Monday, June 28, 2021

Is College Admission Rigged?


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
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1. Is College Admission Rigged?

by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

"Susan F. Paterno is not a fan of college admissions. It favors the wealthy over the poor and good test-taking skills over being a good person, and the system's many twists are invisible to most people, she says.

Paterno gets to share her gripes with the system -- and also to talk about why college is important -- in her new book, Game On: Why College Admission Is Rigged and How to Beat the System (St. Martin's Press). Paterno is director of the journalism program at Chapman University.

>> Situational Awareness: "So many of us are in what admission executives call the “unhooked” category -- we have no legal advantage that so many colleges confer. I wrote the book to help families like ours beat a broken system, to give parents the information they need to find and access quality, affordable degrees for their children. Even more important, I want to empower people to change this busted system and make it fair and equitable."

>> Why It Matters: "Nearly all students choose schools based on factors other than affordability, a Gallup poll found, confusing “right fit” with being accepted to a “dream college” regardless of cost. Colleges and families define “right fit” very differently. Families use emotion to find “right fit” colleges. Colleges use logic, algorithms and secret formulas to find “right fit” students to meet revenue goals. That disconnect -- between what colleges and students want -- can lead to debt and disappointment. Emotion, not logic, is why parents send their children to colleges they can’t afford."

>> The Bottom Line: "The pandemic shone a bright light on how free-market lawmakers have turned higher education into a ruthless market. If we want to make affordable degrees an unalienable right for everyone, we have to rewrite the rules that rigged the game in the first place. Once considered a social obligation, higher education has been rebranded as a benefit."

>> The Final Word: "Until voters elect lawmakers committed to making public higher education a right, not an entitlement, the hunger games of higher education will persist."

>> Continue Reading



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2. The Real Deal

by Chris Burt, University Business

"Soccer team Real Madrid is not only one of the biggest brands in sports but also one of the biggest in the world. Consider that it has 250 million social media followers, and the majority aren’t from their home country of Spain. By comparison, the New York Yankees have 14 million.

It is no accident that this franchise has mastered the art of marketing, technology and analytics to achieve its status as the most followed team in the world. But what many may not know is that it also has a graduate school in conjunction with Universidad Europea that delivers some 25 master’s degree programs to students interested in sports management, health and communications.

That connection to academia sparked an idea from a soccer fan who also just happens to be the Dean of the School of Business at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. Dr. Gregory Prastacos and the leadership team reached out to Real to see about potential interest in a partnership, one that could launch a dual-degree program in sports and technology for Stevens students here and in Spain."

>> Background: "In August, the first cohort will embark on a journey that will deliver two semesters on the New Jersey campus, a summer of learning abroad and a return back home for a semester that culminates in December 2022. The goal is to give students an MBA experience that is both classroom-driven but also experiential, working alongside the best in the world."

>> Worth Noting: "Among the areas they’ll be exploring, which have become big drivers of success among all elite sports organizations, are: data analytics, sports performance, artificial intelligence, smart venues, Internet of Things, virtual reality and blockchain. Students will receive Stevens’ MBA core curriculum and work toward a degree from Real Madrid Graduate School–Universidad Europea (EURM-UE) in digital transformation and sport technologies."

>> What They're Saying: “We have been very consciously trying to develop a learning model that is not just classroom experience. It’s a learning model that involves learning by doing. The best way to do that is to have industry partners," said Prastacos.

>> Keep Reading

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3.  The Battle IS the Warm-up Pool

Swimming warm-up timing | ZwemZa
by Laine Higgins, Wall Street Journal

"Last month, Mariah Denigan graduated from high school in Kentucky. This week she’s here competing in the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials against swimmers she has idolized most of her life for a spot on Team USA. But no one gets a chance at their Olympic dreams if they don’t survive the warm-up pool first.

The warm-up pool is the place where hundreds of swimmers frantically swim over, through and on top of each other, all at once, to prepare for their races. There are no rules or pecking order. Packed 20 or more to a lane, they swim different strokes, at different speeds, with little decorum.

