blanks Wesleyan to Capture Title

Emory became the first school since 2013 to capture both the men's and women's team tennis championships in the same season. The Eagle men downed Case Western Reserve, 5-2, while the women bounced defending champion Wesleyan, 5-0.

The men took a 2-1 lead after doubles and after splitting points at #1 and #3 singles, Emory put the match away as Will Wanner won in straight sets at #4 and first-year Noah Shah ended it with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph at #6. It is the sixth men's title for the Eagles and third in four seasons.

>> Men's Recap
>> Post-Match Interview 
>> Championship Point

The Emory women were dominant in taking their eighth NCAA title and first since 2016. Three doubles victories took just 50 minutes and #1 Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico and #6 Jessica Fatemi won their singles matches in straight sets just moments apart to clinch the championship.

>> Women's Recap
>> Post-Match Interview
>> Championship Point

The individual championships begin on Friday. Ethan Hillis of Washington (Mo.) is the #1 seed in men's singles, while Case Western duo James Hopper and Matthew Chen are the top seed in men's doubles.  On the women's side, Gonzalez-Rico is the top seed in singles as well as doubles with teammate Katie Chang.

>> Championship Central



2. Let's Play Three

The opening day of the NCAA Division III baseball regionals is today and features three games apiece at eight different sites. We are keeping an eye on these games.

  • #9 Trinity, Texas (28-7) vs. Johns Hopkins (11-3), 12:00 ET
  • #2 Washington & Jefferson (38-1) vs. Birmingham-Southern (25-14), 2:30 ET
  • #18 Oswego (24-5) vs. Husson (22-7), 2:30 ET
  • #25 Chapman (13-4) vs. Texas-Dallas (29-10), 3:30 ET
  • #16 St. John Fisher (31-5) vs. #17 North Carolina Wesleyan (32-8), 6:00 ET


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3. Salem, We Are Here

The NCAA Division III softball championship is down to the elite eight and begins double-elimination play today.

  • #1 DePauw vs. #8 UW-Oshkosh, 11:00 ET
  • #4 Texas Lutheran vs. #5 Tufts, 1:30 ET
  • #2 Virginia Wesleyan vs. #7 St. Thomas, Minn., 4:00 ET
  • #3 Birmingham-Southern vs. #6 Rochester, 6:30 ET

>> Live Video
>> Championship Central


4.  Take Your Mark

It's the opening day of the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field championships in Greensboro, N.C. There are eight finals on tap for Thursday and we are watching these events.

Pole Vault (M): Can UW-Stout junior Noah Zastow break the DIII record of 5.45m? His best vault this season is 5.36m.

10,000 (W): The record of 33:50.32 is in jeopardy from Parley Hannan of Ithaca who recorded a 34:12.50 earlier this spring.

>> Championship Information
>> Schedule of Events
>> Heat Sheets


5. All-America

The 2021 Women's Golf Coaches Association Division III All-America team.

First Team

  • Jillian Drinkard, Methodist
  • Hannah Jugar, Redlands
  • Megan Kanaby, Washington and Lee
  • Hunter Kehoe, Saint Mary's, Ind.
  • Alexis Sudjianto, Carnegie Mellon
  • Rylee Suttor, Centre
  • Alison Takamiya, George Fox
  • Makensie Toole, George Fox

Player of the Year: Jillian Drinkard, Methodist
Freshman of the Year: Makensie Toole, George Fox
Coach of the Year: Tom Inczauskis, Methodist

>> All-America | All-Region Teams
>> Complete Awards Release


6.  Comings and Goings



7. The Great American Cleanup


As our masks come off, The Wall Street Journal is calling it "The Great American Cleanup" (subscription):

Deodorant, teeth whitener and condoms are in high demand. Sales of perfume, nail polish, swimsuits, sunscreen, tuxedos, luggage and alarm clocks are climbing fast ... Beauty products ... were big sellers during the most recent quarter at Walmart Inc., finance chief Brett Biggs said.

- courtesy of Axios

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Net Glory


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

>> Today's Word Count: 1,133

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1. Net Glory


The NCAA Division III women's tennis championship is on the line this morning beginning at 10 a.m. at the Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Emory d. Tufts, 5-2

  • Stephanie Taylor's three-set win at #3 singles turned the tide for the Eagles (8-3) [Link]
Wesleyan d. Kenyon, 5-1
  • Serim Jim did not drop a game at #4 singles to power the defending champion Cardinals (10-0). [Link]

Probable Starters

1) Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico/Katie Cheng (E) vs. Katie Fleischman/Venia Yeung (W)
2) Taylor/Christina Watson (E) vs. Caitlin Goldberg/Kristina Yu (W)
3) Ana Cristina Perez/Lauren Yoon (E) vs. Alexis Almy/Megan Tran (W)

1) Gonzalez (E) vs. Yeung (W)
2) Watson (E) vs. Fleischman (W)
3) Taylor (E) vs. Almy (W)
4) Perez (E) vs. Jin (W)
5) Defne Olcay (E) vs. Yu (W)
6) Jessica Fatemi (E) vs. Goldberg (W)

Notable: Wesleyan is the defending champion, while Emory won the most recent of its seven titles in 2016. Three of the Eagle championships came at the expense of a NESCAC opponent.

>> Live Video
>> Live Stats
>> Tournament Central


2.  All UAA Final


It's an all UAA final as Emory takes on Case Western Reserve for the NCAA Division III men's tennis championship at 3 p.m.

