Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Judge Denies NCAA Again


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

NCAA Student-Athletes Advance Wage Suit Against Their Schools
by Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY

"A federal judge in Pennsylvania (last) Wednesday denied the NCAA’s request for dismissal of a lawsuit that seeks to have Division I athletes classified as employees of their schools who are entitled to hourly wages.

The ruling was the second in four weeks in which U.S. District Judge John R. Padova refused to dismiss the NCAA from the case. In the first, Padova ruled that lawyers for the plaintiffs had met the basic standard of plausibly alleging that athletes “are employees … for purposes of the” Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Wednesday’s ruling dismissed a sizable group of co-defendant schools from the case. But under an amended complaint that Padova is allowing the plaintiffs to file, a new set of schools will be added to the case, including the University of Oregon, the University of Arizona, Notre Dame, Duke and Purdue."

>> Point: "This suit is grounded in the plaintiffs’ contention that athletes should be treated as employees because, among other factors:

  • Athletes are required to participate in certain activities.
  • The hours that they spend on those activities are recorded on time sheets because of the NCAA’s limits on the number of hours athletes are supposed to required to spend on their sports each week.
  • The schools exercise significant control over the athletes, through various rules and handbooks."

>> Counterpoint: "The NCAA said in a statement Wednesday night: "The ruling is based on a preliminary view of the plaintiffs’ allegations, and we are confident that when the court has a chance to see the actual evidence, it will agree with the many previous courts who have held that student-athletes are not employees.”

>> Worth Noting: “If the student showing you to your seat or selling you popcorn meets the standard” of being an employee, then “the students who are at the heart of the enterprise” do, as well." - Paul McDonald, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney

>> Continue Reading


2. More Match Play, Please

Emory women's golf

Back in the day of gutta-percha golf balls - well, maybe not that long ago - yours truly played collegiate golf at the Division III level. Played well enough to be the No. 5 player in a very good four-man lineup ... and help my college win the 1980 conference championship.

We played stroke play just like Division III teams do today. Low four of five scores ... add them up ... low total wins. Every stroke mattered from the 250-yard drive to the two-foot par putt.

But it wasn't too many years before that colleges played match play. Five players in the lineup - mano y mano. Kinda like the Ryder Cup.

If you love golf, you watched the action from Whistling Straits last weekend. And you loved it. You saw the ups and downs of match play ... how every shot impacted the next one ... the emotions from the world's top players ... you versus your opponent.

Let's face it ... the time commitment to play college golf grows every year. One-day shootouts are frowned upon ... 54-hole tournaments over three days with a practice round are all the rage. To quote Seinfeld, not that's there anything wrong with that ... but there's a better way.

Match play. Your school versus mine. Your course or mine? No more spending minutes over every two-footer with some break ... 

Imagine this as the national quarterfinals.

Illinois Wesleyan vs. Christopher Newport
Methodist vs. Denison
Guilford vs. Emory
Carnegie Mellon vs. Huntingdon

Methodist vs. St. Catherine
Carnegie Mellon vs. Emory
George Fox vs. Centre
Redlands vs. Williams

That's how the top eight teams finished at the 2021 Division III championship. That's how Division I does it ... play the 72 holes to determine the individual champion and the eight teams that advance to match play.

It's time for DIII to join in.

>> Why Not Use Match Play All Year? (Golfweek)

What do you think? Let us know.

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    3.  Student Research Grants


    The NCAA Graduate Student Research Grant Program provides funding for graduate student research examining the role of intercollegiate athletics in higher education and the college student-athlete psychosocial experience. Grants are set at a maximum of $7,500, and are available to graduate students enrolled at NCAA-member institutions.

    For detailed information and proposal guidelines, please review the Call for Proposals and other linked documents under "Applicant Resources" on this webpage.

    >> Deadline: October 7

    >> Keep Reading

    4.   Top Rank Generals

    Samuel Bass, Washington and Lee

    There is a new team atop the United Soccer Coaches men's Division III poll, while TCNJ remains on top of the women's rankings.


    1. TCNJ, 7-0
    2. Johns Hopkins, 5-0-1
    3. Washington, Mo., 8-0-1
    4. Christopher Newport, 7-0
    5. MIT, 9-0-1
    6. Misericordia, 8-0
    7. William Smith, 6-1-1
    8. Trinity, Texas, 6-0-1
    9. Chicago, 8-0-1
    10. McDaniel, 8-0

    >> Welcome: Brandeis, Hamilton

    >> Longest Conference Win Streaks: Centre (58, SAA), Penn State Berks (53, United East), Lesley (21, NECC), Messiah (19, MAC Commonwealth), MIT (17, NEWMAC)

    >> Matches We're Watching
    • No. 17 Carnegie Mellon (7-1) at No. 2 Johns Hopkins (5-0-1), Wed., 4:00
    • Scranton (7-0) at No. 6 Misericordia (8-0), Wed., 7:00
    • No. 15 Messiah (4-2-1) at No. 19 Dickinson (7-0), Wed., 7:00
    • No. 9 Chicago (8-0-1) at Emory (7-1-1), Sat., 11:00
    1. Washington and Lee, 7-0-1
    2. Trinity, Texas, 7-0
    3. Calvin, 7-1-2
    4. Tufts, 5-0-1
    5. Oneonta, 6-0-1
    6. Middlebury, 6-0
    7. Ohio Wesleyan, 6-0-2
    8. Johns Hopkins, 5-0-2
    9. Messiah, 6-0-2
    10. Coast Guard, 7-0-1

    >> Newcomers: Montclair State, Gustavus Adolphus, Amherst, Carleton, Washington (Md.)

    >> Longest Home Win Streaks: Tufts and Penn State Behrend (17), Nazareth (14), Webster and Texas-Dallas (12)

    >> What We're Watching
    • Washington, Mo. (6-1) at No. 17 Rochester (4-0-3), Sat., 1:30
    • No. 12 Cortland (8-2-1) at Buffalo State (7-1), Sat., 4:00
    • North Central, Ill. (10-0-1) at No. 16 Carthage (6-1-2), Sat., 8:00

      5.   No Change at the Top

      McIlhenny Named Player of the Week
      Erin McIlhenny, Ursinus / photo by David Morgan

      The top five teams remained in place in this week's National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.

      1. Middlebury, 7-0
      2. Johns Hopkins, 8-0
      3. Tufts, 4-0
      4. Kean, 9-0
      5. Messiah, 7-1
      6. Amherst, 6-0
      7. TCNJ, 6-2
      8. Trinity, Conn., 6-0
      9. Williams, 6-2
      10. Ursinus, 5-2

      >> Hello: Washington and Lee

      >> Undefeated: There are 11 unbeaten teams in Division III entering the week, including four from the NESCAC and two from the Centennial.

      >> Matches to Watch
      • No. 10 Ursinus (5-2) at No. 5 Messiah (7-1), Wed.
      • No. 2 Johns Hopkins (8-0) at Haverford (8-0), Sat.
      • No. 8 Trinity (6-0) at No. 12 Bowdoin (4-2), Sat.
      • No. 9 Williams (6-2) at No. 6 Amherst (6-0), Sat.
      >> Complete Poll

      6.  Comings and Goings
      1 THING

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