Friday, January 28, 2022



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

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1. Predictions

clear marble ball near seashore

The NCAA Convention has come and gone and delegates - who were in attendance - have returned to their campuses. Legislation was made and adopted ... now the real work begins.

We asked three Division III conference commissioners to offer their thoughts on what lies ahead for the conference, the division, and the NCAA.

How Will The New Constitution Affect Your Conference? Division III?

  • "The most impact it would have upon our conference is if there was a subdivision (it could be based on number of sports sponsored, finances, compliance rules, school size, championship tournament format etc.). That could ease the burden of staffing, competitiveness, facility requirements, number of sports sponsorship for schools that are smaller and have fewer resources." - Joe Walsh, Great Northeast Athletic Conference
  • "The impact of the new constitution on our conference will be slight, at least initially. The opportunity for direct impact at the conference level may be felt as DIII examines possible adjustments to the conference grant program." - Tom Hart, USA South
  • "The overarching Constitution gives a framework. The real affect on the ASC will be in the Division III-specific bylaws moved out of the "former" Constitution and what responsibilities are pushed to campuses and conferences. The administrative staff members are already at full-load and additional responsibilities aren't likely to be handled by hiring staff on campuses or in the conference offices. Projects or initiatives may go by the wayside – neither the new Constitution nor the forthcoming Division III revisions add any more hours to the day." - Amy Carlton, American Southwest Conference

How will the new Constitution affect DIII?

  • TH - "As many have stated and used as a reason to support the new constitution, this document provides much greater autonomy for our Division.  If this is indeed the case, opportunities to reimagine DIII rules that are D I driven like bat testing, confirmation of sexual violence attestation and the use of technology in contests could be more appropriately conceived for small enrollment driven institutions with limited resources.  Speaking of resources, this new found autonomy could perhaps allow D III to generate new sources of revenue in addition to what we receive with the 3.18%.  Another possible change with autonomy could be perhaps finding a way to appropriately conduct and promote Division III championships.  Finally, this new found autonomy should be used to assess possible ways to reconstruct our governance system.  The recognition of conference offices in the constitution provides an opportunity for Division III to consider a formal role for conference administration in its governance."
  • AC - "The best thing for Division III under the new NCAA Constitution may be forcing all of us to revisit and evaluate our philosophy and priorities, including spending, championships, athletics related and non-athletics related programs and initiatives, refocusing on the intercollegiate athletics experience and what that really means."

What's next for DIII championships with the AQ change?

  • JW - "Doesn’t seem to be a lot of change with the AQ change to six. The research shows possibly one new AQ in tennis. But it does keep the dream/hope alive for student-athletes who have seen reductions in the sports sponsorship."
  • TH - "One by-product of the AQ change is the ability for multi-sport conferences to bring championships back home in a small number of sports.  However, I would not expect to see large scale changes in the  associate/affiliate pairings. In addition, not much overall change in berths as some move out of Pool B (reducing numbers there) and back into their multi-sport conference. Bigger question related to championships may have to do with budget allocation and that impact on bracket construction and dates of competition."
  • AC - "I don't see a big overall impact on Div. III championships with the AQ change to 6 sport sponsoring institutions, but there will be heartache in some sports even if Pool A and Pool B increase slightly and Pool C slims down. It is more likely that institutions will be able to keep a higher number of sports under their "core" conference umbrella rather than chase affiliate membership. Likewise, a conference may be able to pull back institutions that may have scattered across leagues as affiliates and sponsor the sport again. Emphasis on conference and regular-season regional competition may get a boost as advancement to Division championships via AQ regains priority."

Other predictions for the new year?

  • JW - Wholesale deregulation of rules that neither the school, conference or NCAA can enforce on things like social media, NIL, transfers, schools changing divisions in less than 4 years (3 with waiver).
  • TH - Will predict, Springsteen will not tour ☹
  • AC - "Member institutions will become more vocal with the Association and/or a Division(s) that is perceived as pushing a "social issues" agenda or topics that may be seen by some as outside the purview of the NCAA/Division. The wide variety of institutions in Division III with diverse missions and goals could raise the sub-Division discussions or lead schools to seek other athletic affiliation to better match institution beliefs. A very deep review of Bylaw 17 and Bylaw 13 will be undertaken resulting in modernization of Division III rules more responsive to students as well as coaches and administrators. Students will continue to grow more savvy about participation in intercollegiate athletics and have expectations of what their collegiate sport experience should be. Institutions will be looking for even more ways to provide what students want through the efforts to recruit as well as increase and retain enrollment."

2.  Gambling Education Program

by Saquandra Heath, NCAA

"As part of the NCAA's longstanding commitment to protect student-athlete well-being and the integrity of college athletics, the Association is working with EPIC Risk Management to provide a comprehensive gambling harm and student-athlete protection educational program for its members.

