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Messages - Kuiper

#1
Men's soccer / Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
February 28, 2024, 10:45:44 PM
Quote from: smoova on February 28, 2024, 09:56:18 PM
Quote from: Kuiper on February 28, 2024, 04:18:50 PMPomona-Pitzer put its Spring scrimmages on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/p/C356WqoyODM/
https://www.instagram.com/p/C356EZ3SsHL/

As is their custom, they are taking advantage of the single game day to have two games (presumably to get everybody on their roster playing time during the single game day).  Both games are at home on their grass field.

Sunday March 3

11 am v. Santa Monica College (JC)

3:00 pm v. Cal State San Marcos (D2)

Looks like Ditta has stepped away from the program. Any idea if Swartz is back from sabbatical?

I saw that too, but I don't know anything more than he is simply not on the website anymore.  Swartz is still listed as on sabbatical and I tend to doubt he is back.  The team has definitely been practicing based upon what they've been showing on instagram, but I don't know who is running those practices.
#2
Men's soccer / Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
February 28, 2024, 04:18:50 PM
Pomona-Pitzer put its Spring scrimmages on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/p/C356WqoyODM/
https://www.instagram.com/p/C356EZ3SsHL/

As is their custom, they are taking advantage of the single game day to have two games (presumably to get everybody on their roster playing time during the single game day).  Both games are at home on their grass field.

Sunday March 3

11 am v. Santa Monica College (JC)

3:00 pm v. Cal State San Marcos (D2)
#3
General Division III issues / Flo Sports
February 28, 2024, 12:05:46 PM
The NEWMAC has now officially joined the Landmark in signing with Flo Sports for a paywall stream of all of its games. 

https://newmacsports.com/tournaments/?id=39

QuoteWestwood, MA (February 28, 2024) – The NEWMAC and FloSports, a global independent sports media company and streaming platform, today announced a historic five-year media rights agreement under which FloSports will become the exclusive media partner of the NEWMAC beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year. By providing the NEWMAC with a national platform and additional resources, the agreement will enhance the NEWMAC's standing as a preeminent NCAA Division III conference.

"As a conference, our mission is to be at the forefront of the evolving landscape of college athletics to create the best possible experience for our student-athletes," said Patrick B. Summers, NEWMAC Executive Director. "Our partnership with FloSports enables the NEWMAC to continue building on our success as a conference by providing our student-athletes and institutional brands with increased exposure and a national platform."

Under the terms of the agreement, FloSports will distribute more than 1,100 regular season and postseason NEWMAC events live and on-demand across 17 sports, with member institutions having the option to post full games free of charge on their institutional platforms 72 hours after each contest. FloSports investment into the conference will enhance overall production quality and media operations of member schools throughout the term of the contract. FloSports will also leverage the nationally and internationally recognized brands of the NEWMAC member institutions by producing original content and social media programming throughout the conference over the five-year term.

"This partnership will allow the NEWMAC to continue to elevate its brand and highlight our most valuable asset – our student-athletes. We are proud to be a leader among athletic conferences, and our NEWMAC Presidents Council is unanimous in its belief that this is the right path forward for the NEWMAC," added Stephen Spinelli Jr., President of Babson College and Chair of the NEWMAC Presidents Council.

With 90 percent of the revenue from the agreement going back to the NEWMAC member institutions, the agreement will enable the implementation of improved broadcast production standards and continued equity in production quality between corresponding men's and women's sports.

I don't think this will be the last conference to sign up with Flo Sports.  With Landmark and now NEWMAC, it's pretty clear that their plan is to sign up as many conferences as possible so that the value proposition for D3 fans will shift in favor of subscribing.  See the statement below from Flo Sports:

"We are committed to providing the comprehensive destination that NCAA Division III conferences, schools, student-athletes, and fans deserve, and are proud to make an investment in the NEWMAC to serve this mission," said Mike Levy, Senior Vice President, Global Rights Acquisition & Partnerships at FloSports. "We remain steadfast in our belief that there is significant value to be unearthed at the Division III level, and the NEWMAC's combination of athletic excellence and nationally recognized member institutions makes the conference a significant addition to our platform."

