Baker Lays Out NCAA Agenda

President sets goals for Association and calls for action around NIL, sports wagering and mental health resources

AUGUST 3, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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» 👋 Time for some much-needed R-and-R. Oh, we’ll still be here next Monday and Thursday, but from a remote location.

» What’s Happening: Sunday, August 6, is the 50th anniversary of Division III. Happy Birthday D3!

1. Baker Lays Out NCAA Agenda

by Michelle Burtlag Hosick, NCAA

NCAA President Charlie Baker released key findings of his review of the NCAA national office's operations and the key trends facing college sports in the years to come. The findings also outlined a series of goals and strategies the NCAA will undertake to achieve those goals. Baker outlined several changes he plans to carry out to ensure student-athletes experience the life-changing opportunities college sports hold for years to come.

One major finding included a clarified operating plan for the national office that prioritizes the needs of student-athletes and aligns the national office with member schools and conferences as partners in the effort.

Baker's additional key findings ranged from overhauling the national office's functions to optimize workflow and spending to reforming the championship bid process to improve student-athlete experiences and revenue potential. The findings include a goal of tackling the growing officiating crisis by building a pipeline of officiating talent across the country.”

» The Bottom Line: "Provide a world-class athletics and academic experience for student-athletes that fosters lifelong well-being," is one part of a third party's thorough analysis of the Association's operations and structures.”

» What They’re Saying:"College sports remains in a period of dramatic transformation, and the NCAA must evolve in response to and anticipation of these changes," Baker said. "We can no longer pretend things are as they always have been — and our new way of doing business will ready the national office to move forward with urgency, purpose and a plan.”

2. Conference Stability, Part 7 - The End

Today, we conclude our multi-part series on DIII conferences - when they were founded, who were the charter members, and what additions or defections they have seen since their inception. Hope you enjoyed our trip down memory lane.

United East Conference. The UEC was founded in 2004 as the North Eastern Athletic Conference with original members that included Bard (left 2007), Cairn (left 2008, returned 2023), Cazenovia (left 2020), Chestnut Hill (left 2007), Clarks Summit (left 2008, returned 2023), D’Youville (left 2009), Keuka (left 2020), Keystone (left 2008), Penn State Berks, Polytechnic (left 2007), Purchase (left 2007), and Stevenson (left 2007). The conference rebranded on August 2, 2021 and merged with the Colonial States Athletic Conference on July 1, 2023.

Added to Core: Penn State Harrisburg (2007-13, 2019-present), Wilson (2007-18, 2023-present), Saint Elizabeth (2009-19, 2023-present), Penn State Abington (2009), Gallaudet (2010), Lancaster Bible (2011), Bryn Athyn (2014-18, 2023-present), Penn College (2014), St. Mary’s, Md. (2021), Cedar Crest (2023), Keystone (2023), Notre Dame, Md. (2023), Rosemont (2023), Valley Forge (2023).

Come and Gone: Wells (2007-23), SUNY Cobleskill (2008-20), SUNY Poly (2008-20), SUNY Morrisville (2009-23).

University Athletic Association. The UAA was founded on June 25, 1986, with charter members Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, Chicago, Emory, Johns Hopkins (left 2001), New York U., Rochester and Washington U.

Added to Core: Brandeis (1987). Come and Gone: none.

Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The UMAC was founded as the Twin Rivers Conference in 1972 with Concordia-Saint Paul (left 1999), Martin Luther, Loras (left 1986), Mount Senario (closed 2002), Northwestern-St. Paul, Northwestern, Wis. (merged with MLC in 1995) and Pillsbury Baptist (left 1988) as charter members. The conference rebranded as the UMAC beginning with the 1983-84 season.

Added to Core: Crown (1994), Northland (1998), Minnesota-Morris (2003), Bethany Lutheran (2004), North Central, Minn. (2013), Wisconsin-Superior (2015) Come and Gone: Viterbo (1976-88), Presentation (2002-12), St. Scholastica (1995-2021).

USA South Athletic Conference. The USA South was born as the Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1963 with Charlotte (left 1970), College of Charleston (left 1970), Methodist, North Carolina Wesleyan, St. Andrews Presbyterian (left 1988) and Lynchburg (left 1976) as charter members. The conference rebranded in February 2003.

