Is A Merger In ASC’s Future?

Plus: Factors That End College Presidencies; Juniata Gets Preseason Volleyball Nod; Platteville Facing Budget Shortfall

AUGUST 24, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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1. Is A Merger In ASC’s Future?

by Cory Hogue, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football

“The fate of the future of the American Southwest Conference remains unsolved as the 2023-24 athletic year begins.”

With survival of the conference at stake, would the ASC consider a merger with the Coast-to-Coast or Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference?

“Why would the ASC be interested in a union with one of those conferences? It’s all about surviving as a Division III conference right now.”

» Why It Matters: “The possibility of convincing a NAIA school to give up athletic scholarships and join NCAA Division III seems unlikely. That leaves the ASC searching for a merger. An alliance or a merger with the SCAC would be ideal. However, the schools would’ve had no reason to leave the ASC if they were willing to give Mary Hardin-Baylor the automatic bid to the playoffs every season.”

» The Big Picture: “The lure of the SCIAC is apparent. Some coaches said a merger with the SCIAC creates logical divisions. Others explained that basketball and other sports might only need one flight to California to play crossover games against the other division. Traveling to Southern California a few times a year is preferred over multiple flights nationwide.”

» Be Smart: “If it saves the ASC, I’ll do whatever we need to do,” said one coach. “All I care about is having an automatic bid to the NCAA (playoffs).”

2. The Factors That End College Presidencies

by Jacquelyn Elias, Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education

One certainty about the job of college president, known for its unpredictability, is that every one must eventually come to an end.

Less certain are the circumstances under which that happens.

Sometimes presidents leave on a high note, awash in praise from faculty, staff, students, and board members. Other times a presidency ends unexpectedly and is precipitated by a reputation-tarnishing event.”

» Between The Lines: “What factors lead to a president’s exit? And once the first stirrings of a controversy or of an ultimately unsolvable personal or professional challenge become known, how long does it take for presidents to announce their resignation or retirement, or to be fired?”

» The Key Stat: “The average tenure of a college president has declined to 5.9 years, according to the American Council on Education’s latest survey of presidents. The leaders in our analysis had shorter tenures than that — an average of 4.5 years on the job.”

3. Defending National Champion Juniata Earns Preseason Nod

Juniata secured 81 of 86 first-place ballots to overwhelmingly earn the preseason favorite nod as the AVCA released its 2023 preseason women’s volleyball poll.

The Eagles, who won their third national championship and first since 2006, easily outpointed the team they defeated in the 2022 final - Trinity TX. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, NYU and Northwestern rounded out the top five.

AVCA Preseason Poll

  1. Juniata (81)

  2. Trinity TX

  3. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (3)

  4. NYU

  5. Northwestern

  6. Hope (2)

  7. Calvin

  8. Transylvania

  9. Johns Hopkins

  10. MIT

Players to Watch

Leela Anvekar, NYU, Jr., MB
Sam Buckley, Washington U., So., S
Mackenzie Coley, Juniata, Jr., MH
Alyssa DeVries, Calvin, So., S
Taylor French, Illinois Wesleyan, So., OH
Abby Glanzer, Northwestern, Jr., OH
Lindsey Hirano, NYU, Jr., L
Jenna Holmes, CMS, Sr., OH
Ashley Kopp, UW-Stevens Point, Jr., OH
Lauren Lee, Hope, So., S
Tyler Linkhart, Wittenberg, Sr., RS
Annie Lockett, Hope, Jr., OH
Georgia McGovern, CMS, Sr., S
Graycee Mosley, East Texas Baptist, So., OH
Mack Ricketts, Wittenberg, Sr., S
Adriana Rodriguez, North Park, Jr., OH
Consecrata Rozario, MIT, Sr., MB
Kiona Sky Rousset-Hernandez, Juniata, Sr., L
Marlee Turn, Gustavus Adolphus, Sr., OH
Carly Wallace, Emory, Sr., OH
Grace Ward, Transylvania, Sr., S
Kate Whittle, Berry, Jr., L

» Conference Call: WIAC (4), NESCAC (3), UAA (3), C2C (2), Michigan (2), Centennial (1), HCAC (1), Landmark (1), Minnesota (1), NCAC (1), NEWMAC (1), OAC (1), SAA (1), SCAC (1), SCIAC (1), UMAC (1).

» Returning Stat Leaders: Adriana Rodriguez, North Park, 5.12 KPS, 5.70 PPS; Grace Ward, Transylvania, 11.20 APS; Brooke Murdock, Randolph, 1.39 BPS; Taylor Herrmann, Piedmont, 6.74 DPS; Shaylen Perry, Anderson, 45.3 Hit%.

» Opening Weekend Matches to Watch: #1 Juniata vs. #9 Johns Hopkins; #2 Trinity TX vs. #15 UW-Oshkosh; #3 CMS vs. #25 UW-Eau Claire; #6 Hope vs. #14 Washington U.; #8 Transylvania vs. #11 Berry.

» Coming Friday: Cross Country

4. Lightning Round

📰 News. Saint Benedict’s Fiona Smith was honored as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year by Chi Alpha Sigma, the national college athlete honor society.

📰 News. UW-Platteville is considering layoffs, furloughs and early retirement incentives as it stares down a large budget deficit. The school predicts its budget will fall $9.7 million short in the 2024 fiscal year. Ten University of Wisconsin campuses expect to run a deficit in 2023-24, according to the system’s board regents.

📰 News. East Texas Baptist will serve as host of the 2024 NCAA Division III softball championship. The Division III Softball Committee made the site change, because the original host facility in Salem, Virginia, is undergoing renovations and is unavailable to host the championship.

5. Comings and Goings

1 #whyD3 THING
6. Nailing The Anthem, Again

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