It was mostly good news from the NCAA convention — the Division III membership saw through many of the Division III reform proposals and shot them down. In summary:
Other proposals were passed that reduce non-traditional season activities, which primarily affect sports like baseball and soccer, sports which play some games both in spring and fall. Also, players can now “self-release,” meaning they do not have to be released from their school to talk to a coach from another school about transferring.
In summary, the good guys won, although you won’t hear Middlebury president John McCardell say so. The Chairman of the Division III President’s Council put this spin on things in the Baltimore Sun: “One is always disappointed when a measure is put up in front of a group and it’s not adopted. We made a heap of our winnings and we won most.”
Yeah, right. McCardell lost on the issues he and the rest of the President’s Council really wanted: elimination of scholarships and a reduction in games. Most delegates saw through the feel-good, pointless grandstanding and voted accordingly.
Scoreboard, Dr. McCardell.
Speaking of Scoreboard
Here is the list of Division III hockey schools that voted to shorten the season: Amherst, Babson, Bowdoin, Colby, Conn College, Fitchburg State, Hamilton, Hobart, Lake Forest, Lawrence, Middlebury, Neumann, New England, Nichols, Plattsburgh, Plymouth State, Salem State, Salve Regina, St. Norbert, Oswego, Trinity, Tufts, Mass-Boston, Utica, Wentworth, Wesleyan, Williams.
Here’s the list of schools that voted to take away scholarships from Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Rensselaer and Colorado College: Amherst, Colby, Concordia, Fitchburg State, Hamilton, Hamline, Manhattanville, Middlebury, Neumann, Plattsburgh, St. Norbert, Trinity, Mass-Boston, Wesleyan, Worcester State.
It’s time to look at the real scoreboard: what transpired on the ice last weekend. It must have been a tough time for poll voters last Monday. Other than the top three schools in the poll, which were a combined 7-0 while the rest of the poll was only 9-9-1. Consequently, we saw things like:
Never dull. A hot team could move from nowhere into the top five by stringing together four or five wins.
Letters, I Got Letters
I got a record (for me anyway) number of responses to last week’s column, and I want to thank the readers who took the time to do so. Ones disagreeing with my position on the Division III reforms initially outnumbered the positive ones, but as the week went by, things evened out and eventually went to the plus side by an almost 2-1 margin. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one passionate about Division III hockey — everyone who wrote me demonstrated their passion for the game, agree with me or not.
Here’s the first set for 2004:
1. Norwich — Coming off a 3-0 week and there’s no letting up.
2. St. Norbert — Swept Lake Forest to maintain its “best in the West” ranking.
3. Middlebury — Hosts Bowdoin and Colby this weekend.
4. Wisconsin-River Falls — Now things get interesting. Lost to Marian, but still hold on to number four.
5. Lake Forest — Can the Foresters recover from a disappointing weekend? They have to come right back and play UWRF.
6. Bowdoin — Getting hot, can they keep it up against Middlebury and Williams?
7. Plattsburgh — Has had trouble scoring goals as of late.
8. RIT — Was a big 9-1 win over Curry a fluke?
9. St. John’s — Which team will show up against Concordia this weekend?
10. Curry — Had a tough weekend, now must focus on conference games.
11. Oswego — Off for another week.
12. Wisconsin-Superior — Looks like the ‘Jackets are back on track.
13. New England — Only two losses so far.
14. Wisconsin-Stevens Point — Just one loss since 11/14.
15. Manhattanville — Hot and cold so far.