Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Special Convention Recap


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

NCAA streamlines constitution, set to give power to schools | www.WDIO.com

"In another historic step for the Association, more than 2,500 representatives from NCAA conferences and schools across all three divisions Monday discussed and provided feedback on a draft constitution at a virtual Special Convention. 

Each division's representatives held separate discussions on the draft shared by the Constitution Committee and brought feedback to a session with all attendees. The Association-wide discussion also included a summary of input from the national Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, as well as a review of the next steps in the process of finalizing recommendations for the constitution. 

The 28-member Constitution Committee, comprising conference and school representatives from all three divisions, will now revise the draft constitution and provide another opportunity for membership feedback. It will complete its work by submitting final recommendations to the Board of Governors by Dec. 15."

>> What It Means: "After the presentation of this new constitution, members will have opportunities to submit additional changes following current Association rules. This culminates in membership votes on the new constitution, which must receive two-thirds majority to pass in January at the 2022 Convention in Indianapolis. In the months after the 2022 Convention, each division will adopt additional changes to be effective Aug. 1 for the following school year, with more changes expected after that date."

>> What They're Saying: "The draft recognizes that the NCAA encompasses public and private institutions and conferences of widely varying mission, size, resources and opportunities, and that governance must reflect these differences through the delegation of authorities and responsibilities to the divisions, conferences and member institutions," said former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates, an independent member of the Board of Governors and chair of the Constitution Committee."

>> Of Note: "FWIW, during the NCAA's virtual convention today, a couple of athletes shared that sentiment, agreeing that they wished for "student-athlete" to continue to be used. "College athlete" was proposed as an alternate, per source. Players shot it down." - courtesy of Ross Dellenger, Sports Illustrated - 

>> Continue Reading


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BlueFrame Games We're Watching Today

Basketball (M): Endicott at MIT, 6:45
Basketball (M): Tufts at Mass-Dartmouth, 6:45
Basketball (W): Wilkes at Neumann, 6:50
Basketball (W): DeSales at Muhlenberg, 7:20

2. 'Unimpressive' Final Four Site

People watch field hockey from the bleachers at Trinity College in Hartford on Wednesday. Before the field hockey season started, the school had planned to renovate the football stands and the adjoining field hockey stands, but when the field hockey players arrived for preseason, only the football stands had been renovated. Some Trinity female athletes say they are being treated unequally, and Trinity administration says they will have a Title IX audit of the entire athletic program.
by Lori Riley, Hartford Courant | photo by Jessica Hill

"On Sunday, the Trinity field hockey team had reason to celebrate after advancing to the NCAA Division III final four for the first time since 1998 and the third time in school history with a 2-0 win over Babson. Better yet, the Bantams will play on their home field as host of the final four for the first time this upcoming weekend.

The championship, however, will be played against the backdrop of a chorus of demands for change at the university. Women’s athletes, including members of the field hockey team, have called for a Title IX review, citing inequities in the athletic facilities on campus.

“I’m feeling excited, but it’s hard to fully embrace what’s happening and what we’re about the experience without also in the back of our minds, trying to prove a point that is not related to the game at all,” Trinity senior field hockey player India Shay said. “It’s frustrating because we should only be thinking about the success over the weekend and the hopeful success we’ll have next weekend.”

The NCAA requires 1,000 seats to host a final four, which Trinity has. The look — compared to what occurred on the football stadium side — is not exactly what the field hockey players expected. When the field hockey players arrived for preseason in August, the football stands in Jessee/Miller Field were being renovated and close to completion, but the field hockey stands on Robin L. Sheppard Field were not."

>> Field Awareness: "The two fields are adjacent with back-to-back stands and a press box on top in the middle of both fields. An initial rendition of the renovations had the football stands built up to the press box and a similar look on the field hockey side. Instead, the old field hockey bleachers and an equipment shed were removed, leaving no storage area for the team. A set of metal bleachers was subsequently installed and some older bleachers were brought in for additional seating. In the past week, temporary bleachers were added."

>> Why It Matters: "Title IX does not require specific sports like baseball and softball to be treated the same, Title IX expert Donna Lopiano said. Instead, the athletic department as a whole has to be assessed."

>> Worth Noting: “The idea that there’s pain among our female student-athletes and they don’t feel they’ve been treated equitably in general was more surprising,” Trinity athletic director Drew Galbraith said. “That’s something we’ve got to work on.”

>> Keep Reading


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    3.  Searching For The Boss

    by Judith Wilde and James Finkelstein, Higher Ed Dive


    "It's been about 50 years since we graduated from college — Scripps College class of '71 and Miami University of Ohio class of '74. We've both spent our adult lives working in universities, witnessing many changes, especially in the college presidency.

    While identifying these is relatively easy, we've been curious about the possible causes. As our starting point, we analyzed the classified ads for presidencies and chancellorships in The Chronicle of Higher Education from academic years 1975-76 through 2015-16 to identify trends in hiring. Here is what we found.

    The length of presidential tenure is shortening. We found that the 84 presidents hired in 1975 served from one to 39 years, with an average of 9.1 years; the 138 presidents hired in 2005 served from one to 23 years, with an average of 7.7 years.

    • More searches are failing — both to appoint a president and/or to identify a president who serves even a year. 
    • More presidents are leaving their positions before completing their first terms. 
    • Some search firms have had problematic searches. 
    • Female presidents have become more prevalent, but we see little change in racial and ethnic representation in the college presidency. 

    >> Between The Lines: "During 1995, only 28% of the ads named a search firm. Ten years later, the use of search firms had nearly tripled, with 79% of the ads naming a search firm. By 2015, the end of the 50 academic years we examined, 92% of the advertised presidential searches in The Chronicle included the name of an executive search firm or consultant. The use of search firms to hire executives in the private sector clearly is embedded in higher education."

    >> Read More

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    4.  A Championships Doubles Duo

    Carol Plakk (L) and Dakota Fordham (R)

    "One traveled over 4,000 miles to arrive at New York University. The other walked to campus.

    Together, they formed a National Championship doubles duo. 

    Carol Plakk, a native of Tallinn, Estonia, and Dakota Fordham, a lifelong New York City resident, combined to give NYU something it had never had...a national tennis doubles champion. Quite an accomplishment for a pair of freshmen.

    The two NYU newcomers had an impressive run to reach the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) Cup title match, coming from behind in the quarterfinals and winning in straight sets in the semis. The finals, which were held on October 16 in Rome, GA, pitted the Violet duo against opponents from the University of Chicago, another University Athletic Association (UAA) institution. In a tight match, the NYU duo defeated their Chicago counterparts 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-3 to claim the national doubles crown."

    >> Serve "I always wanted to live in New York and I chose NYU for the great academics and the tennis team as well," Plakk said. "I considered several Division I schools, but I made an early application to NYU and was happy with my decision."

    >> Volley: "Of course I was not expecting any of this success. I just wanted to be out on the court and have a good time and do the best I could for the team," Fordham said. "I am just enjoying my NYU experience very, very much. I'm attending Gallatin, so I choose every class that I've taken so far and I'm enjoying all of them. The  work is incredible. It's challenging to mix academics with tennis. But, I love it and am very much up for the challenge."

    >> Continue Reading


    5.  Comings and Goings
    1 THING

    6.  The Next Varsity Sport - Pickleball

    Pickleball — a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong — surged in popularity over the past two years and is outlasting pandemic shutdowns, Axios Sports editor Kendall Baker writes.


    Games are generally played to 11 points (win by two) on a surface roughly a third the size of a tennis court (20 feet x 44 feet) with wiffle balls and paddles. You can play doubles or singles.

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