“It’s every man for himself there,” said Michael Phelps, now retired and attending the trials as a spectator for the first time since 1996. “You’ve got to get your stuff done, so I literally would crush people.”

>> Situational Awareness: "On any given day, hundreds of athletes jump into the warm-up pool, which consists of six 25-yard and eight 50-meter lanes. It was built for temporary use in a convention center ballroom adjacent to the pop-up competition pool in the CHI Health Center Arena. The chaos owes to the nature of how swimmers use the pool: Some spend an hour lapping slow and steady, some hit the water for precisely timed 50s or bursts of all-out speed, others whip out kickboards and further clog the lanes. “It’s like salmon trying to all get up a stream swimming on top of each other,” said Northwestern University associate head coach Andrew Hodgson."

>> Signs of the Times: "Part of adjusting to the chaotic aquatic environment is learning the code of how to swim around the slowpoke in front of you. It’s a bit like driving on the highway, if fingers and toes were turn signals. Tickling the toes of the swimmer ahead of you is a warning; a pinch or a slap on the lower extremities means make yourself narrow so the caboose can pass. If someone grabs your ankles? You might as well sink to the bottom of the pool immediately."

>> Quotable: “Some people just don’t go into the middle of the lane when they pass you,” said Katie Crom, a 17-year-old who competes with California’s vaunted Mission Viejo Nadadores Swim Club. “They just kind of crush you into the lane line.”

>> Swim Deeper 


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4.  From DIII to MLB

Adrian College's Parsons moves quickly through Cardinals farm system | The  Blade
by Amanda Levine, Toledo Blade

"Tommy Parsons has quickly gone from undrafted to underrated to an unabated climb through the minor leagues.

In three seasons, the 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher from NCAA Division III Adrian College cruised through the St. Louis Cardinals system and finds himself one rung from the major leagues.

Parsons is in Toledo this week with Triple-A Memphis. He made a relief appearance Tuesday and is scheduled to start Sunday's series finale.

He's trying to become a rare breed: from Division III to MLB."

>> History Lesson: "The most notable pitcher to come out of Division III is seven-time All-Star closer Billy Wagner (Ferrum College). Former Tiger Jordan Zimmermann came from Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point."

>> The Key Stats: After not hearing his name in the 2018 draft, he was signed by the Cardinals and quickly progressed through the system, playing at four levels in 2019 - Single-A Peoria, Advanced-A Palm Beach, Double-A Springfield, and one game with Memphis. Overall in three minor league seasons, Parsons is 17-14 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.175 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).

>> What They're Saying: "It's really unbelievable," Adrian College coach Craig Rainey said. "If you had asked me when he signed with the Cardinals, if he would've been up to Triple-A as quickly as he would have, I would have said maybe in a dream you get there that quickly. But he's just determined. He's a kid that's very focused and very determined, and I'm not surprised."

>> Of Note: "Still, Parsons is one level away from accomplishing his ultimate goal. For an undrafted Division III pitcher, his journey is extra special. "It's a chance to show that guys from DIII can play," he said.

>> Read More


Head Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Coach

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, a Division III institution and a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) is seeking applications for the Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach opening.

Leads a competitive NCAA Division III men’s and women’s cross country and track and field program that aligns with the University mission, fosters academic success, and provides service-learning opportunities for student athletes. The ideal candidate adheres to the NCAA Division III philosophy, possesses outstanding communication skills, exhibits dynamic leadership and motivational abilities, strives for excellence in teaching and student-athlete development, has highly effective recruiting skills, and thrives in a collaborative team environment.

For more information go to the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Website 

Head Field Hockey Coach

Wilkes University invites applicants for Head Field Hockey coach, a full-time, 12-month administrative staff position in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics reporting to the Director of Athletics.

The successful candidate is responsible for effectively directing and administering all aspects of a successful program with particular emphasis on recruiting, monitoring academic progress, individual skill development, budget management and staff supervision. The head field hockey coach is involved in community service activities and alumni events. Additional responsibilities will be assigned in the department of intercollegiate athletics.

