Friday, January 20, 2023

S&P Says Higher Ed Has Mixed Outlook


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

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1. S&P Says Higher Ed Has Mixed Outlook

Visit Campus - Carroll College
by Rick Seltzer, Higher Ed Dive

"The U.S. higher education sector enters 2023 with a mixed outlook, S&P Global Ratings said Wednesday, calling prospects for colleges stable but divided.

Strong institutions that already enjoy good credit ratings should expect continued high student demand and flexibility setting prices, S&P projects. At the other end of the spectrum, weaker institutions face expenses that are likely to grow faster than revenue. 

In the middle of the pack are others — including those operating regionally and with nonselective admissions — that still face rising competition and pressure on their operating margins."

>> Situational Awareness: "In the upcoming year, S&P forecasts a shallow recession, which could affect everything from public funding available for colleges to students’ ability to enroll and pay for tuition. But S&P isn’t more pessimistic about the sector as a whole in part because it is tracking many colleges with strong financial reserves that will provide them with flexibility."

>> Yes, But: “Many schools were able to make it through the pandemic with the aid of these much-needed (federal relief) funds, but for many weaker institutions, as this emergency support rolls off, revenue instability and operating risks will resume,” the report said.

>> Of Note: "S&P expects the number of college closures and mergers to rise more quickly in the coming years, with small and unaccredited institutions bearing the brunt. Those with a strong brand, good real estate or valuable core offerings will be more attractive for mergers or acquisitions, while colleges without those advantages are more likely to close, the report said."

>> Continue Reading

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2. Eagles' Coach Nick Sirianni Owes Much To Mount Union And Coach Larry Kehres

Nick Sirianni through the years
by Steve Doerschuk, Canton Repository

"Although Larry Kehres believes in Nick Sirianni, he had to wonder what his star pupil got himself into.

Fifteen months ago, Kehres was on the road, checking up on the Toledo Rockets, whose defensive coordinator is his son Vince, and whose head coach, Jason Candle, played for him at Mount Union.

It was October 2021. Sirianni was in his first season as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He had replaced Doug Pederson — who led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title, following the 2017 season, but was fired after three years of failing to get back to a Super Bowl."

>> Field Awareness: Sirianni was an unpopular choice among fans and media when he was hired. In grading the NFL's seven 2021 head coaching appointments, for example, USA Today gave the Urban Meyer hire in Jacksonville a "B." The Sirianni selection drew a "D" and was termed "uninspiring."

>> Quotable: "Who knows where Nick would be if he hadn't gone to Mount Union?" (older brother) Mike said. "Coach Kehres was so influential. "We've kept a relationship with him. We've kept asking him for advice."

>> What They're Saying: "I think the world of Nick," said former Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich. "I think he is a brilliant offensive mind. He is a tireless worker. He pays attention to detail. He has a dynamic coaching personality."

>> Read More


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3. Gustavus' Olinger Shatters Spine;
'Has Angel On Her Shoulder'

A Gustavus senior remains hospitalized after shattering her spine during a  college women's hockey game last Friday
by Maddie Paul, KEYC

"Friends and family describe 21-year-old Gustavus senior Heather Olinger as a positive and tough hockey teammate.

Especially since Olinger eagerly returns to play after recovering from any injury, such as the three anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears she’s had ever since middle school.

On Friday, Jan. 13, Olinger’s parents watched in horror as she was checked from behind and flew head-first into the boards, during a women’s hockey game between Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Benedict’s College."

>> Backstory: "Olinger suffered from a C-7 fracture and a T-4 burst fracture on the ice, which required immediate hospitalization and a major spinal surgery on Monday night. Surgeons told Olinger’s parents that she had an angel on her shoulder that night and it’s a miracle Olinger isn’t paralyzed."

>> Good News: Childhood friend Megan Munger and others created a GoFundMe page with a goal to raise $500 toward Olinger’s medical bills.  As of Wednesday night, nearly $10,000 has been raised from over 150 donors and counting, including various hockey teams across the country.

>> What They're Saying: “To see all the support that the hockey community, friends and family, people we don’t even know, it is what keeps us going,” Cherrie Olinger said.

>> Read More


4. Weekend Watchlist

A holiday weekend filled with great Division III action awaits. Here's what we are keeping an eye on.



  Ice Hockey (M)  Ice Hockey (W)  Volleyball (M)  Wrestling (M)

5.  Lightning Round 


  • Sources have confirmed to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football that Sul Ross State is expected to transition to NCAA Division II and join the Lone Star Conference on July 1, 2024. The Lobos have been charter members of the American Southwest Conference since 1996. The decision marks a return to the LSC for the Lobos, who was a member of the conference from 1950-1976 when the LSC competed in NAIA. 

   Happy Birthday

  • Cake and candles for Samantha Kastner, assistant AD, Notre Dane (Md.); and Samantha Barany, executive director, CSCAA (Sun.)

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. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

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