This week the road not taken goes to the NCAA Division III level and we take a look at two teams from that obscure NCAA Division where the most important thing is academics and athletics is a distant second. At the Division III level all the things people want to point to as being wrong with collegiate athletics are solved. Programs are not run by money and schools have the right perspective on programs–winning is not supposed to be the number one goal. D-III schools compete in athletics as a non-revenue-making, extracurricular activity for students; hence, they may not offer athletic scholarships, they may not redshirt freshmen for non-medical reasons, and they may not use endowments or funds whose primary purpose is to benefit their athletic programs.
Also, under NCAA rules, D-III schools “shall not award financial aid to any student on the basis of athletics leadership, ability, participation or performance”. Financial aid given to athletes must be awarded under the same procedures as for the general student body, and the proportion of total financial aid given to athletes “shall be closely equivalent to the percentage of student-athletes within the student body.”
The first school on the list this week is North Carolina Wesleyan College located in Rocky Mount, N.C. The Battling Bishops are one of the best Men’s Tennis Teams in the Division III level. The Battling Bishops are coached by Worth Richardson. Coach Richardson is from Virginia but he has spent a lot of his time building his past teams and relationships with players from around the globe. His entire men’s team is made up of foreign players with one exception according to the roster with one player hailing from Littleton, NC. Here is a look at their roster. The team comes from all over Europe. Based on results the good thing I can see right away is Coach Worthington is winning with his team at NCWC.
Our second school is Washington and Lee University and the Generals are located in Lexington, VA. The Generals are coached by David Detwiler. David played his collegiate tennis at Furman University for Paul Scarpa. Scarpa recruited only American when he coached at Furman and it looks like the Detwiler teams are going to be more of the same. The Washington and Lee team is made up of all American kids from all over the USA. Here is the roster for The Generals.
My only real comment here on “The Road Not Taken” is I know some D-III schools like to get as broad of a base of students from all over the world. So they look for the coaches to recruit athletes from around the world to fulfill this obligation to the school. Maybe this is the motivation for the team at NCWC. Most normal D-III schools are not inclined to go foreign just for the athletics.0
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