Author Topic: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'  (Read 14885 times)

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2014, 11:38:08 am »
Several thoughts... I first talked about this on my trip to Indy and those at the office were very enthusiastic about this. They see it as a chance for Division III to get some headlines. Instead of the D1 and DIIs getting all of the attention when a student-athlete chooses where they are going to college. This can also be a cool story for small, local entities. All of the sudden one of the town's favorite players has a story about them going to a college with pictures and everything. Also, the press will get information about Division III at the event and thus the ideals of Division III can be spread out a bit more to people who may not be as familiar as the rest of us.

Secondly, the non-binding part is great. Sure, it doesn't mean they have to go to the school, but when those signing at the DIs and DIIs of the world they are actually signing important legal documents. It takes on a whole different meaning. Now, to the point that they can still go somewhere else, sure... but I don't think student-athletes are going to "sign a paper" unless they have actually made their decision on a school. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to them either.

And then this: why not celebrate our student-athletes in more ways. Some of these individuals are incredible students, people, and athletes. They don't get the attention they deserve. This can be a way, even on a small media level, that allows them to be celebrated while also celebrating the division. I love this idea and hope it only helps raise more awareness for Division III and the student-athletes that make it great.
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Offline Tekken

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2014, 01:47:01 pm »
Several thoughts... I first talked about this on my trip to Indy and those at the office were very enthusiastic about this. They see it as a chance for Division III to get some headlines. Instead of the D1 and DIIs getting all of the attention when a student-athlete chooses where they are going to college. This can also be a cool story for small, local entities. All of the sudden one of the town's favorite players has a story about them going to a college with pictures and everything. Also, the press will get information about Division III at the event and thus the ideals of Division III can be spread out a bit more to people who may not be as familiar as the rest of us.

Secondly, the non-binding part is great. Sure, it doesn't mean they have to go to the school, but when those signing at the DIs and DIIs of the world they are actually signing important legal documents. It takes on a whole different meaning. Now, to the point that they can still go somewhere else, sure... but I don't think student-athletes are going to "sign a paper" unless they have actually made their decision on a school. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to them either.

And then this: why not celebrate our student-athletes in more ways. Some of these individuals are incredible students, people, and athletes. They don't get the attention they deserve. This can be a way, even on a small media level, that allows them to be celebrated while also celebrating the division. I love this idea and hope it only helps raise more awareness for Division III and the student-athletes that make it great.

I agree 100% on all these points.  I still have a hard time reconciling the difference between these points and the quotes in the story though.  The athletes all alluded to how egocentrically "unspecial" they were. When everyone is special, it becomes that noone is special.

Offline smedindy

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2014, 01:50:00 pm »
Argh! It's special for these kids to celebrate their accomplishments. Not everyone gets to play college sports at any level. You can't just waltz on to most all D-3 teams.

Offline Tekken

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2014, 02:03:49 pm »
I agree smed, but do they want a "signing day" because it acknowledges their achievement, or do they want it because that's what the DI/DII kids get to do?  If we really want to celebrate their achievement (including having the foresight to see how a generalized DIII education prepares them for life as opposed to many of the generalized educations DI/DII athletes get) then let's do that; but the quotes to me, at least, seem to back up the notion, they just want to be treated the same as a DI/DII athlete when in most cases (I understand many DIII athletes forgo DI/DII money, but that is the exception, not the rule), they are indeed not.

Offline smedindy

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2014, 02:18:17 pm »
Why shouldn't they be treated the same? WHY?

This is a huge accomplishment for these kids. They are not 'leftovers'. They are student athletes who are making a big step in their careers.

Offline Tekken

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2014, 02:24:49 pm »
As to the first, because they aren't signing a binding letter of intent, which is what National Signing day is all about.

As to the second, I would use your rationale as mine.  It is a huge accomplishment.  But it's a different accomplishment.  Let's honor it by acknowledging it in a different way, if we so choose.

Offline smedindy

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2014, 02:32:02 pm »
It is not different. They are choosing a school to continue both their academic and athletic careers. Same on BOTH fronts.