Ironically, I don't think this move will be a good one for D3 sports' argument for avoiding employer status in the eyes of the NLRB and the law.  Any new revenue streams are going to make D3 look closer and closer to D1, even if the amount of money is minuscule in the overall picture.  Plus, a media partner is going to impose requirements and restrictions on students that add to the argument that colleges are exercising control over the students-athletes for purposes of determining whether they are employees.
#4
Men's soccer / Re: Paywall
February 28, 2024, 12:02:31 PM
NEWMAC has now officially signed with Flo Sports. 

https://newmacsports.com/tournaments/?id=39

QuoteWestwood, MA (February 28, 2024) – The NEWMAC and FloSports, a global independent sports media company and streaming platform, today announced a historic five-year media rights agreement under which FloSports will become the exclusive media partner of the NEWMAC beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year. By providing the NEWMAC with a national platform and additional resources, the agreement will enhance the NEWMAC's standing as a preeminent NCAA Division III conference.

"As a conference, our mission is to be at the forefront of the evolving landscape of college athletics to create the best possible experience for our student-athletes," said Patrick B. Summers, NEWMAC Executive Director. "Our partnership with FloSports enables the NEWMAC to continue building on our success as a conference by providing our student-athletes and institutional brands with increased exposure and a national platform."

Under the terms of the agreement, FloSports will distribute more than 1,100 regular season and postseason NEWMAC events live and on-demand across 17 sports, with member institutions having the option to post full games free of charge on their institutional platforms 72 hours after each contest. FloSports investment into the conference will enhance overall production quality and media operations of member schools throughout the term of the contract. FloSports will also leverage the nationally and internationally recognized brands of the NEWMAC member institutions by producing original content and social media programming throughout the conference over the five-year term.

"This partnership will allow the NEWMAC to continue to elevate its brand and highlight our most valuable asset – our student-athletes. We are proud to be a leader among athletic conferences, and our NEWMAC Presidents Council is unanimous in its belief that this is the right path forward for the NEWMAC," added Stephen Spinelli Jr., President of Babson College and Chair of the NEWMAC Presidents Council.

With 90 percent of the revenue from the agreement going back to the NEWMAC member institutions, the agreement will enable the implementation of improved broadcast production standards and continued equity in production quality between corresponding men's and women's sports.

I don't think this will be the last conference to sign up with Flo Sports.  With Landmark and now NEWMAC, it's pretty clear that their plan is to sign up as many conferences as possible so that the value proposition for D3 fans will shift in favor of subscribing.  See the statement below from Flo Sports:

"We are committed to providing the comprehensive destination that NCAA Division III conferences, schools, student-athletes, and fans deserve, and are proud to make an investment in the NEWMAC to serve this mission," said Mike Levy, Senior Vice President, Global Rights Acquisition & Partnerships at FloSports. "We remain steadfast in our belief that there is significant value to be unearthed at the Division III level, and the NEWMAC's combination of athletic excellence and nationally recognized member institutions makes the conference a significant addition to our platform."

Ironically, I don't think this move will be a good one for D3 sports' argument for avoiding employer status in the eyes of the NLRB and the law.  Any new revenue streams are going to make D3 look closer and closer to D1, even if the amount of money is minuscule in the overall picture.
#5
Men's soccer / Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
February 27, 2024, 01:09:13 PM
Occidental has a great article in its alumni magazine about the Oxy Men's soccer team's run in the NCAA tournament this year and how it built it's program up in recent years.

https://www.oxy.edu/magazine/issues/winter-2024/kicking-and-dreaming

A few excerpts that I found interesting:

1.  Oxy coach Rod Lafaurie credits Trinity coach Paul McGinlay for helping him turn the program around
QuoteThe victory over Trinity "felt like a full-circle moment," he adds—the culmination of a 10-year process that began with a conversation with Trinity coach Paul McGinlay following a 2013 campaign in which the Tigers went 3-16. "I made phone calls to a few coaches across the country who had successful Division III programs," Lafaurie recalls. "Paul was one of two coaches who got back to me. I asked him, 'Just how did you create this program at Trinity?'" McGinlay walked him through his process in terms of creating a culture, how to recruit, and so on.