Added to Core: Greensboro (1966), William Peace (2003), Mary Baldwin (2005), Meredith (2005), Salem (2016), Brevard (2017), Pfeiffer (2017), Southern Virginia (2021).

Come and Gone: UNC-Greensboro (1968-88), Virginia Wesleyan (1970-89), Christopher Newport (1972-2013), Averett (1978-2022), Ferrum (1988-2018), Shenandoah (1992-2012), Chowan (2000-04), LaGrange (2012-22), Maryville (2012-22), Piedmont (2012-22), Covenant (2013-22), Huntingdon (2013-22), Agnes Scott (2016-22), Wesleyan, Ga. (2016-22), Berea (2017-22).

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The WIAC was formed in 1913 as the Inter-Normal Athletic Conference of Wisconsin with La Crosse, Milwaukee (left 1964), Oshkosh, Platteville, River Falls, Stevens Point, Superior (left 2015 except for ice hockey) and Whitewater as charter members. The conference rebranded as the Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference (1926), as the Wisconsin State College Conference (1951), as the Wisconsin State University Conference (1964) and finally as the WIAC (1997) after a merger with the Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Added to Core: Stout (1914), Eau Claire (1917). Come and Gone: none.


A new day is dawning for D3Playbook and we’re excited to share more in the upcoming days. I thank you for all your continued support over the past four years and look forward to bigger, better things for the 2023-24 academic year.

3. NCAA To Offer Schools Post-Eligibility Insurance Coverage

“The NCAA will offer member schools post-eligibility injury insurance coverage for student-athletes beginning Aug. 1, 2024, the Board of Governors announced at its meeting Tuesday.

The coverage will be for two years after student-athletes complete their college athletics experience and will cover injuries that occur while playing for their school.”

» The Key Stat: “The post-eligibility injury insurance program will be available to all student-athletes at all member schools in Divisions I, II and III. The policy's annual premium is projected to be $26 million. It will have a $90,000 excess limit per injury, with no deductible.”

» Quotable: "Student-athletes deserve the coverage offered in this plan, no matter their division," NCAA President Charlie Baker said.”

4. NCC Takes Top Spot In Preseason Poll

The annual preseason poll is out as the days count down to the opening of camp.

Defending national champion North Central received 22 of the 25 first-place ballots to secure the No. 1 spot. The team the Cardinals defeated the the Stagg Bowl - Mount Union - picked up the other three No. 1’s and placed second. Mary Hardin-Baylor, Trinity (Texas) and Wartburg rounded out the top five.

» Conference Call: WIAC (4), ASC (2), CCIW (2), MIAC (2), OAC (2), SAA (1), ARC (1), CC (1), E8 (1), Landmark (1), Liberty (1), MAC (1), MIAA (1), NACC (1), NJAC (1), NWC (1), ODAC (1), PAC (1)

  1. North Central (15-0)

  2. Mount Union (14-1)

  3. Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-2)

  4. Trinity, TX (11-1)

  5. Wartburg (13-1)

  6. Saint John’s (10-2)

  7. Linfield (10-1)

  8. Hardin-Simmons (9-2)

  9. Ithaca (12-1)

  10. Delaware Valley (12-1)

(#) 2022 record

5. Lightning Round

🗞 News. As its move from Division I to Division III continues, the University of Hartford won summary judgment in a lawsuit initiated by several student-athletes who were hoping to halt the transition and recover damages from alleged broken promises. U.S. District Court Judge Michael P. Shea dismissed a lawsuit brought by 10 UHart student-athletes in December 2021, but left open hope that the matter could be pursued. (Hartford Courant)

🗞 News. In conjunction with the start of Division III’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration, all member schools, conferences and fans are invited to join in a social media blitz at 3 p.m. Eastern time Monday, Aug. 7. Those participating are asked to share a message of support for Division III at that time using #DIII50 and #WhyD3 in the posts.

🗞 News. INFCLR has announced that Saint John’s (Minn.) and College of Saint Benedict have launched platforms with the group that connects student-athletes and businesses directly in developing Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).

⚽️ Soccer. United Soccer Coaches released the association’s preseason college rankings for men’s and women’s soccer in all divisions of NCAA and junior college competition on Tuesday. We’ll share the link, but are not fans of the “pre-season” poll being a copy of the “final poll” from the previous year.

6. Comings and Goings

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