And Then There Were (Almost) Two

Softball, baseball championship action continues. LaDew named SAA Commissioner. The college that mortgaged everything.

JUNE 5, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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» Good Monday Morning. Welcome to the first week of June as we prepare to crown the final champions of 2022-23.

» What’s Happening Today: The DIII Baseball and Softball Championships continue. The NCAA Lacrosse Playing Rules Committee (through Wednesday). The Postgraduate Scholarship Committee (through Tuesday).

1. And Then There Were (Almost) Two

Salisbury used some late-game heroics to reach the NCAA Division III Softball Championship but will have to wait until later today to find out its opponent.

Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Sea Gulls (48-4) were down to their final strike before coming back to score four times to force extra innings against Berry. There, Salisbury pushed across a run in the eighth to pull out a 5-4 victory.

Due to weather and the lateness of the hour, the other matchup between Trine and Coe was moved to today at noon ET.


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2. Baseball Bracket Finales

Luke Vanderhaar, Baldwin Wallace (photo by Kevin Wilker)

We are down to the bracket finales today in Cedar Rapids, as Johns Hopkins and Lynchburg are one win away from reaching the final, while Baldwin Wallace and East Texas Baptist need a pair of victories to advance.

The top-seeded Blue Jays took down the Yellow Jackets, 10-6, on Saturday with seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings. BW bounced back with a 13-8 victory against Misericordia. The Tigers took out Salisbury, surviving a 7-0 deficit in the second to down the Sea Gulls, 21-7.

3. The College That Mortgaged Everything

by David Jesse, Chronicle of Higher Education

When Timothy Pinnow arrived at Finlandia University as its new president last summer, he wasn’t naïve about its financial situation. It was a tiny liberal-arts college in a remote part of the country, bruised by years of budget cuts and struggling to attract students. But the board told him the institution had a balanced budget, and Pinnow thought he could help turn things around.

When he arrived last summer, Pinnow discovered that the “balanced budget” the trustees had told him about presumed a 20-percent enrollment growth at a university that had been hemorrhaging students for decades.

Pinnow had options. The university had a house with some land, a couple of vacant lots, and a big hospital-turned-office-building Pinnow could sell. He found buyers for the land and a couple of developers interested in purchasing the former hospital.

Then, just half a year into his first presidency, Pinnow got a strange call.”

» Why It Matters: “Buried deep in county land records — and unknown to any current Finlandia administrators — were a series of encumbrances on pretty much the entire campus that had been signed in the 1990s in a successful effort to keep it afloat then. In other words, the university had already signed over almost everything as collateral for loans.”

» What’s Next: Now, an official appointed by a Michigan court is sorting through the rubble to see what can be sold off to finish paying faculty their salaries and repay a convoluted series of loans.

» Quotable: “When I say it’s a mess, I can’t overstate it,” said Patrick O’Keefe, the court-appointed receiver and a former trustee at Michigan State University. “The assets are cross-collateralized. It’s a hodgepodge of bad records and financial mismanagement.”


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4. LaDew Named SAA Commissioner

Southern Athletic Association President’s Council Chair Dr. Stephen Briggs has announced the hiring of Stacey LaDew as the conference’s commissioner.
LaDew succeeds founding commissioner Jay Gardiner, who is set to retire in June after leading the SAA through its first 12 years.
LaDew brings direct experience from her role, since 2019, as Associate Commissioner and Senior Woman Administrator of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, the members of which compete regularly against teams from the SAA. She chaired the HCAC Championships committee and helped oversee championships and playoffs for the HCAC’s 22 sports. She also served as an integral leader in the HCAC’s rebranding campaign, website transition, and awards redesign process.

» What They’re Saying: “We are delighted to have Stacey join us at an important moment in our development as we begin to integrate two highly regarded institutions into the conference,” Briggs explained. “Her sharp intellect, focus, energy, and vision will serve us well as we review our foundational assumptions and build on our record of competitive success and good-natured rivalry.”

5. Lightning Round ⚡️

🗞 News. The Williams men’s crew swept the IRA DIII National Championship over the weekend in New Jersey.

🗞 News. Pitt-Bradford has suspended its men’s and women’s tennis programs.

 🎂 Happy Birthday Cake and candles for Adam Reel.

  • Do you know of someone celebrating an upcoming birthday? Drop us a line at [email protected]

6. Comings and Goings

7. Weekend’s Best

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