You earlier stated that D3 were, to paraphrase, 'leftovers'. They are not. I've spent 30+ years as a student, volunteer and finally in work all around college campuses, big and small. The student athletes at Oberlin, Monmouth or Kalamazoo were all recruited, all qualified as students, and all were quite qualified to play athletically in their leagues. These players CHOOSE D3. Rarely is it that some don't play HS at a very high level and then play D3. (Cal Tech hoops used to have some kids like that but there are myriad reasons for that and they have improved greatly in the past few years).

I've talked to a lot too, "I could have tried to walk on at X, or Y gave me a partial scholarship but the academics weren't what I wanted, or I chose academics and sports here than a full ride somewhere else." You watch Kenyon and Denison swimmers, many could have been D1 swimmers. You watch Williams or Wash U. or Wooster hoops, you can see that some have D2 talent or even lower level D1 talent, but the combination of athletics and academics are why they CHOOSE D3.

Some players go D1, don't like it, and transfer back. They CHOSE D3 too.

In fact, D3 freshman many times experience a wake up call like no other. All of a sudden, you go from all-conference to bench warmer. Just. Like. That.

I work at a D2 school now with a good athletics program. The big difference I see is depth, average size, and that the best D2 players are better. But the average D2 player wouldn't dominate a good D3 league. They may be one of the best players on the team, but they wouldn't look so out of place.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 02:45:12 pm by smedindy »

Offline Tekken

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2014, 07:12:19 pm »
Maybe the stats bear you out, but I'd be willing to wager the majority of Division III athletes didn't have a chance of signing for scholarship money at a division I or division II school.  That is not saying there are not many that do.  I'm sure you've come across multiple, as I have I.  But let's not try and act like that is the rule, rather than the exception.  This is not a knock on Division III, or Division III athletes; the system is tiered for myriad of reasons, but one of the happens to be skill/athleticism.  Unfortunately, money talks.

And again, I've said I have no problem with the proposal itself, though I see it unnecessary.  I have a problem with the perception from the athletes.  Not everyone gets treated equal.  The line always has to be drawn somewhere.  Schools who are willing to throw money at a kid to come to their school seems like a very sensible place to draw it.

Offline smedindy

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2014, 07:14:05 pm »
I look at it like schools who are willing to treat all students equally.

Offline D3AlumniParent

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2014, 03:00:58 am »
I love this idea and hope it only helps raise more awareness for Division III and the student-athletes that make it great.
GREAT ideas Dave!

I could go on for days about the virtues of college athletics/athletes and about how I and several family members have been positively impacted by our participation. I believe smed has 95% of that covered very well already, so no need. But I'll give you my spin.

I actually put together a wonderful SOS metric that we can use that will solve all of this too. ;) I'll come back to that.

Less than 7%of HS football players continue on to participate in college. This stat is very similar in other sports. That's statistically significant and a very big deal when those few kids decide to make the commitment to play at the next level.

Football in the late '80s consumed a great deal of my time- too much I thought. Now they even have spring football and seemingly year-round workouts. Out-of-class study time in the 80's consumed a ton of my time. Now it's just insane how much time is required of my daughter to adequately prepare for class. Put the two together and it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to effectively manage both. (That's why she decided against football, at least for freshman year.)

Seriously though, 7 out of 100 is a very exclusive group. We honor these student-athletes at our high school (no distinction of division levels), as do a great number of Cincinnati area schools. I see these on the news, twitter and Facebook all the time. The quick ceremony, in essence, serves to honor their athletic accomplishments of high school, as well as their commitment to the discipline required to handle sports and academics in college.

Simple quick ceremony- do it at lunch: athlete sits with parents, coaches behind, pics, vids, hat, sweatshirt, AD gives quick announcement  for the group, cookies, milk, over in 25 minutes. Parents are proud. Student athlete pumped. Lifetime memory for this exclusive group.

My son will soon decide between D3 football/lacrosse or D1 lacrosse. Many factors will be considered before a final decision will be made. The number of I's after the D are insignificant. There is a much, much, much greater difference between playing/not playing versus the division level. The honor is in the participation, dedication & commitment.

