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The One Group With A Huge Advantage in College Admissions

Elite private institutions have tried but failed to reign in the athletics arms race.

JULY 24, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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» Where Did The Month Go? Welcome to the last week of July. Looking forward to MARCA social on Tuesday in Hershey.

» What’s Happening: Presidents Council (Wed.). Nominating Committee (Thurs.).

TOP STORY
1. The One Group With A Huge Advantage in College Admissions

by John MacIntosh, CNN

Harvard University’s admissions policies are once again being challenged. A group called Lawyers for Civil Rights filed a complaint with the US Department of Education last week alleging that the children of wealthy donors and alumni, who it says are overwhelmingly White, receive an unfair “legacy preference” in admissions.

The complaint came just days after the US Supreme Court ruled against Harvard in a landmark case ending decades of affirmative action at American colleges and universities. And it ensures that the contentious debate over who gets admitted to the nation’s most elite schools will continue to roil institutions of higher learning in the United States.”

At highly selective, private institutions, athletic recruitment greatly distorts the admissions process. Although many of these schools are small — with undergraduate student bodies of just a few thousand students — they have the financial resources to field an over full complement of sports teams.”

» Why It Matters:Athletic recruitment is also an explicit, group-based quota system that goes against the spirit of the Supreme Court’s decision, which argues that each applicant should be judged on individual merits and not as a member of a group that the institution wants represented on campus.”

» Yes, But: “At hundreds of smaller, less selective schools, athletic recruitment is a highly effective strategy to attract students who would otherwise not enroll in the school without taking a sizable number of slots away from others, since these schools are not generally oversubscribed.”

» Reality Check: “The Supreme Court decision is a terrible mistake, but it may have a silver lining. Elite private institutions have tried but failed to reign in the athletics arms race. The high court has now given them the motivation and opportunity to do it.”

CONFERENCES
2. Conference Stability, Part 4

Today, we continue 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.

Little East Conference. The Little East Conference was established on April 28, 1986 as a single sport league by six public institutions - Eastern Connecticut, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, Plymouth State, Rhode Island College, and Southern Maine.

Added to Core: Western Connecticut (1993), Keene State (1997), Castleton (2018). Come and Gone: none

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. In June 1971, the MASCAC was formed with charter members Boston State (left 1982), Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Lowell State (left 1975), Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Salem State, Westfield State and Worcester State.

Added to Core: Massachusetts Maritime (1974). Come and Gone: none.

Midwest Conference. The Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference was conceived at a meeting on May 12, 1921. Charter members were Beloit, Carleton (left 1983), Coe (left 1997), Cornell (left 1997, returned 2012), Knox and Lawrence. The Midwest Conference for Women was formed in 1977. The modern-era Midwest Conference was created in 1994.

Added to Core: Ripon (1923), Monmouth (1924), Grinnell (1940), Lake Forest (1974), Illinois College (1982). Come and Gone: Millikin (1921-25), Hamline (1921-30), St. Olaf (1952-74), Chicago (1976-87), St. Norbert (1982-2021), Carroll (1992-2016).

Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The MIAC was formed on December 22, 1919 with Carleton (left 1925, returned 1983), Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Macalester, Saint John’s, St. Olaf (left 1952, returned 1975) and St. Thomas (left 2021) as charter members.

Added to Core: Concordia-Moorhead (1921), Augsburg (1924). St. Mary’s (1926), Bethel (1977), St. Catherine (1982), Saint Benedict (1985), St. Scholastica (2021). Come and Gone: Minnesota-Duluth (1951-75)

New England Small College Athletic Conference. The NESCAC originated with an agreement among Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan, and Williams first drafted in 1955. In 1971, Bates, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts and Union (left 1977) joined and the NESCAC was officially formed.

Added to Core: Connecticut College (1982).

New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. The New England Women’s 6 Conference (NEW 6) began play in 1985 with charter members Babson, Brandeis (left 1995), MIT, Smith, Wellesley and Wheaton. Mount Holyoke and WPI joined in 1988 and the name was changed to NEW 8. In 1998, the NEW 8 voted to sponsor conference play and championships for men and added Springfield and Coast Guard.

Added to Core: Clark (1995), Emerson (2013).

New Jersey Athletic Conference. The NJAC originated in 1957 with charter members Kean, Montclair State, New Jersey City (left 2004, returned 2005), Rowan, The College of New Jersey and William Paterson. The league was operated as a men’s league until 1985 when it merged with the women’s Jersey Athletic Conference.

Added to Core: Ramapo (1976), Stockton (1977), Rutgers-Camden (1985), Rutgers-Newark (1985).

North Atlantic Conference. The NAC was formed during the 1996-97 academic year as the North Atlantic Women’s Conference with charter members Bay Path (left 2008), Lasell (left 2006), Lesley, Maine Maritime, Massachusetts Pharmacy (left 1999), Wheelock (left 2008). In 1999, men’s programs were added and the name was officially changed.

Added to Core: Husson (2003), Thomas (2003), NVU-Johnson (2002), NVU-Lyndon (2008), SUNY Canton (2018), Maine-Presque Isle (2018), SUNY Delhi (2019), Cazenovia (2020), SUNY Cobleskill (2020), SUNY Poly (2020), Maine-Farmington (2023), Lesley (2023), SUNY Morrisville (2023).

Come and Gone: Becker (1998-2008), Elms (1998-2008), Mount Ida (1998-2006), Castleton (2002-18), Green Mountain (2008-2019), Colby-Sawyer (2011-18), New England College (2011-18).

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CONFERENCE ALIGNMENT
3. What UT Dallas Heading To DII Means For Future of ASC

by Cory Hogue, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football

When David Flores was named the second Commissioner in the history of the American Southwest Conference on June 21, he inherited a conference in disarray. Add another challenge to the list for Flores after UT Dallas announced their intention to transition to NCAA Division II and compete in the Lone Star Conference beginning in the Fall of 2025 in a press release.

According to the release, UTD will apply for membership to Division II in February 2024 and begin a three-year transition if accepted. The Comets have been a member of the ASC since the school’s athletic department began in 1998.”

» Situational Awareness: “The most significant question following the announcement today was the future of the ASC without the Comets. When the 2025-2026 school year begins, the ASC will begin play with six fewer members sponsoring football and nine fewer members total than at the start of the 2021-2022 campaign.”

» The Big Picture: “There are currently no talks of Howard Payne leaving the ASC for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference as rumored, and keeping the remaining five members in the ASC must be priority number one for Flores if the ASC is to survive. The ASC won’t lose its automatic qualifier status until 2026, and UTD will remain with the conference until the 2025-2026 academic year.”

NEWS
4. Around The Horn

📜 Rules. Playing Rules Oversight Panel | Swimming and Diving | Women’s Lacrosse | Men’s Lacrosse

🗞 News. Lasell University is cutting degree offerings in the liberal arts and laying off faculty, in the latest sign of financial trouble for small, private colleges in New England. Internal documents obtained by the Boston Globe show the college expected a $12 million budget deficit in the fiscal year ending in June.

🗞 News. A bipartisan trio of senators is looking to standardize and regulate name, image and likeness rules for college athletes, Yahoo Sports reported. The bill would set a national policy allowing college athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness, which would trump state policies, and create the College Athletics Corporation to administer the bill and create specific policies.”

🤼‍♂️ Wrestling. Michael McCormick Jr. named national coordinator of officials for wrestling.

🏒 Ice Hockey. Krissy Langley named national coordinator of women’s ice hockey officiating.

TRANSACTIONS
5. Comings and Goings

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