Author Topic: Future of Division III  (Read 548213 times)

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2400 on: March 09, 2018, 03:57:45 am »
Yeah, but Houghton and Bard are located in the traditional hotbed of lacrosse. It's been a major high-school sport in New York State for, heck, the better part of a century by now. What sunny specifically talked about are midwestern schools that have added lacrosse and are now have trouble filling out their rosters. It's because lacrosse is a new-ish sport in this part of the country, and there's still only a certain number of high schools that have lacrosse teams.

True, but it is growing VERY rapidly in at least some parts of the midwest.  Son #1 (now 29) was a founding member of the first lacrosse team at Ypsilanti HS (he and a neighbor were the ONLY ones who had ANY experience whatsoever - they had been to a one-week camp :P).  I haven't tracked down the actual numbers, but my impression is that the number of Michigan high schools offering lacrosse has more than doubled in the last two decades.  Most of them are probably as bad as my son's team was back then, but there are a number of schools that are nationally competitive.  I have no idea how many potential college lacrosse players they produce, but it surely must be at least enough to fill the rosters of 3-5 college teams.

Popularity of different sports rise and fall over time - I'd judge lacrosse (in Michigan, at least) to be about where soccer was in the 70s or 80s.  And no one seems worried about the state of college soccer these days!  (When I was growing up (50s and early 60s), no one in my part of downstate Illinois, except for 'non-Americanized' ethnics, had ever heard of soccer!)

Nobody said that midwestern high-school lacrosse wasn't expanding. Heck, why do you think that so many midwestern colleges have added the sport in the first place? Do you see them adding cricket? Squash? Curling? 43-man squamish? They're adding lacrosse because midwestern high schools are starting to pick up the sport.

Regardless, that doesn't mean that supply is keeping up with demand. If D3 colleges and universities in this part of the country are creating lacrosse programs faster than the pool of high-school lacrosse players who are willing to shell out the bucks to attend a D3 school in order to play college lacrosse is expanding, then you get the shortage of which sunny spoke.
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Offline sunny

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2401 on: March 09, 2018, 09:49:02 am »
Two things:

#1) Men's and women's lacrosse are two very different sports, so a men's roster of 15-20 is wholly unsustainable, while you might be able to get by with that for women's. Healthy men's programs will carry from the low to mid 30s up to 50 or more (whereas healthy women's programs are generally low 20s to around 30). Greg, you are right, that that was part of the draw for lacrosse - the anticipation that men's rosters would be close to, or double that, of women's, but that's part and parcel to the sport(s). You'd be hard-pressed to find rosters of that size common among the new Midwestern teams, so they are not getting what they were hoping for.

#2) Some examples, Olivet has seen a DECLINING men's roster as more Michigan schools added. They currently show 16 on their men's roster. That is not sustainable. Defiance College added men's lacrosse only to drop it due to struggles with fielding a roster. There are others who have struggled. The game has grown in the midwest, but some of the top talent is still going east and the growth of talented players at the high school level who want to continue to play in college is just not keeping pace. Dave is right that the stubbornness of the men's lacrosse regional set-up (and even the structure of the national tournament) is not helping.

I do understand that this is a special case with specific problems, but I wonder if we will see something similar, on a small scale, anyway, play out elsewhere as the % of student-athletes goes up while overall enrollment declines. Especially as schools add sports as a way to offset the latter. There will be a tipping point, it's just a question of when and how bad will it be.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 09:58:01 am by sunny »

Offline Warren Thompson

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2402 on: March 09, 2018, 11:07:45 am »
Why don't colleges add academic programs in order to bolster enrollment? A Department of Applied Witchcraft just might work better than, say, Gaelic football or hurling. Might even be cheaper in the long run (no uniforms or exotic equipment or bus trips -- just purely natural/organic stuff such as eyes of newts, nail clippings, toad tongues ... that sort of stuff).

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2403 on: March 09, 2018, 11:34:38 am »
They do, WT. F'rinstance, check out the story about UWSP's academic reconfiguring that was linked to in the WIAC men's basketball room a couple of days ago. (Warning: It's not for the faint-of-heart among liberal arts supporters.)

Colleges and universities are scrambling to find any way possible to keep up their enrollments. It's a both/and situation rather than an either/or.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline sunny

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2404 on: March 09, 2018, 11:41:34 am »
They do, WT. F'rinstance, check out the story about UWSP's academic reconfiguring that was linked to in the WIAC men's basketball room a couple of days ago. (Warning: It's not for the faint-of-heart among liberal arts supporters.)

Colleges and universities are scrambling to find any way possible to keep up their enrollments. It's a both/and situation rather than an either/or.