That speaks really highly of McGinlay, who is a legendary coach at Trinity.  Lafaurie started at Oxy in 2010 as a young coach with few mentors to turn to in the D3 community (he played D1 at CSUN and is one of the still small number of minority head coaches out there in D3 and likely the only Afro-Dominican).

2.  Oxy's attendance is phenomenal and its "SuperFans" group is led by a rocket scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA

QuoteOccidental has led the SCIAC in attendance for men's soccer games in recent seasons "by far," Lafaurie says, "and I wouldn't be surprised if we were in the top 25 in all divisions of NCAA soccer." For its 2022 SCIAC Tournament semifinal vs. Pomona, 3,689 spectators were on hand at Jack Kemp Stadium—and a crowd of 4,200 was recorded for the 2023 championship game with Redlands.

QuoteIt takes a lot to stand out in a crowd of 4,200 at Jack Kemp Stadium, but Art Chmielewski—resplendent in his orange tuxedo and top hat and blowing into a vuvuzela like it's the 2014 World Cup—proves the exception to the rule. A fixture at every Oxy men's soccer game for the last three years, Art is the father of both Marcus and his older brother Lucas Chmielewski '21, a Second Team All-SCIAC pick in men's tennis and Oxy's top singles player for two and a half seasons.

A veteran of 15 space missions over nearly 44 years at JPL, Art has worked with 11 student interns from Oxy. "I've had students not only in engineering and computer science but also psychology and economics," he says. "They were all fabulous people and that made me also try to contribute something to the College."

In tracing his evolution from supportive parent into leader of the superfans, Art cites three key factors that came together: "I work for NASA—I'm expected to think these things through." Having played soccer at the University of Michigan, "I always wanted my parents to come to my game. I was MVP one year. And my stepfather and my mom never came. So, I said to myself, 'Well, if Marcus plays, I'm going to show him the support.' That was one motivation."

The second was that he read a Ph.D. thesis that examined more than 3,000 baseball, basketball, and soccer games in an effort to figure out why the home team wins 60 percent of the time. "To make a long story short, the outcome of this Ph.D. thesis was that it's because of the fans," Art explains. "The fans have an impact on the players who are more energized, and perhaps unconsciously on the referees who make better calls for the home team. So, here was an opportunity to truly contribute to the team's success.

"The third factor was when I went to some soccer games, I'd see these people who are mainly watching their kids nervously. And I thought: What if we turned this energy into happy, fun energy? And that was what I came up with—the vuvuzelas, the trumpets, the cowbells, the drums, waving the flags. Now everybody was happier. It was an event; it was a happening."

Incidentally, Art's son Marcus turned down an opportunity to be on the soccer team at D1 University of Washington to go to Oxy, so that was a pretty big endorsement of staying close to home and getting to play a lot.

3.  Oxy's fundraising for men's soccer is phenomenal and it uses some of that $ to help attract teams to play them in LA as well as to travel all over to recruit

QuoteMen's soccer has benefited from the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends on Day For Oxy since its inception in 2020, raising $47,000 from 67 donors last year. "That allows us to have more equipment for training, buy the new goals on the field, and pay for pregame dinners and things like that. It even means we can buy brand-new soccer balls," Lafaurie says. "All those little things add up."

QuoteFor the 2024 season, Lafaurie has scheduled Willamette, UC Santa Cruz, and Swarthmore so far. "The biggest benefit of our preseason, nonconference schedule this year was that it was hard, and we were able to come through it. That prepared us for the whole season. So, we're going to try to do it again."

Over the last several years, Lafaurie has tried to lure more NCAA Tournament-caliber opponents from outside the region (such as Texas Lutheran and Marymount University of Virginia this season) to Oxy by offering to help out with their travel expenses. "In the past, we would travel to other places to play these teams, because you need to see top-level opponents from different parts of the country," he says.