Oh yeah, SOS is "Strength of Signing". If less than 9.25% of high school participants carry on the activity in college, then they meet this SOS metric required to be honored and made to feel special. And I'm just going to say that all college sports fall below that number (or close enough so don't argue).

« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 03:03:26 am by D3AlumniParent »

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2014, 02:57:46 pm »
Oh yeah, SOS is "Strength of Signing". If less than 9.25% of high school participants carry on the activity in college, then they meet this SOS metric required to be honored and made to feel special. And I'm just going to say that all college sports fall below that number (or close enough so don't argue).

Excellent point, D3AP.
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Offline infielddad

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2014, 04:41:58 pm »
Personally, having had a son who, as a  D3 athlete,  turned down transfer options to D1 and a very top D2 after his sophomore and junior years, this NLI signing proposal is not one I find very attractive.  At its core, I think the NLI has become something it is not in so many ways.  In my view, it should  NOT be a recognition of past performance. Rather, is the reflection of  an opportunity to compete and earn a spot at the next level.  As one of the very best HS baseball coaches in the Country recently articulated about NLI's on another board:""A college commitment is the beginning of the pressure to get better, not the destination. Players need to have getting better be their top priority rather than where they are playing in college.There needs to be understood standards that must be met to play college ball..."
If the NCAA  feels a need to upgrade the D3 image with the media and public, my view is it should do so with some of  incredible success stories which exist when their student-athletes are juniors and seniors in college(and after) and are doing amazing things in athletics, in the classroom, or in the real world, or some combination.
When we really analyze an NLI, it goes to the top athletes at the HS level.  The following August/September, most of those end up toward the bottom or middle of their college team.  Stated somewhat differently, when they get to college, no one cares where they played or the honors they received before they arrived.  If there is to be recognition for past accomplishments, dedication and success at the D3 level, my view is that celebration needs to occur toward the end of the D3 experience, not at a point where nothing has yet been done in college athletics.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 04:50:48 pm by infielddad »

Offline D3AlumniParent

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2014, 08:09:22 pm »
My initial impressions on some of @timtlu's comments on this topic were that, basically, we weren't really in agreement. But we've exchanged several long emails over the past few days. And I have to say that his first-hand experience with D3 athletics is both far different from mine yet very interesting and thought-provoking.

Its probably a conversation best kept offline though, so if anyone feels so inclined, shoot a PM his way. Great perspective that I really appreciated, Tim.

That said, in the bubble in which I live, I still like the idea. Some kids may get theirs egos stroked too much. But far too many don't get enough recognition of the positive paths they take. And I'd rather err on that side.

...In my view, it should  NOT be a recognition of past performance. Rather, is the reflection of  an opportunity to compete and earn a spot at the next level...

If there is to be recognition for past accomplishments, dedication and success at the D3 level, my view is that celebration needs to occur toward the end of the D3 experience, not at a point where nothing has yet been done in college athletics.

I appreciate your perspective, @infielddad. But I want to understand better. It seems as though you're not really a fan of NLI ceremony/recognition for any athletes, regardless of division. You're not drawing a line between D1/2 and D3, right? Thanks.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 11:39:50 pm by D3AlumniParent »

Offline Just Bill

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2014, 10:35:34 am »
If DI and DII athletes really understood how many rights they are forfeiting when they sign the NLI, many wouldn't do it. You don't have to sign an NLI to get a scholarship or play DI or DII sports. Frankly, there's little advantage to signing one for the student-athlete. All the provisions protect the school, not the student-athlete.

This DIII proposal will be something altogether different of course.
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Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: NCAA proposal to allow a non-binding Division III 'signing day'
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2014, 09:52:37 am »
The Division III letter is COMPLETELY different. There is no legal binding to it... it is basically a chance for a student-athlete to be recognized for choosing to continue playing at another school. It is a recruitment get for schools; it is a pat on the back for students. If the student wakes up the next morning and decided to change his mind, he could... though, he would have to call each any every media outlet and explain why the day before turned out to not be true :).
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