Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Women, College Sports, And Mental Health


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

Health Isn't Just Physical in Women's Sports
by Nell Gluckman, Chronicle of Higher Education

"Many college students are experiencing mental-health crises, but one subset has seen a rash of reported suicides this year: female athletes.

On Thursday, Southern University and A&M College announced a cheerleader, Arlana Miller, had died shortly after writing a social-media post that detailed her mental-health struggles, NBC News reported. That news followed the deaths by suicide of three women this spring: Lauren Bernett, a James Madison University softball player; Sarah Shulze, a member of the University of Wisconsin at Madison track team; and Katie Meyer, a Stanford University soccer player.

Students are speaking out about the problem and asking for more help in dealing with the pressures they feel as athletes. Last month Cailin Bracken, a Vanderbilt University lacrosse player, wrote an open letter to the college-sports world after learning about the death of another player. She described her decision to take some time off from the sport to focus on her mental health, and urged members of this community to do a better job of supporting players who need help.

The Chronicle spoke with two experts about why there is a crisis now and what colleges can do about it. The interviews were conducted separately with Ellen J. Staurowsky, a professor of sports media at Ithaca College, and Joy Gaston Gayles, senior adviser for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at North Carolina State University, who has published several articles about athletes and mental health.

We’ve seen a number of high-profile cases of women athletes dying by suicide. Are they simply getting more attention, or have you noticed this happening more?

S: "There’s no question that athletes are experiencing high rates of depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental-health issues at levels that we’ve not seen before. It isn’t a new issue, but there are some things — especially in this Covid era — that are different in this moment. The trauma of worrying about family resources. The switches to an all-Zoom environment. The wear and tear that occurred for everyone as they were going through that. The social isolation that so many of our athletes and our students are feeling. They really feel like they have to just soldier on and keep whatever’s going on with them to themselves."

G: "It’s a major concern, and I don’t think that higher-education institutions fully understand the nature of the crisis and how we need to rethink the services we provide so that we can get students the help that they need."

How does this crisis affect athletes in particular?

S: "People who were close to these young women, and to college athletes more generally, say that trying to balance the academics, athletics, and other things in their life — that those demands have just been escalating."

This isn’t just an issue for women, but are there particular pressures that women athletes in college experience?

G: "I do think there’s something about this overly masculine culture that’s not good for anybody, even the folks who are considered masculine. You tough it up, you grin and bear it, do your thing. And when your emotions come up, you push them back down because we need to win and dominate."

>> Continue Reading


2. Honoring Larry Kehres


"The University of Mount Union will honor the career of former football player, alum, assistant coach, professor, head coach and athletic director Larry Kehres '71 by creating an endowment, building a plaza, and renaming the stadium in his honor.

Ohio's oldest college football stadium will be renamed Kehres Stadium. Inside the stadium, he played quarterback, worked as an assistant coach, then as head coach became college football winningest coach. He also oversaw significant facility upgrades in the stadium over the years, that also included men's and women's soccer playing in the facility along with the addition of men's and women's lacrosse.

>> Field Awareness: "He returned to his alma mater in 1974 as assistant football coach and started the swimming program as its first head coach. In 1985, he was named director of athletics and in 1986 he added head football coach duties which he continued until 2013. He left the athletic director position in 2020."

>> Between The Lines: "In his 27 years as head football coach, he built one of the most successful programs in all of college football and college sports in general. From 2000-2013, Kehres compiled a record of 182-7 with seven national championships. In total, Kehres' career coaching record of 332-24-3 (.929) makes him one of only 10 coaches in the history of college football to win at least 300 games."

>> Of Note: "In 2017, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility."

>> Read More


3.   Change at the Top

Kyle Schroedle, Crown

There is a new No. 1 team in Division III baseball and it resides in Willimantic, Conn., as Eastern Connecticut State jumped past Marietta in the latest top 25 poll

  1. Eastern Connecticut (14), 35-3
  2. Marietta (10), 35-5
  3. Birmingham-Southern (1), 37-8
  4. LaGrange, 35-6
  5. UW-Whitewater, 33-6
  6. Webster, 34-6
  7. Lynchburg, 33-8
  8. Rowan, 30-8
  9. Salisbury, 27-8
  10. Arcadia, 35-7
>> Conference Standings

>> Conference Tournaments to Watch
  • OAC: No. 2 Marietta, No. 18 Baldwin Wallace, RV Otterbein
  • SUNYAC: No. 11 Oswego, No. 12 Cortland, No. 22 Brockport
  • WIAC: No. 5 Whitewater, No. 17 Stevens Point
  • ODAC: No. 7 Lynchburg, No. 20 Shenandoah

>> Home Runs: Ryan McCarty (PSU Abington) 28, Kyle Schroedle (Crown) 21, Logan Demkovich (Franklin) 19, Charlie Szykowny (UW-Stout) 18, Jacob Charon (Lawrence) 17, Keegan Vercoe (Northwestern) 17

>> Wins: Sayers Collins (East Texas Baptist) 11, Trent Valentine (Marietta) 11, Sean Holt (La Verne) 10, Wil Wood (Millsaps) 10, 20 players tied with 9

>> Complete Poll

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    4. Captains in Charge

    Tayah Kelley, Linfield

    Christopher Newport entered the week still on top of the latest NFCA Division III softball poll.

    1. Christopher Newport (10), 37-1
    2. Texas Lutheran, 38-4
    3. Eastern Connecticut, 37-4
    4. Salisbury, 36-6
    5. Belhaven, 38-6
    6. Linfield, 36-7
    7. East Texas Baptist, 32-10
    8. DePauw, 34-9
    9. Virginia Wesleyan, 33-11
    10. Berry, 29-11
    >> Regionals to Watch
    • East Texas Baptist: No. 5 Belhaven, No. 6 Linfield, No. 7 ETBU
    • DePauw: No. 8 DePauw, No. 10 Berry, No. 14 Piedmont

    >> Home Runs: Kaitlyn Hasty (CNU) 18, Kaelani Gamble (Johnson and Wales) 15, Erin Mcgrath (Pacific Lutheran) 15, Noelle Ruschil (MIddlebury) 15

    >> Strikeouts: Kayla Simacek (Bethel) 282, Cami Henry (DePauw) 263, McKenna Smith (Husson) 239, Tayah Kelley (Linfield) 237, Kennedy Lehn (MSOE) 232

    Conference Tournaments We're Watching
    • ASC: #5 Belhaven, #8 East Texas Baptist, #9 Mary Hardin-Baylor
    • C2C: #1 Christopher Newport, #2 Salisbury

    >> Complete Poll

    5.   Lightning Round  

      Golf (W)

      Golf (M)
    • Carnegie Mellon has a three-shot advantage over Huntingdon after the opening round of the DIII men's championship. The Tartans' William Knauth and the Hawks' Grant Gronka each posted 69s to hold the individual lead.

      Rowing (W)

    • Eight teams have been selected for the Division III championship - Ithaca, St. Mary's (Md.), Bates, Wellesley, Pacific Lutheran, Tufts, WPI and Williams. The championships will be held May 27-28 at the Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.


    • Penn State Harrisburg OF Dallas Hite became the 14th player in DIII history to hit two grand slams in a single game as the Lions defeated Penn College, 18-4, on Monday. He was 4-of-5 with three round-trippers and 10 RBI.


      Lacrosse (W)

      Track and Field

      Happy Birthday

    • Cake and candles to Brant McAdams, head football coach at Pacific Lutheran.
    • Do you know of someone celebrating a birthday soon? Drop us a line at

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

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