Off the field, Lafaurie traveled to Brazil and Singapore on recruiting trips in the last 12 months, and in early December he visited Korea to scout a gathering of international school players. "The talent level at these events is really high," he says. "All these players speak English already, and they want to go to school in America." Upon returning from Korea, he attended the MLS NEXT Fest Tournament in Phoenix, a six-day event that showcases some of the top high school players in the United States.

My guess is that few fans of teams on the east coast (or even some coaches) ever thought about the possibility that teams on the west coast have to actually pay good opponents to come west and play them out there (or at least share expenses) so they can help their strength of schedule numbers and play teams with different playing styles.  I don't know that this happens the other way when west coast teams travel to the east coast since east coast teams can find unique opponents close by.

#6
Men's soccer / Re: Spring Practices
February 27, 2024, 12:36:05 PM
I thought I would revive this topic to see if people were able to report how schools/conferences are adjusting to the new rules for spring practices, which took effect in Spring 2024.

As a reminder, under the old rules, D3 soccer programs were limited to 15 coach-led practices (not including trainer-led weightlifting/conditioning sessions not attended by the soccer coaches) over a 5 week period, plus one competition day, which I think technically could include more than 1 game if no one played more than 90 minutes over the games.  No limit on captain's practices.

Starting this spring, the new rules provide that soccer teams can start spring practice as early as Feb 1 (which is actually earlier than D1 and D2, which start Feb. 15) and must conclude no later than 5 weekdays before finals week.  So, they have much longer than 5 weeks.  They may have as many as 24 coach-led practices during that period, but no more than 4 per week.  Same rules for 1 competition day and no limits on trainer (not soccer coach)-led weightlifting and conditioning sessions as well as captain's practices.

What are people hearing/seeing?  Are schools taking advantage of the extra time and practice days this spring?  The extra time period over which to run practices may be somewhat irrelevant at some schools where fields are unavailable or weather makes practice less feasible.  In places like Southern California, they could theoretically run two days a week of coach-led practices for 12 weeks, plus captain's practices and weightlifting and training sessions and basically run a program for almost the entire Spring Semester.  On the other hand, in colder places, they may instead choose to run 4 practices per week over 6 weeks in March/April to have a concentrated 24 practice period with a break in-between for spring break.  And, of course, some schools may simply not choose to use all 24 practices or are sticking to how they've always done spring practices (or not done spring practices) under the prior rules.
#7
Quote from: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on February 26, 2024, 08:33:19 PMI know there are unions forming, but I don't believe there's been a legal decision in favor when the schools have fought it is there?  I know of a bunch working their way through the system, but I'm far from an expert, so I easily could have missed something.

This summer, the NLRB ruled in favor of grad students at Duke and against Duke's challenge to unionization.

https://www.wunc.org/education/2023-07-11/duke-university-graduate-students-election-unionize

Duke students actually won at the NLRB against a similar challenge in 2017, but failed to get enough votes in favor of unionizing after a bunch of ballots were challenged by the university.  Columbia grad students won the right to unionize in 2016 as well.

You may be thinking about in federal court. That's where some of these cases have been held up when a university appeals the NLRB decision, but the previous article noted that most universities are waiving the white flag and letting them go without an appeal.

Of course, a change in administration could change the makeup of the NLRB, which could affect future rulings, but we may have passed the tipping point for that. 

Back on topic, an appeal could also narrow or reverse the Dartmouth union case.  Issue is that while conservative courts tend to be less in favor of unions, they also haven't been uber friendly to the NCAA or colleges and universities lately, so it's not clear how it will come out.

#8
Quote from: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on February 26, 2024, 04:45:54 PMI suspect a lot of this will be dictated by the decision on all the lawsuits involving grad students trying to unionize across the country.  It's a similar argument with a lot more impact on higher education.  I doubt the athlete suit will lead the way on this.

