Monday, August 16, 2021



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

NCAA Division III runner-up Keystone College baseball team returns home to  warm welcome | Abington Journal
by Daniel Libit, Sportico

"Bill Maulsby has a hard-learned piece of financial wisdom: “You can’t get rich off the NCAA.”

Maulsby offers his forlorn, if debatable, assessment as the founder of the motor coach logistics company, Go Ground, which the NCAA began contracting in 2011 as its exclusive consolidator of championship ground transportation.

Over the last decade, the only way a team could get the NCAA to cover its tournament bus travel expenses was to go through Go Ground. That was until late last summer, when the NCAA quietly decided to opt out of its Go Ground contract, prompting the business to declare bankruptcy."

>> Court Awareness: "Transportation comprises the NCAA’s biggest individual championship expense category, costing the association more than $60 million per academic year. Of that, about $10.5 million has traditionally gone to ground transportation reimbursements for schools. So it was that Go Ground became, in recent years, one of the NCAA’s highest-paid independent contractors, joining the ranks of the white-shoe law firms that have fed at that trough."

>> Why It Matters: "By Maulsby’s telling, Go Ground toiled for years, under-compensated by the NCAA, having only agreed to the lopsided terms based on a shared understanding that the association would eventually support the company’s efforts to tap into other revenue streams in college sports. Maulsby pegs the overall collegiate athletic ground transportation market at “somewhere to the tune of $1 billion,” making the championship component a relative drop in the bucket."

>> Of Note: "The news of Go Ground’s demise—and the corresponding end of the NCAA Bus Operator Network––has been greeted warmly by those in the regional carrier industry. “All in all we are very pleased that, basically, things have returned to normal,” said Ken Presley, vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs at the United Motorcoach Association (UMA)."

>> What They're Saying: “There was a disconnect with the fact that one carrier may carry a team for an entire season and then be foreclosed from carrying that same team during tournament play,” said Presley, noting that universities and athletic departments also raised complaints. “A lot of college teams don’t just have their favorite bus companies, but their favorite drivers. You know how superstitious these players and coaches are.”

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2. First Look at Proposals

The Initial Publication of Proposed Legislation (IPOPL) was released to the Division III membership on Sunday. 

This publication presents the proposed amendments to NCAA legislation that were properly submitted by the NCAA Division III membership in accordance with the July 15 deadline in the NCAA legislative calendar. 

No new proposals may be submitted by the Division III membership for the Convention after the July 15 deadline; however, proposals are available for co-sponsorship until September 1. 


  • Reduce the minimum number of member institutions required to form a single-sport conference from seven to six (AMCC, HCAC sponsors)
  • A student-athlete would be charged with a season of eligibility if s/he competes at any point during the traditional season (Empire 8)
  • Add limited flexibility into the playing and practice seasons in all sports by
    • Defining the playing and practice seasons by individual days, which do not have to occur consecutively or in consecutive weeks
    • Limiting fall, winter and spring sports to a playing season of 100 days, of which, no more than 20 could be used in the nontraditional segment (for all fall sports and all spring except golf, tennis, rowing). Institutions that sponsor BOTH indoor and outdoor track & field would have a playing season of 125 days
    • Moving the start of the nontraditional season for fall sports to February 15 and ending the nontraditional season for spring sports (other than golf, tennis and rowing) by November 1 (NCAC)
  • Amend the preseason legislation in all fall sports, except football and men's water polo, as follows
    • Calculate the first permissible start date by counting back 18 days
    • Require an acclimatization period during the first four days during preseason practice
    • Limit teams to conducting no more than two practices and one walkthrough or activity session for the three days immediately following the acclimatization period
    • Require one day off per defined week of the preseason, including the combined acclimatization period (NCAC)
  • Reduce the minimum number of conference members required for automatic qualification for Division III championships from seven to six (AMCC, Atlantic East, Empire 8, HCAC, MASCAC, United East, USA South)

>> Get the IPOPL

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3.  Bean, Ulrich Honored

Rasmussen 21

The National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) is proud to announce Al Bean, director of athletics at the University of Southern Maine (USM) and Steve Ulrich, former executive director of the Centennial Conference as the recipients of the 2021 Richard A. Rasmussen Lifetime Achievement Award.

This award, which is named after NADIIIAA's Executive Director, is presented to someone who has had a significant impact on Division III throughout the course of his/her career.

NADIIIAA is comprised of athletics administrators from over 350 institutions and conferences competing at the NCAA Division III level. The Association encourages the continued development of athletics programs focused on the student-athlete and based on sound educational principles and the Division III philosophy.

>> Continue Reading

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    4. Diamond Alterations


    The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday approved implementing video review for softball and allowing coaches to have two video review challenges beginning in the 2021-22 academic year.

    There is no requirement to use the video review rule. It is optional for all schools, conferences and tournaments to implement.

    Under the new rule, each head coach will have two challenges to initiate a review for the entirety of the game. A coach must verbally or visually indicate a challenge request before the next pitch, before the pitcher and all infielders have clearly vacated their normal fielding position and left fair territory, or before the umpires have left the field of play.

    >> Read More

    The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday approved allowing the use of one-way electronic communication devices in baseball for the purpose of calling pitches and plays. The rule goes into effect for the 2021-22 academic year.

    Examples of what could be implemented next season include teams being allowed to use an electronic display board from the dugout that shows a numerical code to call pitches and/or defensive plays. Teams also can use a one-way in-ear communication device that would be limited for use from the dugout to the catcher.

    >> Keep Reading


    5.  More Representation

    The NCAA Board of Governors on Thursday expanded the number of members of the Constitution Committee to 28 people from 23. All three divisions added members, including a faculty athletics representative and a historically Black college and university president. The Constitution Committee will hold its first meeting this week.

    The additional members include:

    • Stevie Baker-Watson — Director of Athletics, DePauw


    6.  Comings and Goings
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