To apply, visit and click “Jobs at Wilkes”. Please be sure to include a cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae and three references including names, titles, full mailing address, telephone numbers and email addresses.

>> Contact us to Post your position here

5.  Comings and Goings

6.  Springsteen Reopens Broadway

Bruce Springsteen's one-man "Springsteen on Broadway" reopened for a vaccinated audience at St. James Theater — the first full-length Broadway show since COVID shuttered Broadway in March of 2020.

  • "I am here tonight to provide proof of life,” The Boss said, per the N.Y. Times — a line from the monologue of his original show, which began in 2017 and ran 236 performances before closing in 2018.
  - courtesy of Axios
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Thursday, June 24, 2021



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


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Alston vs NCAA
by Nina Totenberg, NPR

"Faced with the prospect of reshaping college athletics, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrow but potentially transformative ruling Monday in a case that pitted college athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

At issue in the case were NCAA rules that limit educational benefits for college players as part of their scholarships.

The athletes maintained that the NCAA has, in effect, been operating a system that is a classic restraint of competition — in short, a system that violates the nation's antitrust laws. The NCAA countered that its rules are largely exempt from antitrust laws because they are aimed at preserving amateurism in college sports and because the rules "widen choices for consumers by distinguishing college sports from professional sports."

On Monday, however, a unanimous court ruled that the NCAA rules are not reasonably necessary to distinguish between college and professional sports."

>> Situational Awareness: "So what is likely to happen now that colleges and universities recruiting student athletes can offer all manner of educational benefits? "This is a victory for students," declared Oliver Luck, a former top NCAA official, a former NFL player and the father of three former college athletes. "If you're a star gymnast and you're 17 years old and choosing between three different schools, those schools theoretically could offer you all sorts of academically related benefits," said Luck. "A year abroad, internships. They could pay for your law school or medical school if you decided to."

>> Yes, But: "Len Elmore, a former NBA and college basketball star, and a lawyer who teaches sports law at Columbia University, worries about an arms race in college recruitment that would defeat the quid-pro-quo that inspired athletic scholarships — namely, that the athletes get a free education they could not otherwise afford, graduating without debt."

>> Quotable: "Hopefully, it will also swing the doors open to further change, so that we can finally see a fair and competitive compensation system in which these incredible players get to benefit from the economic fruits of their labors and pursue their educational objectives," Jeffrey Kessler, lead counsel for the athletes said. "Only then will the NCAA truthfully be able to say it is devoted to the welfare of the student athletes."

>> Continue Reading
>> "The NCAA's Massive Loss in Alston, Explained"
>> Supreme Court Hands NCAA 9-0 Loss (Extra Points podcast)



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2. NCAA Expected to Adopt Solution

by Ross Dellenger, Sports Illustrated

"NCAA officials are targeting a new, simplified solution to allow athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness—just in the nick of time, too.

The organization, having abandoned exhaustive NIL legislation that’s been ready for months, is expected to now adopt a more permissive, alternative model most similar to the one proposed last week by six Division I conference commissioners, sources tell Sports Illustrated.

A week before a cascade of state laws threatens to plunge college sports into a proverbial inequitable playing field, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, the division’s highest ranked governing body made up of school presidents and chancellors, is scheduled to meet virtually Thursday and further explore the alternative model."

>> Why The Rush: "At least six states have an NIL law that takes effect July 1: Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Thirteen more states have passed laws that take effect at a later date, including two, Nebraska and Oklahoma, that could kick in at any point. Five more bills await a governor’s signature to become law, including an Oregon bill that takes effect July 1."

>> Background: "Under the plan, effective July 1, the NCAA would mostly exempt itself from NIL. Schools in states with an NIL law may follow that law without penalty, and schools located in states without a statute are granted permission to each create and administer their own NIL policy, as long as they use guiding principles such as prohibiting NIL ventures designed as pay-for-play or recruiting inducements."