That ship has largely sailed awhile ago.  The grad students are unionizing everywhere now and most universities are putting up white flags and are or have bargained with them.  It's too obvious that grad students working as TAs or as lab researchers are doing work for the university.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/faculty-issues/labor-unionization/2023/09/06/grad-worker-unionization-booming-even-down-south

The athletics argument in DIII is a somewhat different case because the athletes aren't, in most cases, doing something related to the school's core mission or doing something they already pay employees to do (other than perhaps donor relations/fundraising depending upon what they are being asked to do).  There is some connection with the academic scholarship as compensation argument, though.

It's also a new issue for most DIII institutions since the large majority of them are primarily undergraduate institutions and generally do not have TAs with tuition remission or lab workers who are not already paid.
#9
While the Board was down, the NLRB came down with an important decision granting a petition from Dartmouth's men's basketball players to form a union. The critical finding for that decision was that the players were employees despite not receiving athletic scholarships (due to an Ivy League rule that is itself the subject of a lawsuit),  The Panel held in its decision, which will be appealed, that the players received a little bit of monetary or in-kind compensation (free gear, including a show allowance, health benefits, meal and board on trips etc) as well as some important non-monetary compensation such as access to facilities, support and counseling services, and perhaps most significantly, a preferred admissions process.  They also found that Dartmouth had control over the athletes (which made them employees rather than independent contractors) because they dictated when and where they practiced and played, had mandatory alumni engagement, and other rules while traveling.  The Board also deemed the lack of profits or significant revenues to be irrelvant.

https://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2024/02/nlrb-rules-dartmouth-mens-basketball-players-are-university-employees-orders-union-election

A similar case is pending involving the University of Southern California that is probably an easier case for employee status.

The question is whether, if upheld on appeal (which is no sure thing given a loss 10 years ago in a Northwestern attempt to unionize) this could apply to DIII sports and what would be the impact.  The Dartmouth case certainly suggests it could, especially since the Ivy League looks a lot closer to a DIII athletic conference than most DI, DII, or NAIA leagues given the absence of athletic scholarships at all.  One legal expert concluded the decisions could apply to DIII schools:

https://x.com/SportsLawGuy/status/1754641974286512252?s=20

QuoteThe Dartmouth ruling is careful to explain why it wouldn't make student musicians, etc. employees (because they're not subject to the same control as athletes and don't have to ask permission to get a haircut), but it could make most college athletes employees, even in DIII

Here's one take, pre-decision, from the Athletic Director of Cal Tech, a school that is as far away from big-time athletics as you can get and one that probably doesn't get many applications or donations because of its athletics.  Moreover, it seems likely that athletics has little sway over admissions or academic classes or requirements.

https://www.on3.com/os/news/state-of-college-sports-how-would-an-employee-model-impact-college-athletics/

 
QuoteCollege sports role: Betsy Mitchell is Cal-Tech's athletic director and a former world-record holder and world champion swimmer and rower

"The only way that we continue to have sports [at Cal Tech's Division III level] is if we are exempted when those rulings come down – and that they see the differentiation is still at play. Our kids are not employees. It's about control. And when I say that, we don't have control over our kids [at Cal Tech]. They are students and young people that do what they want. We don't have anything over them. They play because they want to.

"I was a Division I athlete and I played because I wanted to, but that was 40 years ago and a whole different deal. The latest is that it will come down to issues of control. The only way forward for D3 is to differentiate ourselves and say, 'No, we're still doing it the way it was drawn up. You've got to exclude us.' Because it won't happen. What will happen is we won't have sports. We won't have sports. It will all go away. Run the math on it. I'm at a private school. But do you think public schools are going to do that? No way."

I think there are some things DIII schools could do (or already do) to avoid employee status, such as making players pay for gear or making the whole program pay for play the same as many youth club sports.  They could also end any preferred admissions process, which would probably only be meaningful in the elite academic schools of DIII.  Both moves might be things some administrators wouldn't mind doing anyway in light of funding pressures and criticism of other forms of admissions preferences after the Supreme Court's decision on affirmative action.  Schools could also reduce control in certain ways, although I think the NLRB decision is most suspect on that aspect of its decision because its attempt to distinguish sports from music or theater probably flies in the face of facts on the ground about rehearsals etc.  In theory, DIII could be the model for all non-revenue sports, thus basically eliminating the level distinctions for NCAA in terms of rules, but probably permitting them in terms of competition levels like in HS sports.