The program will be made available to all NCAA campuses and conferences later this year with a blend of delivery options including in-person education workshops and seminars, prerecorded sessions, and on-demand virtual resources. Education materials will be strategically focused to educate student-athletes, coaches, administrators, game officials, health care and support personnel. 

EPIC Risk Management is a global leader in gambling harm prevention and has extensive experience working with elite sports organizations across the world. EPIC delivers education and resources to more than 15,000 athletes and more than 50,000 students worldwide each year in the highest risk sectors for gambling harm."

>> What They're Saying: "Our team is made up of industry experts, many with lived experience of gambling addiction, committed to raising awareness and preventing gambling harm," said Paul Buck, CEO of EPIC Risk Management. "We are excited to work with the NCAA to further equip student-athletes and athletics personnel with the most comprehensive gambling harm preventative services, support, awareness and education."

>> Keep Reading


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3.  Titans, Blue Jays Hold Top Spots

Here is the first installment of the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women's Indoor Track & Field National Rating Indexes, as released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Titans Start Season In Impressive Fashion


  1. UW-Oshkosh
  2. Loras
  3. Wartburg
  4. MIT
  5. John Carroll
  6. Johns Hopkins
  7. Williams
  8. Geneseo
  9. Rowan
  10. Benedictine
>> Notable: UW-Oshkosh is No. 1 in the first ranking of the season for the fifth time in program history. The Titans previously topped the chart in 2010, 2013, 2019 and 2020.

>> Complete Top 25
>> Event Summary


  1. Johns Hopkins
  2. Loras
  3. Washington (Mo.)
  4. Chicago
  5. UW_Oshkosh
  6. Mount Union
  7. Ithaca
  8. Wartburg
  9. Dubuque
  10. Geneseo
>> Notable: Johns Hopkins headlines the National TFRI for the first time in program history. The Blue Jays are used to that top branch in cross country, but track & field is a different story, topping out at No. 2 in each of the past three years. The No. 6 ranking for Mount Union is also a program best.

>> Complete Top 25
>> Event Summary

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5.    Weekend Watchlist

Here's a list of the games/matches/events that we are keeping an eye on this weekend ... we hope.

Basketball (M)

  • No. 3 Washington, Mo. vs. Case Western Reserve
  • No. 12 Johns Hopkins vs. No. 15 Swarthmore
  • No. 23 Augsburg vs. Carleton
  • No. 25 Nazareth vs. St. John Fisher
  • Complete Schedule
Basketball (W)
  • No. 2 Christopher Newport vs. Mary Washington
  • No. 5 Simpson vs. No. 12 Wartburg
  • No. 7 New York U. vs. Rochester
  • No. 8 Tufts vs. No. 21 Bowdoin
  • No. 14 Baldwin Wallace vs. No. 19 Marietta
  • Complete Schedule
Ice Hockey (M)
  • No. 2 Geneseo vs. Plattsburgh
  • No. 5 St. Norbert vs. Trine
  • No. 9 Babson vs. Skidmore
  • No. 10 Curry vs. Salve Regina
  • No. 11 UW-Stevens Point vs. UW-Superior
  • Complete Schedule
Ice Hockey (W)
  • No. 7 Nazareth vs. Manhattanville
  • No. 8 Endicott vs. Suffolk
  • No. 10 Colby vs. Trinity
  • Complete Schedule
Wrestling (M)
  • No. 3 UW-La Crosse vs. No. 8 Augsburg
  • No. 3 UW-La Crosse vs. No. 15 UW-Oshkosh
  • No. 9 Johnson and Wales vs. No. 24 Castleton
  • No. 20 Stevens vs. No. 26 Ithaca
  • Complete Schedule
NWCA dual meet rankings

6.  Lightning Round


  •  Williams junior Elias Lindgren and Loras junior Kassie Parker were named the USTFCCCA National Scholar Athletes of the Year for cross country.
  •   The NACC announced it will allow all conference institutions in its men's and women's basketball tournaments.
  •   North Central (Ill.) is the top-ranked DIII women's wrestling team in the country. The Cardinals are third in the NWCA dual rankings. Augsburg is sixth, while Schreiner and Adrian are seventh and ninth, respectively.
  •   Cake and candles to Amy Backus (retired CWRU AD), Patrick McGrail (Rhodes MBB AC), Charles Huschka (UWRF FB S-A), Ethan Aldfinger (Loras HC MXC), Christopher Sykes (Illinois College HC Swimming) and Clare Doyle (Smith HC Rowing)

7.  Comings and Goings
Open Mailbox with Raised Flag on Apple iOS 14.2 Thanks for starting your day with us. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

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