NCAA To Grant Extension Of Eligibility For Spring Sports

The NCAA this week granted spring sport season athletes one extra year of eligibility. It is not likely many PL athletes or Lafayette athletes will take advantage of this largess by the  Indianapolis hierarchy. First of all, they did not add to the ability of colleges and universities to add additional scholarship grants for those sports. If a sport is allowed 12 scholarships, those head coaches must either renege on offers for incoming freshman or the senior athlete must pay for the extra semester themselves. Secondly, it is not clear whether the extension applies to all members of the team, freshmen through juniors. After all, they have lost a season as well. Third, colleges without graduate programs would be at a disadvantage since their seniors will have already graduated and there would be no academic offerings for those people aside from a second undergraduate degree.

Overtime game with Syracuse

I suppose the senior could transfer, to use their extra year of eligibility as many do if they have an unused red shirt year! I have never been impressed with the NCAA’s ability to foresee all the consequences of actions and this reinforces my ongoing skepticism of the organization.

Meanwhile recruiting continues unabated even though schools are forbidden to meet with recruits and families on site. It is a difficult enough decision for families, but without a campus visit, it makes those still in the hunt for a place on a college team in a difficult spot. Mid-major football and basketball programs are particularly effected as are foreign players who tend to commit late.

Getting back to field hockey in the patriot league, I do see an improvement in all rosters. There is quality being added at all levels. I would have hoped for a spring season to solidify Lafayette’s new lineup. The loss of competitions this spring favors those larger squads who can scrimmage themselves this fall. If I were the NCAA in the interest of health and safety, I would add a week to the fall preseason in all sports while also adding one preseason competition.

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The Leopards offensive corner battery executes

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer had an excellent article on the impact of the virus on college sports. Revenue is an issue as 400 million was lost, especially by the large programs because of the cancellation of March Madness. Total revenue by colleges and universities. is a question because of the absence of students. Admissions have already been effected as schools try to cushion their acceptance pool to account for those families economically effected by joblessness. Even the elite Ivies are dipping deeper and accepting more students than usual. Last year was difficult for many schools as they fell short of their targets.

The world is a different place this spring and it is unknown what it will be this fall!! In the meantime be safe and care for your neighbors!!

 

Overzealous Clemson Compliance Official Tries To Stop Fundraising Efforts By Trevor Lawrence

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NCAA Denies That It Stopped Lawrence and Girlfriend From Raising Money For Virus Victims

On Monday, an overzealous compliance official at Clemson University stopped Treavor Lawrence, star quarterback for the  national champions, and his girl friend Marissa Mowery, who plays soccer at Anderson University, from sponsoring a GoFundMe page to support virus victims.  On Monday, the Clemson University compliance department demanded the two stop all efforts to raise money citing NCAA regulations. Anderson University did not join in the sanction.

On Monday, a Clemson official confirmed that the two were not allowed to use the GoFundMe page due to NCAA rules that prohibit using names, image and likeness for fundraising purposes.

However, by Tuesday afternoon the NCAA denied it ever asked Lawrence to stop raising  money and clarified the matter issuing a waiver for Lawrence. His girlfriend’s university never denied her efforts in the matter. A total of about 2700 dollars were raised by the couple.

Maybe during this time, University officials had nothing better to do, but once it reached the public domain sanity prevailed. The idiot who imposed the original sanction was not named. In a statement from the NCAA, ” The NCAA did not ask Trevor Lawrence to take down his fundraising for COVID 19 patients and their families. We continue to work with member schools so they have the flexibility to ensure that student athletes and communities impacted by this illness are supported and we applaud Trevor for his efforts.” It appears Clemson never consulted the NCAA.

Compliance works when the application of rules are used to stop obvious corruption, but an overzealous interpretation can have a deleterious effect, and invites the very activity the rules are designed to stop. Member schools have an obligation to ensure the rules are followed but a sane interpretation is required to engender respect. This was a good response by the NCAA, and I hope that all local compliance groups will learn from this misadventure. Schools should contact the NCAA, and avoid the bad publicity and the disrespect it may engender from alumni and the general public.

 

Comments are invited !!!!

