Thursday, April 14, 2022

The NCAA and Cross-Market Balancing


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


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1.  The NCAA and Cross-Market Balancing

Hope College women's basketball team clinched a spot in the final four
by Ted Tatos, Sportico / photo by Cody Scanlon, Holland Sentinel

"“Your liberty to swing your fist ends just where my nose begins.”

Most of us have likely heard that quote in some fashion or another. It’s a concise expression that, although we all enjoy exercising our personal freedoms, preferences and choices, they do not supersede the rights of others not to be injured when we do so. However, one part of civilized society has contravened this maxim: the interpretation of antitrust law when the NCAA is involved.

Antitrust law governs competition among firms, prohibiting cartels and the attempt to monopolize an industry by means other than business acumen. Just as we don’t want athletes to triumph by doping, jumping in a subway while competing in a marathon, or to engage in other sorts of chicanery, we want a fair playing field to allow the most efficient and innovative businesses to win—not the ones that conspire to fix prices or that merge their way to the top of the heap.

Which brings us to the NCAA cartel. Legal rulings in O’Bannon v. NCAA and 
Alston have recognized that the NCAA restricts athlete wages below competitive levels in violation of antitrust laws."

>> Reality Check: "How then is it possible that, after losing in O'Bannon and 
Alston, the NCAA still maintains its model of amateurism? (Name-image-and-likeness reforms occurred as a result of legislative action, such as California’s SB-206, not the court rulings, although O’Bannon certainly laid the groundwork.) The NCAA still prohibits payment to athletes and opposes calling them employees. Paying athletes for their labor is still considered “cheating” in the upside-down antitrust universe of college sports."

>> What's Next: "A legislative solution prohibiting this sort of “cross-market balancing” would be ideal. In the meantime, action by the Department of Justice against the NCAA would go a long way toward demonstrating antitrust’s intolerance of anticompetitive harm to workers. The Supreme Court in Alston seemingly all but invited a broader challenge to the NCAA restraints. If there ever was a time for regulatory agencies to seize the day and directly challenge the NCAA, this is it."

>> The Final Word: "In the meantime, if you think “this is NCAA sports, it doesn’t affect my pay,” think again. Arguments justifying anticompetitive conduct to workers (see, “gig economy”) are very likely coming to a labor market near you, if they have not done so already. And the nose at the end of that fist may be your own."

>> Continue Reading



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2. Williams Announces All-Grant Aid Policy

by Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education

Williams College on Wednesday announced plans to adopt an “all grant” financial-aid program, apparently the first of its kind. Starting this fall, the institution will eliminate loans, as well as campus-job and summer-earnings requirements, from all aid packages, replacing them fully with grants.

Maud S. Mandel, president of Williams, said in an interview that the new policy — which will apply to current and incoming students — would bring the college closer to its goal of “true affordability” for all those receiving aid. The initiative, she hopes, will ease the burden students often feel when balancing work with their studies and other commitments, all the while worrying about post-graduation debt.

Previously, only students from families earning less than $75,000 a year received financial-aid packages without loans at Williams. Most students on aid have on-campus jobs, typically working six to eight hours a week as part of their aid package. And Williams previously required aid recipients to contribute about $1,550, on average, of their summer earnings each year to help cover the cost of attendance (a policy the college announced last fall that it would eliminate).

>> Situational Awareness: "Williams’s new initiative is a variation on a theme within the rarefied ranks of wealthy, big-name colleges. More than 20 years ago, Princeton University became the first institution to adopt a “no loan” program, replacing funds families previously had to borrow with grants, which don’t need to be repaid. Since then, Amherst College, Harvard University, and a handful of other highly selective campuses have followed suit. Last fall, Smith College announced that it would replace all loans with grants, the first women’s college to do so."

>> Yes, But: "Williams, a liberal-arts college with about 2,000 students, has been down the no-loan road before. The institution nixed loans from its aid packages back in 2008, around the same time that several other private colleges, buoyed by growing endowments, did the same."

>> The Key Stat: "As in any discussion of financial-aid policies, it’s important to keep some caveats in mind. For one thing, a college’s no-loan policy doesn’t mean that a given student and their parents won’t have to borrow money to make that particular college affordable for them. A family’s expected contribution, as determined by a financial-aid formula, might exceed what they can really pay in a real life."

>> Continue Reading


3.  All That He Can Be

Newcomerstown grad Dylan Garretson sets pole vault record for Wooster
by Matt Florjancic, From The Best Seat in the House / photo by Matt Dilyard

"One could say that College of Wooster sophomore track and field standout pole vaulter Dylan Garretson is a bit of a renaissance man, and also, he has become good at time management.

See, when Garretson is not breaking records on the track, he can be found in one of three different bands on campus, studying for his music education classes, and also, serving the state and country in the Ohio National Guard.

“It’s a little bit of pick-and-choose, and I don’t always get to everything,” Garretson said."

“I kind of have to really determine what days are important to be at what, so most of the time, whenever I’m at track, I’m pole vaulting. That’s about it, and then, I’m turning around and I’m going back and I’ll spend a couple more hours back in school music."

>> Situational Awareness: "While potentially overwhelming, having the ability to pursue his passion for music, while at the same time, compete at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships and serve his country was one of the reasons why he chose Wooster. Recognizing an opportunity to pursue all of his passions was too much to turn down."

>> Commitment: "Garretson has been handling multiple responsibilities since he enlisted in the Ohio National Guard while he was a senior at Newcomerstown High School. Now three years into his military career, Garretson appreciates every opportunity being in the National Guard has afforded him.

>> More Than Music: "In addition to his studies, performing and rehearsing schedules and pole vaulting practices, Garretson has been answering the call up to active duty with COVID relief efforts at hospitals in Northeast Ohio."

>> The Final Word: “It’s more that time manages me than I manage the time, but that’s kind of how it goes.”

>> Read More


4.  Lightning Round 

  Williams supplanted Bates as the No. 1 crew in the country in the latest IRCA rankings.

  The list of unbeaten teams in women's lacrosse decreased by one Wednesday afternoon as Farmingdale State downed SUNY Maritime (10-1), 13-12.

  St. John Fisher scored 31 goals vs. Keuka on Wednesday and didn't have the most scored by a DIII men's team on the day. Tufts took the honor with a 32-goal performance against Bates.

  Earlham DH Andrew Bradley and Northwestern LHP Owen Boerema were named the NCBWA National Players of the Week.

  Congrats to Saint John's head baseball coach Jerry Haugen for winning the 900th game of his career.


5.  Comings and Goings
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