July 1, 2011

Why D-III?

By Pat Coleman
D3sports.com

It seemed like a simple enough story. When we posted a story that seven schools were considering joining Division III, one Twitter user reacted as follows:

  

When Division III games are played before packed houses, they're still small crowds, such as a January Amherst-Williams game, which drew 1,150.
Photo by Matt Milless, d3photography.com

We responded that 450 schools had already joined the cause, and the Division III community carried the story forward from there. From the more than 40,000 followers of @d3hoops on Twitter, we got a wide variety of reactions to the question that was eventually boiled down into a six-character hashtag: #whyd3

The reasons for a school to join Division III are fairly straightforward. There's a lot of money to be saved by not offering athletic scholarships. Not offering athletic scholarship money is usually seen as more central to a college's academic mission. A Division III member school is in the same club as some of the elite academic schools in the country, in fact, Georgetown College in Kentucky offered this as a reason for considering Division III, trying to get a Phi Beta Kappa charter. The NCAA reimburses schools for travel to national championship events and gives schools access to catastrophic health insurance. The organization is seen as more prestigious than the NAIA, and certainly has more members and more money.

But the fan reaction was more telling than any of the above could be. We threw the question open to our followers and got some great reactions:

@beskwared, Bill Boyle, said: "@d3hoops If you want a full learning experience that will benefit you educationally, d3 is it. D1 has shine, d3 delivers #whyd3"

@caseyzinn wrote: "d3's offer u great opportunities! I turned down many d2 offers & a couple d1 cause the d3 offered alot on & off court"

@swallball, two-time D3hoops.com All-American guard Sean Wallis of Washington U., said "#whyd3 cuz u realize its abt more than the game and u become friends w who you play against"

Morgan Rainer (@morganrainer), who identifies herself as a Hardin-Simmons tennis player, said "I love playing @d3tennis because I am surrounded by my teammates--not coworkers. It's not a job. We play because we are passionate. #whyd3"

Maybe Division III football games and other sports events are ignored by the mainstream media, but the student-athlete's passion for the game isn't any less and they are no less knowledgeable about the game.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

And that sums up many of the responses. Why Division III? Because you can play your sport and still be a college student, still have a life outside of your sport. You can be in a play or write for the school newspaper, run for student government. Or take a double major.

Yes, Division III won't offer the same things you can get at Division I. As @sctvi put it, "one major downside, though, to d3 compared to d1 is amount of exposure. EG: D3 sports get very little national tv time." And in fact, this is even less, since the Division III basketball championships were taken off of television and relegated to the Internet this past season, with no talk of them returning. 

But the lack of spotlight takes the pressure off coaches. Win-at-all-costs is a concept rarely heard in NCAA Division III, unlike, say, graduate-at-all-costs. That gives a student-athlete the freedom to play another sport, as @jpkume, Justin Kume wrote: "In my case, only place to offer a chance to play FB & BASE while gettin a solid education & not just a piece of paper!"

Getting a solid education is more than a small part of it, that's to be sure. But so are the personal relationships. And not that one can't have those at other levels, but it's easier when the players are around for all four years. And the coaches will be too, even after a bad year or two. 

@PMehmel21 (Peter Mehmel, a Manhattanville basketball player), spoke about the relationships: "#whyd3 coaches care about you AND want to win, team becomes family."

That's true for many teams, particularly for the Colby men's basketball team. Dick Whitmore retired from the White Mules this offseason after 40 years of coaching, and said "I think I may miss the alumni games more than I would Christmas," he said. "It's really a mutual appreciation situation. I'm so thankful to them not only as players and what they accomplished, but that they sustained the relationship with me after they were done playing. It's a generational thing now with the alumni. The guys that first played for me when I started here are thinking about retirement, and the guys who played for me recently are just starting careers."

Linfield
Linfield's run to the 2011 Division III softball title spanned the country, from McMinnville, Ore., to Salem, Va.

The people running the D3sports.com network of sites (D3hoops, D3football, etc.) do this for the love of Division III. We've made reference to Division III as "the highest form of purely amateur athletics," because Division II and Division I athletes don't get paid, but they do have scholarship athletes and those people often get special privileges as well.

In Division III, it's the opposite, and that's why we embrace it. Not only are D-III student-athletes fully integrated into the student body, taking the same classes, living in the same dorms, eating in the same dining halls, but in fact, they are more likely to get treated poorly by a professor than given any sort of a break.

And no, they will almost never end up on SportsCenter, or in Sports Illustrated, and the NCAA selection shows might not even pronounce their school's name correctly, but they have a home here at D3sports.com.

There was a lot of discussion over travel, and time commitment and financial aid as opposed to scholarships, and the #whyd3 conversation can continue. Put your thoughts on Twitter, and remember to use the hashtag.

