Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Saving College Sports


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

The Flying Wedge: The Greatest Play in Football - Ordinary Times
by Victoria Jackson, Sportico

"At the turn of the 20th century, college football needed saving. School leaders outraged by the game’s dirty tactics and gruesome injuries were dropping the game or reverting to rugby rules. Reformers were becoming outright abolitionists. Muckraking journalists were exposing football’s vices. Too many promising young men were dying. But college football couldn’t die, and it couldn’t lose what was killing young men: its inherent danger and violence. College football needed saving because the danger and violence needed saving.

Football leaders were the country’s leaders, and they understood the game’s value for training the next generation to run business, the military, education and government. Americans were exceptional and their uniquely American sports like football and baseball proved them to be so. The dawning of what would later be called the American century needed football to grow manly men.

Take Ted Roosevelt, the son of President Theodore Roosevelt. During his football career playing at Groton and Harvard, Ted suffered a broken collarbone, broken nose, detached rib, dislocated thumb, sprained knee, chipped teeth and broken ankle. And that was good.

Summarizing TR’s relationship to the game of football as one primarily as parent, and secondarily as President of the United States and football true believer, Ryan Swanson explains the position as this: “I don’t care if you get injured unless it gets to the point where you can’t play anymore or they have killed you.”

>> Situational Awareness: "This was the NCAA’s founding moment, when Roosevelt and men of his class intervened in a national football crisis of deaths and gruesome injuries to convince schools to come together to clean up the game, leading to the creation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. But as (Kathleen) Bachynski describes it, the underlying goal was, “Save the sport, get rid of the catastrophic deaths, but save some element of that risk.” Or as Swanson says, “Round the rough edges off of football so that we can keep playing it.”

>> Why It Matters: "Reconsidering the driving impetus behind the creation of the NCAA—shifting our understanding of the goal from saving young men to saving football—is also useful for making sense of the NCAA’s current constitutional crisis and redesign moment. Has “protecting young athletes” been front and center of the mission of the NCAA?"

>> The Key Stat: "In 1905 college football needed saving because danger and violence needed saving. In 2022 we should learn from the past and ask ourselves: If the effort to save the NCAA (through this constitutional rewrite exercise) is simply no more than a doomed effort by colleges to save No Pay (or by NCAA leadership to retain control over college basketball national championships and therefore stay alive), isn’t it time to hold power to account?"

>> Continue Reading


2. Centennial, NJAC Forge Agreement
Centennial, NJAC Announce Football Scheduling Agreement

"The Centennial Conference and New Jersey Athletic Conference have announced the formation of the Centennial vs. NJAC Football Challenge, a football scheduling agreement between the two conferences. The challenge will begin with a two-year agreement in 2023-24 with the potential for renewal for future seasons.

The scheduling alliance will see institutions from each conference fill available non-conference dates with a focus on travel distances and competitive balance. In addition to providing quality non-conference matchups, the collaboration will ensure that every team in each conference will be able to complete a full 10-game regular season schedule. Both conferences will have seven football members in 2023, making a non-conference scheduling agreement between the neighboring conferences a natural fit."

>> Quotable: "We are beyond excited to enter into an agreement with the NJAC to not only fill our football schedule, but to affiliate with a league with an established football tradition," said Portia Hoeg, Centennial Conference Executive Director.

>> Quotable II: "This is an exciting opportunity for our seven NJAC football programs, and we're thrilled to be able to partner with the outstanding member institutions of the Centennial Conference," said Terry Small, NJAC Commissioner.

>> Read More

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3. Ch-Ch Changes

Ali Cavallaro, Montclair State

The first regular-season poll of the new campaign often looks different than the preseason rankings and this year is no exception. Texas Lutheran replaced DePauw as the top team in the NFCA softball listing. While in baseball, Cortland barely hung onto the top spot, holding off Marietta by a slim three points.


