The mid American Conference of which the field hockey playing schools are Appalachian State, Ball State, Kent State, Miami, Ohio, Central Michigan, and Longwood, announced the canceling of all fall sports!! These seven schools will bring the number of schools not playing this fall to 40 assuming Louisville will return after their quarantine. Since there are 78 Division one schools and the NCAA has stated if more that 50% if the eligible schools don’t play, there will be no NCAA championship this fall.
In my opinion, all the remaining schools should bag the fall season and play a full series of games this spring. It solves a lot of eligibility issues and gives time to reschedule 16 or 18 games, in other words a full season!!!
In this crazy season that might be too logical to happen….but maybe!!!
As September approaches under normal circumstances, I would be going over rosters and schedules, and discussing who has the upper hand for a League and even an NCAA bid. But it has all come down to the numbers, as to whether they will even be an NCAA champion this fall.
All three division committees met yesterday and made decisions on whether, or under what circumstances an NCAA tournament would be played. Divison 2 and 3 were simple enough. There will be no champion period this fall in all sports, Olympic or otherwise. Most of these schools have already cancelled fall sports all together.
But Division one is still being held hostage by the power 5 schools who desperately need to play football. The protocol seems to be, if football is played the other sports will play.. However, all schools don’t play all sports. The power 5 football schools have a huge investment in playing games which generate large amounts of cash and television fees. For the most part, they have decided to play each other and replicate that strategy for their Olympic sports, including field hockey.
The Division one committee has stated that if 50% of the eligible sports are not playing there would be no national Division one tournament. The NCAA has already reduced in half the number of games to qualify, but there are 78 schools playing field hockey which means 39 must be playing to have a final national tournament. At the present time 34 schools are NOT playing according to my information, meaning if 5 undecideds change there is no NCAA tournament this fall.
The most vulnerable conferences who might call off the fall are the Mid-American Conference and the NEC. A decision must be made by Aug 14. If either one call the fall off, there will be no tournament.
One little potential problem is individual schools could decide to call off conference schedules. Louisville did just that yesterday despite their membership in the ACC. Connecticut dropped football for the fall but keeps field hockey, as they are independent in football and a member of the Big East in field hockey.
The number 12 is the number of scholarship equivalencies Div 1 field hockey teams are allowed to have on their roster. By August the 15th schools must decide what the status of their program will be and therefore what that status of their athletes will be. Will they declare as a redshirt for coming semester to preserve an extra year of eligibility?? What will that do to the amount of scholarships any team can offer to incoming recruits?? Will the NCAA temporarily raise the ceiling on scholarships due to the crisis? I am told by college officials the PL would accommodate those who want the extra year due to the emergency.
As most of you who have been reading this blog know, I am not a great fan of the NCAA. I am especially critical of the Division one group, since they seem to be a prisoner of the power 5 conferences. We shall see if they can come to a rational place at the “end of the day.”
Given where Lafayette is I am hoping that the fall season is cancelled now for everyone, and played in the spring in its entirety. It fixes the eligibility question for most and gives student athletes a chance for some normalcy.
The Covid Virus. may have frozen the Lafayette field hockey season, but Head Coach Jennifer Stone is not standing still, as she added Canadian Field Hockey star Scott Tupper to next year’s staff. Scott is a player with international and olympic credentials. Not only was he a member of Canada’s national team since 2005, but was it’s captain. He has played in 312 games in his career, and appeared in two Olympics. two World Cups, four Pan Am tournaments, three Pan Am Cups and 3 Commonwealth Games.
Stone was excited to announce Scott’s appearance on College Hill. “Scott is world class, and will have an immediate impact on our players.” He has also played for German, Dutch and Belgium club teams.
Tupper has been coaching recently in Vancouver, coincidently the home of several Leopard stars. Scott was not shy about his ambitions for Lafayette. ” I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity to join the Lafayette Field Hockey program, and help build on the great work that’s already been done by Coach Stone. I can’t wait to get started, and help the program achieve continued success in both the Patriot League and the NCAA.”
He was the second youngest member of the Canadian squad that went to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 8 years later was captain of the same squad in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Scott started playing the sport at age 6 and preferred it to baseball deeming hockey much more active. By grade 12 he was on the junior national team and it was then he realized it would be his career. He enjoys reading and watching football and hockey, earned a BA from the University of British Columbia and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. His nickname is “Tupps,” and his favorite motto is ” Good enough isn’t good enough….”
I would certainly like to be a fly on the wall, when he is introduced to the team for the first time!!
Lisa van der Geest became the first student athlete in Lafayette history to receive all three awards given by the end of the year. Last fall she received the Maroon Club Scholar Athlete award, and last night received the Class of 1913 Trophy for the senior scholar athlete, and the Charles L. Albert ’08 award for best senior athlete. The international affairs major was an all league, all region and all American selection. Rather than focus on the awards, which she humbly accepted in a recorded message last night, I would like to recall my impressions of her impact on the field.
She was the field general for this team, filling the position of center back, the equivalent of quarterback in American football. She was the extra coach on the field, and I am told spent time with the younger players helping them as well!! Lisa was an inspiration to her teammates, almost never leaving the field of play. As the League defensive player of the year, she also was a key part of Lafayette’s offensive corner battery.
She never gave up and made sure her team always had their head in the game. While most people would recognize this entire class as exceptional, she represented the soul of that class. She was a key contributor in most every game.
Justifiably, she credited her teammates and coaches, but especially her parents who traveled several times from Holland to see her play, and certainly watched via video often times late at night.
My most vivid memory was her last game, scoring her last goal in the Patriot League Championship game. Although, the team didn’t win, her goal with 47 seconds left to bring the Leopards within one goal, lifted all of us. The game was not over and I still dream of the possibilities. But her efforts in the closing minutes of that game was Lisa..never conceding defeat!!
I can’t imagine what the future holds for Lisa, but I feel confident, in less than ten years from now, we will see her on the podium at Lafayette being inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame!!
Field Hockey was well represented as Cam Costello, Lafayette midfielder was nominated for the 1913 trophy also. An obvious star in the classroom, she was also a key reason for the success of the field hockey team this year. My impressions of her “gleefully” make her presence known to her opponents will stay with me. She scored the opening goal in the championship game to give the Leopards and early 1-0 lead!! Her parents were in regular attendance and gave obvious support to this excellent student athlete.