It's also possible that schools could embrace employee status and then let them unionize and bargain with them.  There are certainly some work condition-type issues that athletes already "bargain" for outside of a formal process.  Not sure schools wanted to be governed by the National Labor Relations Act, and have to hire the staff to oversee that, when doing so. 

The third possibility is that schools convert all sports to club sports and do a hybrid of the pay-to-play option in one.  They could basically help with administrative oversight of club sports like many do now, but they would have to charge players if they want to hire professional coaches or transportation to games.  They could even charge them rent for facilities, but I doubt that would happen at most schools if facilities are basically open for reservation by students as part of their student activity fees.

In any event, this is something worth watching out for in the future.
#10
Men's soccer / Re: Coaching Carousel
February 23, 2024, 04:42:29 PM
Colby has hired Greg Cumpstone from Wesleyan, where he was associate head coach, to be its new head coach.

https://colbyathletics.com/news/2024/2/23/Cumpstone_release.aspx

QuoteAfter a successful career as a leader in the net and two-time captain at Hofstra University, Cumpstone played multiple seasons at the professional levels (CFC Azul Professional Development League and Ferencváros Torna Club) before turning his attention to coaching. He quickly elevated through the ranks in the premier Connecticut Rush program, from staff coach to technical director to Staff director of coaching, while also guiding Daniel Hand High School (Madison, Conn.) to multiple State Championships. After consistent success at the junior level, Cumpstone matriculated to the college ranks with his most recent post serving as associate head coach at Wesleyan University.  During this time, the Cardinals consistently competed in the NESCAC championships and rose to a top-10 national ranking during the 2022-23 season.
 
"I am so proud and excited to have Coach Cumpstone as our new leader of the men's soccer program," said Mike Wisecup, Colby College Vice President and Harold Alfond Director of Athletics.  "His soccer acumen and compelling vision for our program's identity impressed me throughout the selection process, and I am confident he is the right coach to take our program to the heights of success I know we are capable of."
#11
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
February 23, 2024, 04:41:07 PM
Quote from: maineman on February 23, 2024, 01:40:26 PMHello NESCAC!  Now that the forum is back up is there any newsworthy soccer information you care to share about the conference?

Not only NESCAC news, but Maine NESCAC news:

Noah Riskind resigned from Bates and Ben Brewster from UMass Amherst was hired as his replacement:

https://gobatesbobcats.com/news/2024/2/19/ben-brewster-named-head-mens-soccer-coach-at-bates.aspx

And just today it was announced that Colby has hired Greg Cumpstone from Wesleyan, where he was associate head coach, to be its new head coach.

https://colbyathletics.com/news/2024/2/23/Cumpstone_release.aspx

#12
I don't know the right solution for the naming issue, but I do think this is one of the best cases for renaming a university that I have seen.  It is a downright misleading name.  I thought this might have been a recent change to admit men (probably because they only re-started sports in 2017 in DIII after having no sports at all for 14 years), but I was surprised to learn that men have been admitted to the Mississippi University for Women since 1982 after the Supreme Court struck down the nursing school's single sex admissions policy as a violation of the equal protection clause.  They currently have something like 23% men.  It's got to be crazy hard to recruit guys to the school with the current name, let alone for the men's teams.
#13
Men's soccer / Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
February 21, 2024, 04:02:48 PM
Quote from: Ron Boerger on February 21, 2024, 03:16:01 PMBob reported this some time back - I have seen pushback (don't remember exactly where) from some people with excellent ASC contacts saying they had not heard this.  The excellent reporter from Texas Football/Basketball who covers non-D1 sports, Cory Hogue, has also not reported anything to date. 

If it does happen, that's going to be a *lot* of games to try and schedule in almost all sports to replace the current ASC in-conference schedules, and it's doubtful that there are enough open games (and/or desire) amongst the non-ASC(/C2C) schools in Texas to pick up all of the slack.  I don't see the bulk of the SAA (excluding Trinity/Southwestern) being interested in a lot of this.  I could see the Texas C2C pod playing a double round-robin to reduce the stress of having to put that many games together each season. 