>> What's Next: "As part of this solution, the Board of Directors would not create new policy but would grant relief of existing legislation, sources say, such as waiving the enforcement of NCAA bylaws that prohibit athletes earning compensation from their NIL."

>> DIII Take: The Interpretations and Legislation Committee reintroduced January's NIL proposal as noncontroversial legislation with an effective date of July 1 or immediate if after July 1. The change in effective date aligns with the states that have passed NIL legislation with an effective date of July 1. Any action taken by the Administrative Committee this summer would be reported to and ratified at the 2022 NCAA Convention.

>> Continue Reading


See how PrestoSports helps keep Hardin-Simmons ahead of the game, check out their story here: Learn More

3. PROP Goes the Rulebook

The NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel has been busy over the last few days with announcements in the sports of soccer, swimming, wrestling and women's volleyball.


  • Approved extending a rules change from the 2020 season that enhanced the penalty for spitting at or biting an opponent, or anyone involved in a men’s or women’s soccer match, to a two-game suspension and categorizing it as a violent behavior II red-card violation.
  • The COVID-19 waivers from the 2020 season also will be extended into the 2021 season. Those waivers include allowing the coaching and team areas to be extended beyond 20 yards from the 5-yard neutral zone and allowing the referee to visually/verbally verify the box score information is correct if using a paper official NCAA box score.

>> Keep Reading


  • Approved clarifying the rule regarding the minimum number of officials who must be present to conduct an official swimming and diving meet. The minimum number of officials required for dual meets is two, and the minimum for invitational meets is four.
  • Approved adjusting the wording around the bona fide competition criteria for USA Swimming and USA Diving meets that may be part of a team’s schedule, including the competition must be between two or more teams of the same gender from different collegiate schools and at the same time and site.
>> Read More

  • Approved wrestling rules changes that allow the referee to correct timing errors when that referee has reasonable knowledge of the correction that needs to be made.   
  • Approved changing the first sudden-victory overtime period to two minutes in length.
  • Moving weigh-ins to two hours or sooner before the start time of each day of competition in multi-day individual or team advancement tournaments.
>> Continue Reading

  • Approved an experimental rule allowing teams to begin a match with two video coach’s challenges in conference matches only for the 2021 season. If a match reaches the fifth set, each team would be awarded an additional challenge. Teams would be allowed to carry a maximum of two challenges into the fifth set.
  • For nonconference matches, the current rules that allow each team three challenges per match, regardless of the outcome of the video review, will be used.
>> Go Deeper

Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

Oversees daily operations of the university’s athletics department communications. Manages the publicity of the university's athletic department and disseminates information about student athletes and their accomplishments to support and promote university athletics. Represents the university's athletic department as a liaison with local media as well as with other university departments. Manages website content to include game day results, student athletes and their accomplishments, and athletic team related information. Oversees athletics marketing and promotions, digital media, social media and communications planning as needed. For more information, click here.

Assistant Coach, Women's Soccer

Muhlenberg College, a Division III institution and a member of the Centennial Conference is seeking applications for a part-time Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach opening. Coaching or collegiate playing experience and a four-year college degree are preferred. Responsibilities include assisting the head coach in all phases of the soccer program within the college, conference, and NCAA rules and regulations; including evaluating, identifying, and recruiting prospective student-athletes; and planning and implementing strategies into daily practices. For more information, go to the Muhlenberg College website

Head Athletic Trainer

Bryn Athyn College invites applicants to apply for the full-time position of Head Athletic Trainer. Responsibilities include administering a co-ed sports medicine program for intercollegiate sports, ensuring quality care of all student-athletes through practice and game coverage, injury prevention, evaluation, management, treatment of new and pre-existing injuries, short & long-term rehabilitation of athletic injuries, education and counseling of student-athletes, and athletics- related health care administration in consultation with and under the supervision of the team Physician and Director of Student Health and Wellness. For more information, go to the Bryn Athyn College website.

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4.  Comings and Goings


5. Pic du Jour

Photo: Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope Francis meets Spider-Man at the end of a weekly general audience. The masked man works with sick kids in hospitals.

- courtesy of Axios

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