Emory d. Johns Hopkins, 5-1

  • Hayden Cassone and Alec Rabinowitz pulled out a 7-4 tiebreaker at #1 to power an Eagle (9-3) doubles sweep. [Link]
Case Western d. Washington (Mo.), 5-4
  • Jonathan Powell earned the deciding point at #5 singles, winning 6-4 in the third set for the Spartans (14-2). [Link]

Probable Starters

1) Cassone/Rabinowitz (E) vs. Matthew Chen/James Hopper (C)
2) Andrew Esses/Will Wanner (E) vs. Neil Mabee/Powell (C)
3) Sahil Raina/Nolan Shah (E) vs. Chaitanya Aduru/Anthony Kanam (C)

1) Cassone (E) vs. Hopper (C)
2) Antonio Mora (E) vs. Vishwa Aduru (C)
3) Esses (E) vs. Matthew Chen (C)
4) Wanner (E) vs. Aduru (C)
5) Mark Sverdlov (E) vs. Powell (C)
6) Shah (E) vs. Kanam (C)

Notable: Emory is the defending champion and has won five titles, including two of the last three. It is the first team final for any sport at CWRU. The Eagles won the 2017 championship in Chattanooga by a 5-2 count over Claremont-M-S.

>> Live Video
>> Live Stats
>> Tournament Central


3.  Regional Athletes of the Year

Regional Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field season were announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Each of the eight regions – Atlantic, Central, Great Lakes, Mideast, Midwest, New England, South/Southeast and West – honored both genders’ top track athletes and field athletes as well as the top men’s and women’s head coaches and assistant coaches.

Men's Track / Field Athletes of the Year

Atlantic: Jah'mere Beasley, Rowan / Kyle Rollins, St. John Fisher
Central: Matthew Wilkinson, Carleton / Steve Peper, St. Olaf
Great Lakes: Alex Phillip, John Carroll / Josh Miller, Capital
Mideast: Jared Pangallozzi, Johns Hopkins / Justin Kiefel, Carnegie Mellon
Midwest: Derrick Jackson, Knox / Marcus Weaver, UW-Eau Claire
New England: Travis Martin, Trinity (Conn.) / Ben Drummey, Southern Maine
South/Southeast: JP Vaught, Centre / Luke Ballard, Birmingham-Southern
West: Frankie Reid, Lewis & Clark / Nicholas McGill, Wentworth

Women's Track / Field Athletes of the Year

Atlantic: Emily Pomainville, Geneseo / Emily Lavarnway, Geneseo
Central: Aubrie Fisher, Wartburg / Terrianna Black, Loras
Great Lakes: Anastasia Tucker, Hope / Courtney Phoennik, John Carroll
Mideast: Esther Seeland, Messiah / Annie Gutierrez, Johns Hopkins
Midwest: Favor Ezewuzie, Wheaton (Ill.) / Megan Wallace, UW-Eau Claire
New England: Danielle Page, Tufts / Lia Rotti, Tufts
South/Southeast: Adalia Coleman, Bridgewater / Jordyn White, Trinity (Texas)
West: Bailey Forsyth, Pacific Lutheran / Meg Angier, Linfield

>> Complete List of Honorees

4.  Pat Damore 1930-2021

Dr. Patrick Damore, a longtime Fredonia State athletics coach, administrator and former conference commissioner, passed away Sunday, May 23, at the age of 90.

Dr. Damore was a member of the college's coaching staff, teaching faculty, and athletic administration for 29 years. He served as commissioner of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) for 33 years.

A 1952 graduate of Brockport State, Dr. Damore's long and distinguished career in athletics began at Hammond Central High School where he served as a coach and athletic director. He moved to the collegiate ranks in 1956 when he hired as an assistant professor and coach at Fredonia State. He coached Blue Devil men's soccer, men's basketball, and men's tennis and served as athletic director from 1968 until 1985 before becoming the first commissioner of the SUNYAC, part-time beginning in 1979 and full-time starting in 1985. When he retired on June 30, 2012, he was the longest-serving NCAA conference commissioner in the nation.

Dr. Damore also served as president of the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America, president of the College Division Commissioner's Association, and founded the National Intercollegiate Soccer Rating System in 1968. He received the NCAA Division III Commissioner's Association Meritorious Service Award in 2003, the ECAC James Lynah Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2003, the SUNYAC Distinguished Service Award in 1983 (which has been renamed The Patrick R. Damore Distinguished Service Award), and The Bill Jeffrey Award in 1979 for contributions to national collegiate soccer.

>> Quotable I: "No one cared and believed in the SUNYAC as much as Pat Damore.  If it was his license plate that read SUNYAC 1 or the conference meetings, Pat made all us feel like we were part of something special in the SUNYAC. Everyone had a voice in his meetings and he treated every person like family." - Erick Hart, Brockport

>> Quotable II: "Pat Damore was a pioneer and a leader among not just the SUNYAC athletic administrators, but among the Division III Commissioners. He was a genuine human being and just a really nice person, and every time we met he would say that the conference was in great hands and I was doing a great job – that meant more to me than he would every know." - Tom DiCamillo, SUNYAC commissioner

>> Read More


5.  Around the Diamond

Thirty-Win Season Achieved, Baseball Sets Sights on MIAA Championship Weekend

This Week's NCBWA/ Poll

  1. Washington, Mo. (18), 28-3
  2. Washington & Jefferson (4), 36-1
  3. Webster (1), 35-6
  4. Marietta (1), 35-4
  5. UW-Whitewater, 37-5
  6. Salisbury, 25-4
  7. Rowan (1), 25-4
  8. Aurora, 37-6
  9. Trinity, Texas, 28-7
  10. Adrian, 32-7

>> Rising: Cortland (+7), St. John Fisher (+7)
>> Falling: Babson (-6), Coe (-6)
>> Welcome: St. Thomas (Minn.), Chapman
>> Ta-Ta: William Paterson, Augustana

>> Complete Poll

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6.  Comings and Goings
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