+1

And, yes, my hypotheticals are framed within the larger reality of the higher education bubble. Schools try all sorts of tricks and bells and whistles to maintain or grow enrollment and keep the balance sheets even - unsurprisingly, they all take an amount of capital lay-out and ongoing operating money, so if something expensive doesn't work out in a big way, the school can be worse off than if it had stood pat - but of course, few schools could afford to choose to stand pat even if they wanted to. And as more schools add more sports and more schools add more majors, and more schools build apartment-style dorms, and more schools build all sorts of other things, those things remain expensive to start and maintain (why does College cost so much again?) while becoming less of a differentiator. And, the bottom line is, most of those efforts are steeped in cannibalization - you're focused on enrolling students who probably would have gone elsewhere rather than skipping college entirely. In short, that means colleges and universities are investing in their own survival (of course!) but those efforts generally do not create more total college students. Hence, some institutions are going to lose. And lose quickly as they invest resources to try to stay afloat or keep up with the Joneses.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 11:48:00 am by sunny »

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2405 on: March 09, 2018, 12:14:05 pm »
They do, WT. F'rinstance, check out the story about UWSP's academic reconfiguring that was linked to in the WIAC men's basketball room a couple of days ago. (Warning: It's not for the faint-of-heart among liberal arts supporters.)

Colleges and universities are scrambling to find any way possible to keep up their enrollments. It's a both/and situation rather than an either/or.

Psst... shared it hear a page ago... LOL

Found this interesting to read: https://www.stevenspointjournal.com/story/news/2018/03/05/uw-stevens-point-plans-cut-12-majors-add-expand-16-programs/395613002/

Especially in juxtaposition of this: https://www.biztimes.com/2018/industries/arts-entertainment-sports/uw-whitewater-planning-expansion-of-athletic-and-recreational-facilities/

Might that be where you read it? I didn't see it in the WIAC page... but I might have missed it as I sped read recently.

BTW - lots of schools find other ways to get students in. I am somewhat fascinated at the "new" president at Goucher and what they are doing with dorms, buildings, learning, etc... including what I had not realized was an overhaul of many of the athletics facilities and such. Not sure when that is supposed to start, but it surprised me (probably starting after equestrian gets its overhaul which then officially allows them to start using the space equestrian was in for the remodeling of everything else.

Also, Goucher has long prided itself not only on its academics obviously, but its dance program as well. That is a major part of its enrollment with athletics (equestrian) and others. There are ways to do it without athletics... and I think Goucher has finally figured out how to do it WITH athletics as well.
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2406 on: March 09, 2018, 12:48:32 pm »
They do, WT. F'rinstance, check out the story about UWSP's academic reconfiguring that was linked to in the WIAC men's basketball room a couple of days ago. (Warning: It's not for the faint-of-heart among liberal arts supporters.)

Colleges and universities are scrambling to find any way possible to keep up their enrollments. It's a both/and situation rather than an either/or.

Psst... shared it hear a page ago... LOL

Found this interesting to read: https://www.stevenspointjournal.com/story/news/2018/03/05/uw-stevens-point-plans-cut-12-majors-add-expand-16-programs/395613002/

Especially in juxtaposition of this: https://www.biztimes.com/2018/industries/arts-entertainment-sports/uw-whitewater-planning-expansion-of-athletic-and-recreational-facilities/

Might that be where you read it? I didn't see it in the WIAC page... but I might have missed it as I sped read recently.

It probably was. I didn't backtrack to double-check that that was where I had seen it.

BTW - lots of schools find other ways to get students in. I am somewhat fascinated at the "new" president at Goucher and what they are doing with dorms, buildings, learning, etc... including what I had not realized was an overhaul of many of the athletics facilities and such. Not sure when that is supposed to start, but it surprised me (probably starting after equestrian gets its overhaul which then officially allows them to start using the space equestrian was in for the remodeling of everything else.

Also, Goucher has long prided itself not only on its academics obviously, but its dance program as well. That is a major part of its enrollment with athletics (equestrian) and others. There are ways to do it without athletics... and I think Goucher has finally figured out how to do it WITH athletics as well.