It also doesn't address the elephant in the room for four of the five schools, which is what to do with their football programs.  Unless the program at Schreiner fails to ignite (they finally opened a coaching search with a planned JV season starting in 2025) the SCAC has zero interest, and you won't find any conference wanting to fly to Texas twice a year to face UMHB/HSU. 

Ron - are there other options to get the 5 remaining ASC teams full schedules in all sports (presumably other than football) while staying in D3?  My assumption is that C2C would be a temporary solution to bridge the 1 team gap so they wouldn't go without an AQ opportunity.  So, I assume it wouldn't prevent them from pursuing those other options.  I just don't know if there are other nearby schools that are a good fit for the ASC long term.
#14
Men's soccer / Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
February 21, 2024, 01:03:46 PM
Bob Quillman, host of a D# hoops podcast, is reporting that the remaining members of the American Southwest Conference are discussing moving to the Coast-to-Coast Conference for all sports except football:  Mary Hardin-Baylor, Hardin-Simmons, Howard Payne, LeTourneau, and East Texas Baptist (it was already announced that UTD is going DII, and Concordia, McMurry, and Ozarks are going to the SCAC).

QuoteHearing talks are heating up re: UMHB, Hardin-Simmons, Howard Payne, ETBU, and LeTourneau joining the Coast-to-Coast conference. This would be for all sports except football. Football would be played via local scheduling alliances.

Coast-to-Coast conference will be like a set of pods during the regular season, with a pod in the Mid-Atlantic playing each other (e.g., Christopher Newport, Mary Washington, Salisbury), one in Wisconsin (Platteville and Whitewater) one in Texas, and then UC Santa Cruz all by its lonesome effectively playing as an affiliate of the SCIAC.  The conference tournament could be pretty competitive.  The Texas teams will pick up some serious strength-of-schedule playing teams from the SCAC, teams from the SAA (where Trinity and Southwestern are going), and then the teams from all over the country in the C2C tournament.  That's a heck of a lot of cross-pollination.

The demise of the ASC would also presumably mean one less automatic bid and one more Pool C bid available.  That would also have implications for Region X's typical pod in the tournament.  If only the three conference champions qualified, one team from another region would have to play in Region X's pod, which could be a pretty significant disadvantage depending upon where the pod is held and the length of travel.  On the other hand, it might put the thumb on the scale for a Region X Pool C bid to complete the pod and avoid the significant travel burden.
#15
Men's soccer / Re: Great Lakes Region Navigation Channel
February 21, 2024, 12:57:40 PM
This happened a month ago, but it was when the board was down, so some people may have missed it or not gotten a chance to discuss it.

The NCAC announced that John Carroll is leaving the OAC and joining the NCAC starting in 2025-2026

https://northcoast.org/news/2024/1/17/general-north-coast-athletic-conference-welcomes-john-carroll-university.aspx

As I said on the D3Soccer.fans board, I get why this makes sense for the NCAC, since it bumps them up from 9 to 10.  They dropped to 9 when Allegheny left in 2021.  For John Carroll, the claim is that it allows them to have a more national platform to spread their name.

https://www.jcu.edu/news-center/john-carroll-university-joins-north-coast-athletic-conference-ncac#:~:text=John%20Carroll%20University's%20momentum%20continued,NCAC)%20beginning%20in%20Fall%202025.

QuoteOur Board of Directors and University leadership are committed to ongoing strategic investments that will ensure that the gift of a Jesuit education from John Carroll is available for generations to come. We are pleased to align with a group of academically and athletically competitive partners in the NCAC who enjoy national reach and reputation as high-ranking liberal arts institutions.

Others (@SimpleCoach) point out that this will mean John Carroll will not longer have to compete with perennial power Mount Union for the automatic bid in football.

Regardless of the reason, it is probably only the first domino to fall in another set of conference realignments.