Hop On Top

Learfield Directors Cup Standings. Hendrix Rejoins SCAC. House Committee Votes on Employee Status

JUNE 13, 2024 | written by STEVE ULRICH

The news that you need to know about non-scholarship college athletics and those that love it.
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» 🗓️ What’s Happening Today. The Playing and Officiating Rules Committee for cross country/track and field meets through Friday, while the Athletic Trainer Working Group meets virtually today.

1. Hop On Top

Johns Hopkins captured its second consecutive Learfield Directors’ Cup, finishing with 1,117.50 points with nine teams concluding with top-10 finishes. Williams finished second to the Blue Jays with 1,026.08 points, followed by Emory, Tufts and NYU.

The NESCAC and the UAA each had three member institutions represented in the top 10.

Top 10. Johns Hopkins 1117.5, Williams 1026.08, Emory 1009, Tufts 992.5, NYU 964.5, Middlebury 946.5, MIT 942, Washington U. 912, Claremont-M-S 887.75, Wisconsin-Whitewater 843.75.

Member Institutions in Top 50. NESCAC (8), UAA (7), Wisconsin (4), American Rivers (3), Liberty (3), Coast-to-Coast (2), Michigan (2), Middle Atlantic (2), NEWMAC (2), New Jersey (2), Ohio (2), Old Dominion (2), Southern California (2), SUNYAC (2), CCIW (1), Centennial (1), Landmark (1), Minnesota (1), North Coast (1), Northwest (1), Southern Collegiate (1).

Conference Leaders. Alfred State 146 (AMCC); Wartburg 707.5 (ARC); Texas-Dallas 242 (ASC); Marymount 146 (AEC); North Central 503.5 (CCIW); Belhaven 180 (CCS); Johns Hopkins 1117.5 (CC); Christopher Newport 749.1 (C2C); Endicott 278 (CCC); Baruch 125 (CUNYAC); St. John Fisher 312.5 (E8); Johnson & Wales 180 (GNAC); Transylvania 334.5 (HCAC); Catholic 369.5 (LC); Ithaca 509.5 (LL); Plymouth State 203 (LEC); Stevens 648 (MAC); Bridgewater State 135 (MASCAC); Hope 622.5 (MIAA); Bethel 389 (MIAC); Grinnell 181 (MWC); Aurora 222.5 (NACC); Denison 530.5 (NCAC); Williams 1026.08 (NESCAC), MIT 942 (NEWMAC); Rowan 603.58 (NJAC); Husson 177 (NAC); George Fox 377 (NWC); John Carroll 444.5 (OAC); Washington and Lee 714.25 (ODAC); Grove City 178 (PAC); Centre 297 (SAA); Trinity 594 (SCAC), Claremont-M-S 887.75 (SCIAC); Farmingdale State 181 (SKY); Greenville 159 (SLIAC); Cortland 522.5 (SUNYAC); Emory 1009 (UAA); Wisconsin-Superior 103 (UMAC); St. Mary’s 207 (UEC); North Carolina Wesleyan 235 (USA South); Wisconsin-Whitewater 843.75 (WIAC)


2. Hendrix to Rejoin SCAC

“Hendrix College has accepted an offer of membership into the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) and will rejoin its original Division III conference home effective the 2025-26 academic year.

“With 92 percent of our student body originating from the geographic region represented by the SCAC, it made strategic sense to align Hendrix with another highly competitive conference from a student enrollment and student-athlete recruiting perspective,” said Hendrix College President Karen Petersen, Ph.D.”

» What They’re Saying. “From a logistical and structural standpoint, Hendrix is a slam dunk add,” said commissioner Dwayne Hanberry. “They bring a highly competitive and broad-based athletics program that fits nicely into our geographic footprint. There is no denying we are a better conference with Hendrix College as a member.”

» Quotable. “On behalf of the coaches and staff, I would like to say how excited we are to move forward into a new era for our athletics program,” said Amy Weaver, Hendrix College’s director of athletics. “Given the current expansion of the SCAC and our familiarity with many of the member institutions, the timing of our return to the SCAC could not be better.”

» Numbers Game. The SCAC will have a core membership of 12 members in 2025-26. Six schools will sponsor football with the start date for another program still unclear.

3. ‘Students as Employees’ Resolution Headed to House Committee Vote

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, recently introduced the Protecting Student Athlete’s Economic Freedom Act, which states that a student-athlete may not be considered an employee of an institution, conference, or association.

“As a former college athlete, I strongly believe America’s long tradition of college sports should not be ruined by reclassifying student athletes as employees, or moving to unionization,” said Good. “My legislation will help maintain a balance between athletics and academics, ensuring that college sports programs remain viable, beneficial, and enjoyable for all student athletes."

Today at 10:45 a.m., the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will markup H.R. 618 and vote on Good’s H.R. 8534 rider.

» The Student Viewpoint. “Division III SAAC supports the Good Bill. It supports one of the key tenets we have been promoting as a group; that student athletes are not employees. It may seem as if there is little distinction between these roles, but there is a monumental difference. Division III cannot afford to have their student athletes be employees. This would reduce almost all Division III sports to club athletics while negatively impacting student athletes with the unwanted stresses that come with employment. The protection of the sanctity of the "student athlete" title is essential to the preservation of collegiate athletics” - Jack Langan, Cornell College, chair of DIII SAAC

» Be Smart. Don’t judge a book by its cover. There is not a single protection for students within the bill - only a limitation - athletes may not be deemed employees.

4. Lightning Round

» 🗞️ News. “Nearly half of Universities of Wisconsin campuses are projected to have structural deficits in the 2025 fiscal year, according to budget documents presented to the system’s board last week. Six out of 13 of the system’s campuses are expected to have ongoing expenses that exceed their recurring revenue. The projected operating deficits range from roughly $509,000 at University of Wisconsin Whitewater to $8.6 million at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.”

» 🗞️ News. “Close to 400 Penn State employees took the buyout offer the university made earlier this year as part of its efforts to cut costs at its Commonwealth Campuses, according to a news release, which also outlines the university's plans for shared regional administrations.” The Commonwealth Campuses are operating at a $49 million aggregate deficit, Penn State said.

» 🥎 Softball. The NCAA Softball Rules Committee on Wednesday proposed modifying video review challenges regarding a runner leaving a base early on a pitch. Under the proposal, coaches could challenge whether a runner left early if it is called on the field by an umpire or if a runner successfully advances a base on the play.

» 🗞️ News. Our condolences to the Howard Payne University community on the passing of head softball coach Ty Robinson.

5. Comings and Goings

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