Some schools are looking to international students to boost static enrollment figures. NPU is going that route, which makes sense when you consider that it's located within a dynamic and diverse world-class city that thus offers international students a specifically American higher-education experience, exposure to myriad cultures, and practically limitless internship opportunities. That's particularly attractive to Scandinavian students, whose home countries are still relatively homogenous from a cultural perspective -- and that has dovetailed nicely for NPU athletics, as a large percentage of North Park's best student-athletes in recent years have been Swedes or Norwegians. In response, the school has tailored several of its academic programs to specifically fit the needs of those international students -- International Business is now one of the biggest majors on campus, and the Sports Medicine major has been re-shaped to cover not only the requirements for Illinois athletic training licensure (which transfers well to other states, given the high level of Illinois's requirements) but Sweden's and Norway's athletic training licensure requirements as well.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2407 on: March 09, 2018, 11:40:01 pm »
Yeah... NPU's decision is what gave me nightmares for ten days leading up to the soccer championships. And it had to be the fourth game... it had to be the last one... LOL
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Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2408 on: March 12, 2018, 12:24:27 pm »
Been hearing rumblings for years... keep an eye on this: http://thebottomlinenews.com/fsu-athletic-conference-affiliation-from-the-cac-to-the-mountain-east/

This could spell disaster for the CAC.
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2409 on: March 12, 2018, 04:48:38 pm »
This:

Quote
Nowaczyk noted that Frostburg State is committed to maintaining the stability of CAC but will explore further options to protect the University’s 21 varsity sports. He also mentioned that Frostburg decided to utilize the services of Strategic Edge Athletic Consultants who would oversee “an assessment of the athletic program’s readiness to compete” at the Division II level.

... strikes me as a pair of contradicting decisions, since the trend in D3 schools moving to D2 is for them to jettison sports in doing so, especially if they had offered 20+ sports (as Frostburg State does) as a D3 institution.
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Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2410 on: March 12, 2018, 09:53:45 pm »
I read that part a dozen times. I thought I was reading things. Starts seemingly like they are denying the idea and are committed to the conference, but by the end the paragraph, it seems like they are ready to explore DII.

Not sure about jettisoning sports. No clue what FSU would do. I'm personally more interested in seeing how the state supplies them more money - it isn't like Maryland is swimming in funds. Budget conversations are always ... fun in this state.

They would just be the second DII school in the state if they left... and I think they would be even more anonymous if they did. I think they get more attention in DIII, but ... we shall see.
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2411 on: March 13, 2018, 10:59:11 am »
I read that part a dozen times. I thought I was reading things. Starts seemingly like they are denying the idea and are committed to the conference, but by the end the paragraph, it seems like they are ready to explore DII.

Not sure about jettisoning sports. No clue what FSU would do. I'm personally more interested in seeing how the state supplies them more money - it isn't like Maryland is swimming in funds. Budget conversations are always ... fun in this state.

All the more reason why FSU would be likely to eliminate some of the sports it currently offers if it moved to D2. As I said, it's generally true of schools that make this move -- and for a public school that's located in a state whose government is hard-pressed to rein in spending, it's not likely that Frostburg State is going to find Annapolis generous in this regard.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline sunny

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2412 on: March 13, 2018, 12:16:39 pm »
I read that part a dozen times. I thought I was reading things. Starts seemingly like they are denying the idea and are committed to the conference, but by the end the paragraph, it seems like they are ready to explore DII.

Not sure about jettisoning sports. No clue what FSU would do. I'm personally more interested in seeing how the state supplies them more money - it isn't like Maryland is swimming in funds. Budget conversations are always ... fun in this state.

All the more reason why FSU would be likely to eliminate some of the sports it currently offers if it moved to D2. As I said, it's generally true of schools that make this move -- and for a public school that's located in a state whose government is hard-pressed to rein in spending, it's not likely that Frostburg State is going to find Annapolis generous in this regard.

It would be interesting. For a combination of reasons (cost, conference affiliation, gender balance), I could see field hockey and men's lacrosse getting the ax (perhaps others as well) - and that would be a real let-down in the latter's case after the program became pretty darned solid in such a short period of time.

Frostburg has always been a weird bird. They mostly recruit to their east, but their physical geography tells a different story. Perhaps a move to Division II could potentially solve the latter issue while not having to sacrifice the former (maybe easier to get over rarely - never? - playing near your family if there's a little athletic scholarship money attached).

Of course, were the CAC to implode, I imagine some of the other remaining CAC state schools might have a tough time finding a conference home in DIII. This could potentially be a pretty big domino effect. We'll see.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 12:20:45 pm by sunny »

Offline Just Bill

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2413 on: March 13, 2018, 04:23:43 pm »
I'm always in favor of a 43-man squamish reference.
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Offline Warren Thompson

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Re: Future of Division III
« Reply #2414 on: March 13, 2018, 04:30:19 pm »
I'm always in favor of a 43-man squamish reference.

Is that related to a "twenty-one sun galoot"? Kindly advise soonest.