  1. Texas Lutheran (10), 9-3
  2. Salisbury, 14-2
  3. Virginia Wesleyan, 9-3
  4. East Texas Baptist, 13-5
  5. Birmingham-Southern, 9-3
  6. Eastern Connecticut State, 4-2
  7. Tufts, 0-0
  8. Belhaven, 12-1
  9. Christopher Newport, 9-0
  10. DePauw, 5-5
>> Chutes: DePauw (-9), Trine (-8), Rochester (-6)
>> Ladders: Belhaven, Christopher Newport (+10), Linfield (+9), Salisbury (+6)
>> Hello: Randolph-Macon, Rowan, Roanoke, Moravian, Saint Benedict
>> TTFN: Alfred, Aurora, Benedictine, Calvin, Coe, Emory, and Piedmont

>> No-Nos: There have been 11 no-hitters through March 7 but only two that have gone the distance - Montclair State's Ali Cavallaro vs. Gwynedd Mercy (7-0, 7 IP, 2 BB, 12 K) and Chapman's Jillian Kelly vs. Westcliff (2-0, 7 IP, 1 BB, 7 K)

>> Complete Poll

  1. Cortland (7), 7-2
  2. Marietta (8), 3-1
  3. Birmingham-Southern (4), 10-2
  4. North Central, Ill. (5), 7-0
  5. Salisbury, 7-4
  6. Eastern Connecticut, 3-0
  7. Lynchburg, 10-1
  8. Webster, 5-1
  9. Texas-Dallas, 12-1
  10. Rowan, 3-1
>> Going Up: Lynchburg (+8), Texas-Dallas (+7), LaGrange (+6)
>> Other Way: Adrian (-10), UW-Whitewater (-7), Aurora, Johns Hopkins, Southern Maine (-6)
>> Welcome: East Texas Baptist replaces St. John Fisher

>> Ryan On a Roll: Oswego State's Ryan Enos went 6-for-7 with three homers, five RBI and 16 total bases in the Lakers' 27-14 win against Keystone last Saturday.

>> Complete Poll

4.  With a Star On Top


Dominican has taken over the No. 1 position in the latest AVCA Division III men's volleyball poll. The Stars received only three of the 20 first-place ballots but outpointed Springfield by two points.

  1. Dominican (3), 11-1
  2. Springfield (17), 15-1
  3. Carthage, 10-3
  4. Vassar, 13-3
  5. North Central, Ill., 11-1
  6. Stevens, 16-3
  7. Southern Virginia, 11-2
  8. Rutgers-Newark, 13-2
  9. Marymount, 16-2
  10. St. John Fisher, 14-4
>> In and Out: St. John Fisher and Lasell enter, replacing New York U. and Loras.
>> First Time: Dominican is ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history. It is also the first time that a Stars athletic program has ascended to the top position in the NCAA era.

>> Complete Poll

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5.   Lightning Round  

  St. John Fisher senior Kyle Rollins and Ithaca senior Meghan Matheny were named the USTFCCCA National Division III Athletes of the Week.

  Christopher Newport swept the NFCA weekly awards as Sarah Proctor captured the Player of the Week honor and Kate Alger was the Pitcher of the Week.

  David Asbill allowed just one hit, striking out eight over 7.2 innings as Averett (3-10) upset No. 7 Lynchburg (10-2), 1-0.

  Cake and candles to Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) commissioner Marie Stroman.


    6.  Watchlist  

    Photo by Bill Hoepner, UWEC Photo
    photo by Bill Hoepner, UWEC

      WLX: Gettysburg at Salisbury, 3:00 ET  WIH: UW-Eau Claire at Gustavus Adolphus, 8:00 ET  MVB: Carthage at Loras, 8:00 ET


    7.  Comings and Goings
    1 THING

    8.  Billion vs. Million

    Billionaires have been all over the news lately (Roman Abramovich, MLB owners, etc), but the extent of their wealth often gets lost when mentioned in the same breath as millionaire athletes.

    By the numbers: It can be difficult to conceptualize how much bigger 1 billion is than 1 million. Some perspective: 1 million seconds is 12 days; 1 billion seconds is 32 years.

    Open Mailbox with Raised Flag on Apple iOS 14.2  Thanks for starting your day with us.

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