As @coecollegehoops put it, "It's not the level you're at, it's what you do at the level."

Apr. 24
MLAX:
7:00 PM
Gwynedd Mercy at Marywood
MLAX:
7:00 PM
Rosemont at Neumann
MLAX:
Final
Mass.-Boston 14, at Regis (Mass.) 12
Box Box Box Box Box Box Box
MLAX:
Final
at Immaculata 20, Bryn Athyn 4
Box Box
MLAX:
Final
at Cabrini 26, Centenary (N.J.) 3
Box
MTEN:
8:00 PM
Farmingdale State at Yeshiva
MTEN:
5:00 PM
Green Mountain at MCLA
MTEN:
5:00 PM
St. Joseph's (L.I.) at Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.)
MTEN:
5:00 PM
Manchester at Franklin
MTEN:
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at North Central (Minn.)
MTEN:
4:15 PM
Gettysburg at Muhlenberg
MTEN:
Final
at Regis (Mass.) 9, Becker 0
MTEN:
4:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Heidelberg
MTEN:
Final
at Eastern Nazarene 9, Curry 0
Box
MTEN:
3:30 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg at Lebanon Valley
MTEN:
Final
Nichols 9, at Western New England 0
MTEN:
Final
at Newbury 6, Mitchell 3
Box Box
MTEN:
Final
Mass.-Dartmouth 7, at Rhode Island Col. 2
MTEN:
Final
Misericordia 7, at Keystone 2
MTEN:
Final
at Rutgers-Camden 9, Cabrini 0
MTEN:
Final
Endicott 8, at Salve Regina 1
Recap
MTEN:
3:00 PM
Stevenson at Messiah
MTEN:
3:00 PM
Suffolk at Johnson & Wales (RI)
MTEN:
Postponed
Bethel (Minn.) at Hamline
MTEN:
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 7, Rochester 2
Box Recap
MTEN:
Final
at Case Western Reserve 7, Chicago 2
Recap
MTEN:
Final
at Emory 9, New York U. 0
Box
MTEN:
Final
at Washington U. 8, Brandeis 1
Box Recap Recap
MTEN:
1:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at Ojai Tournament
WLAX:
7:30 PM
Norwich at Saint Joseph's (Me.)
WLAX:
7:00 PM
Trine at Adrian
Live Stats Video
WLAX:
Start of 1st
0 Westfield State
0 Bridgewater State
Live Stats Video
WLAX:
1st - 25:42
1 Rivier
0 Emmanuel (Mass.)
Live Stats
WLAX:
6:30 PM
TCNJ at Cabrini
WLAX:
1st - 20:53
1 New England College
5 Keene State
Live Stats Video
WLAX:
8:00 PM
Loras at North Central (Ill.)
Live Stats Video
WLAX:
5:00 PM
SUNY Canton at Wells
WLAX:
Final
Albion 16, at St. Mary's (IN) 6
WLAX:
9:00 PM
Regis (Colo.) at Colorado Col.
Live Stats Video
WLAX:
Final
at Bryn Mawr 12, Bryn Athyn 8
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
4:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
WLAX:
Final
at Albertus Magnus 15, MCLA 13
Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Catholic 18, at Elizabethtown 1
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Alma 16, Calvin 14
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at St. Elizabeth 10, Wilson 1
Box Box
WLAX:
4:00 PM
Rowan at Eastern
WLAX:
4:00 PM
Neumann at Rosemont
WLAX:
End of 2nd
17 Montclair State
5 Rutgers-Camden
WLAX:
4:00 PM
Oswego St. at Elmira
WLAX:
Final
at St. John Fisher 16, Brockport State 3
Box
WTEN:
5:00 PM
Manchester at Franklin
WTEN:
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at North Central (MN)
WTEN:
6:30 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. Olaf
WTEN:
Cancelled
Arcadia at Moravian
WTEN:
4:00 PM
Hood at Elizabethtown
WTEN:
4:00 PM
Trine at Grace
WTEN:
4:00 PM
Rochester Tech at Roberts Wesleyan
WTEN:
Final
at Scranton 5, Juniata 3
Box
WTEN:
Final
Marietta 6, at Capital 3
Box
WTEN:
3:30 PM
Endicott at Bridgewater State
WTEN:
3:00 PM
Stevenson at Messiah
WTEN:
Final
at Keuka 5, Penn St.-Berks 4
Box
WTEN:
Final
Keuka 5, at Wells 1
Box Recap
WTEN:
1:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at Ojai Tournament
WTEN:
TBA
Whittier at Ojai Tennis Championships
WTEN:
TBA
Caltech at Ojai Tournament
WTEN:
TBA
Chapman at Ojai Valley Tournament
WTEN:
TBA
La Verne at The Ojai Tournament
Apr. 23
MLAX:
Final
at Denison 18, Wittenberg 3
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Salve Regina 14, Mitchell 7
Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 13, Kenyon 4
Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Albright 20, Alvernia 4
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Frostburg St. 17, St. Mary's (Md.) 9
Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Norwich 11, Mount Ida 7
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
Endicott 24, at Curry 2
Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Dickinson 17, Muhlenberg 4
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Randolph-Macon 15, Va. Wesleyan 14
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Tufts 18, Bowdoin 11
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Babson 14, MIT 6
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Wheaton (Mass.) 19, Emerson 7
Box Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Washington and Lee 21, Shenandoah 6
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Springfield 22, Clark (Mass.) 7
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Washington College 11, Swarthmore 6
Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Hampden-Sydney 14, at Randolph 4
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
Ursinus 9, at Haverford 6
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Albion 22, Alma 4
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Otterbein 15, Wilmington (OH) 4
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Lynchburg 23, Bridgewater (Va.) 3
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Arcadia 8, King's (Pa.) 5
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Montclair State 10, at Kean 8
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Mount St. Vincent 12, at Maritime (N.Y.) 11
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Mount Union 10, Baldwin Wallace 5
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Coast Guard 18, Framingham State 6
Recap
MLAX:
Final - OT
at Misericordia 7, DeSales 6
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Western New England 18, Gordon 7
Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Emmanuel (Mass.) 13, Johnson & Wales (RI) 3
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Fontbonne 7, Milwaukee Engr. 4
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
RPI 20, at Bard 5
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Stevenson 18, Messiah 4
Box Box
MLAX:
Final - OT
at Elmhurst 14, Augustana 13
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Concordia (Wis.) 9, at Carthage 5
Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Williams 9, at Middlebury 7
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Amherst 18, Trinity (Conn.) 8
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Wesleyan (Conn.) 16, Connecticut College 7
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Mary Washington 13, Christopher Newport 4
Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at St. Vincent 17, La Roche 12
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Colby 12, Bates 9
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Wentworth 12, U. of New England 10
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Cortland State 14, SUNY Geneseo 3
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Hilbert 13, Cazenovia 6
Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Hope 23, at Calvin 3
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
John Carroll 9, at Capital 4
Box Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Franklin and Marshall 14, at Gettysburg 12
Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Ithaca 18, at Alfred 6
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Mount St. Joseph 11, at Defiance 0
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Nazareth 23, Houghton 0
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Roger Williams 18, at Nichols 7
Box Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Plattsburgh St. 22, Oneonta State 4
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
Potsdam St. 10, at Oswego St. 6
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Stevens 23, Elmira 6
Box Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at St. John Fisher 8, Utica 5
Box Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Becker 9, Saint Joseph's (Me.) 5
Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
Chapman 10, at Whittier 8
MLAX:
Final
at Lasell 12, Rivier 1
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final - OT
Green Mountain 7, at Johnson State 6
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
MLAX:
Final
at Aurora 16, Benedictine (IL) 6
Box Box Recap
MTEN:
Final
Concordia (Wis.) 7, at Wis. Lutheran 2
Box Box Recap Recap
MTEN:
Final
at Mary Washington 9, St. Mary's (Md.) 0
Recap
MTEN:
Final
at Carleton 6, St. Thomas (Minn.) 3
MTEN:
Final
at Berea 6, Mount St. Joseph 3
MTEN:
Cancelled
Sarah Lawrence at Brooklyn
MTEN:
Final
at Dickinson 7, Muhlenberg 2
Recap
MTEN:
Final
Earlham 5, at Defiance 4
Box
MTEN:
Final
at Kalamazoo 8, Alma 1
Box Box Recap Recap
MTEN:
Final
Williams 5, at Trinity (Conn.) 1
Recap Recap
MTEN:
Final
Bates 5, at Bowdoin 4
Recap Recap
MTEN:
Final
Rose-Hulman 9, at Anderson 0
Box
MTEN:
Final
at Chestnut Hill 9, Gwynedd Mercy 0
MTEN:
6:00 PM
Luther at Wartburg
MTEN:
Final
Coast Guard 5, at Wheaton (Mass.) 3
Box Recap Recap Recap
MTEN:
Postponed
Colby-Sawyer at Lyndon St.
MTEN:
Final
Wooster 8, at Heidelberg 1
Box Box Recap Recap
MTEN:
Final
Capital 6, at Cedarville 3
Box Recap
MTEN:
Postponed
Southern Maine at Bridgewater State
MTEN:
Postponed
MIT at Tufts
MTEN:
Final
at Otterbein 8, Mount Union 1
Recap
MTEN:
Final
Goucher 6, at Elizabethtown 3
Recap
MTEN:
Postponed
Suffolk at Johnson & Wales (RI)
MTEN:
Final
at Wentworth 5, Gordon 4
Box Box Recap
MTEN:
Final
at Catholic 5, Scranton 1
Box Box Recap Recap
MTEN:
Final
Salisbury 6, at Christopher Newport 3
Recap
MTEN:
Final
at Juniata 5, Moravian 1
Box Box Recap Recap
MTEN:
Final
at Edgewood 8, Marian 1
Box Box Recap
MTEN:
5:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
MTEN:
Final
at Milwaukee Engr. 8, Lakeland 1
Box Box Recap
MTEN:
Final
St. John's (Minn.) 8, at Hamline 1
WLAX:
Final
Otterbein 20, at Wilmington (OH) 2
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Baldwin Wallace 11, Mount Union 10
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
Nazareth 17, at Alfred 5
Box
WLAX:
Final
at MIT 18, Mount Holyoke 17
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Gettysburg 8, Franklin and Marshall 6
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Worcester State 15, Salem State 9
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Tufts 10, at Bowdoin 9
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 7, Amherst 4
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
Wittenberg 18, at Oberlin 11
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Becker 23, Mitchell 6
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Connecticut College 10, Wesleyan (Conn.) 9
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Allegheny 17, Hiram 1
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
Washington College 14, at Swarthmore 4
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
U. of New England 19, at Wentworth 3
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Regis (Mass.) 12, at Elms 5
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Bridgewater State 20, Mass. Maritime 1
Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Westfield State 13, Framingham St. 1
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Oneonta State 16, at Scranton 9
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Morrisville State 23, SUNYIT 7
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Lebanon Valley 16, at Widener 9
WLAX:
Final
St. John Fisher 17, at Houghton 3
Box
WLAX:
Final
Roger Williams 15, at Nichols 11
Box Box Box
WLAX:
Final
FDU-Florham 15, at Manhattanville 3
Box
WLAX:
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 20, Defiance 9
Box Box
WLAX:
Final
at Penn St.-Abington 13, Lancaster Bible 1
Box Box
WLAX:
Final
at St. Joseph's (L.I.) 14, Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.) 7
Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Western Connecticut 12, Eastern Connecticut 9
Box Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Rhode Island Col. 18, Mass.-Dartmouth 6
Box Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final - OT
at Susquehanna 21, McDaniel 20
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Wilkes 18, Misericordia 10
WLAX:
Final
Colby 10, at Bates 6
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Middlebury 12, at Williams 4
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Fitchburg State 11, at Colby-Sawyer 10
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Salve Regina 17, Wheelock 4
Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
Denison 16, at Kenyon 12
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Albright 13, Alvernia 10
WLAX:
Final
at Farmingdale State 18, Mount St. Vincent 0
Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Medaille 14, at Cazenovia 8
Box Box Box
WLAX:
Final
Plymouth State 17, at Southern Maine 6
Box Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Western New England 14, Gordon 11
Box Box Box
WLAX:
Final
Ursinus 6, at Haverford 4
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final - OT
Muhlenberg 13, at Dickinson 11
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Capital 14, at Ursuline (Ohio) 3
Box Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
Endicott 17, at Curry 7
Box Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
Wooster 18, at Ohio Wesleyan 9
Box Box Box Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Occidental 15, Whittier 6
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Chapman 13, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 9
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
at Guilford 20, Lynchburg 9
Box Box Box Box Recap Recap
WLAX:
Final
Beloit 21, at Dubuque 9
Box Box
WTEN:
9:00 PM
Bethel (Minn.) at Macalester
WTEN:
Final
at Mary Washington 9, St. Mary's (Md.) 0
Box Recap Recap
WTEN:
Final
DePauw 5, at IUPUI 2
Box Recap
WTEN:
Final
at Swarthmore 6, Haverford 3
Recap
WTEN:
Final
Catholic 5, at Moravian 4
Box Box Recap Recap
WTEN:
Final
Hope 9, at Albion 0
Recap Recap
WTEN:
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 5, at Baldwin Wallace 4
Recap
WTEN:
Final
Hamilton 9, at Oneonta State 0
WTEN:
Final
Washington College 5, at McDaniel 4
Box Recap Recap
WTEN:
Final
at St. Mary's (Ind.) 6, Calvin 3
Box Recap
WTEN:
4:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Gettysburg
WTEN:
Final
Ursinus 6, at Bryn Mawr 3
Box Recap
WTEN:
Final
at Dickinson 5, Franklin and Marshall 4
Box Recap Recap
WTEN:
Final
at St. Mary's (Minn.) 5, Wis.-Stout 4
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