Bill Rappolt

 

 

This Too Will Pass

It is now spring, and the date of the first spring game is approaching and there will be no  field hockey played on that date or any other date this season. No doubt this will put a heavy burden on players and coaches to be ready for the fall games. There are occasional emails from the athletic staff to alumni and members of the Lafayette community but. I hope I will see something from Lafayette Field Hockey soon. It does pain me that I probably will not see our heroic seniors before graduation, but as we have done in previous years Pam and I will be sending a small token of appreciation to them. I believe I have all the their home addresses but just in case could you all send me your home address??? I will post news if you want me to. So PM me with pictures and news of how you are doing . We have always enjoyed the company of parents and fans and would nice to hear from all of you.

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Lafayette fans feeling it !!!

It looks like the summer Olympics will be postponed until after the emergency… in an ironic twist, since our team did not qualify this year. All the remaining FIH games look like they will never be played. In addition, all the other USA field hockey events are suspended. So for we fans there is just recordings of last season’s games. Gratefully, there are some tremendous highlights for our Leopards to relive.

The NCAA has suspended all on site recruiting but their have been additions to Patriot League rosters. Lehigh has added their third Dutch player to their squad and Colgate has added a Canadian player from Vancouver whose film looks impressive. Assuming the fall season is able to be played this could be the most competitive season yet for the Patriot League.

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Molly McAndrews and Sam DiMaio  challenge a Bucknell mid

There is no word on whether the League will go to instant replay like other top Division one field hockey leagues. It would be disappointing if the Patriot League again foolishly doesn’t join the rest of Division one.

Meanwhile, I am sure the Leopards are staying in contact. If anyone would like, you can PM me and I will post news for others to see.  Meanwhile, I have seen how some use those extra toilet paper rolls as obstacles to practice stick skills. I would love to to have some video.

Spring Is Time For Renewal And Growth

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This blog has been silent for the last several weeks, but the field hockey world marches on, and Lafayette and the Patriot League are no exception. But first I’ll catch up on my own activities over the recent past. First, Pam and I, welcomed a new addition, Bailey, an energetic and athletic Black Lab to our family. We forgot how much work a new puppy brings with her as we chase her around the house making sure our furniture and rugs survive this little one’s puppyhood. She will see her first field hockey game on March 29 against LaSalle at 1 pm. She loves people, balls, and exercise. She’d make a great midfielder given her. speed and elusiveness, but I suspect neither the stick or the ball would survive her attacking style!!!

Meanwhile, I have been busy with US Field Hockey looking for a good site for US Field Hockey’s new training headquarters. There is a plethora of opportunities as the organization brings nearly 25,000 hotel room rents in a given year. There is no shortage of opportunities. We are looking at the right combination of location, field quality, transportation access, employment opportunities as well as educational opportunities for our national team. It is a challenging exercise being run by Simon Hoskins Executive Director  along with three of us from the US Field Hockey Board and Foundation, but the interest is encouraging and  I feel it will be a successful search.

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Mc Andrews goes one on one with Bucknell mid Grace McEvoy

The Patriot League continues to add to their rosters. Since my last communication, PL coaches have not stopped trying to improve their rosters. Lehigh has added four, Jenny Caroni who will join 2 others at GK. She is from Bronxville, New York, Emily Mars a MF from nearby Strousberg, Pa, Bailie Sunderaland a field player from Virginia Beach, and Maeve Hierholzer a defender from New Jersey will round out the Lehigh freshmen class.

Holy Cross has added four to the four I already cited. It looks like they were looking to boost their offensive impact. Katie Guchen is a player that scored 116 points in High School, Allie McDonough struck for 61  goals at her school in Mass. Sarah Potter is a forward from North Reading, Mass. Meaghan Noon is defender also from Mass.

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Ana Steps controls the ball

I did not see any additions from Colgate, Boston or American. but Bucknell has two additions, Sydney Paganos a striker from St.Louis,  and Guguethu Sibana  from Zimbabwe.

I would not rule out additions to the Lafayette roster in the coming months. Meantime the team is preparing for a full spring of competitions. Sunday March 29 Lafayette will host LaSalle at 1 pm, followed by an April 5 tournament at Penn State (TBD). On Saturday April 18, at the University Delaware, there will another tournament, followed by a home contest with Albany on April 19th at 2 pm and on  April 25th  there will be tilt at Rappolt Field at 11:30 with Drexel.

Lafayette returns a number of starters and many players with copious minutes that ended in the championship game last season. Key defensive positions will looked at including an opportunity for rising junior Haile Abbott get many minutes to prepare for the fall season.

lt is indeed a season for renewal and growth!!

The Off Season Is When Change Happens

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No doubt where these fans come from

We are now closing in on the preseason spring practices for collegiate field hockey, but as the preseason is a season for change, that seems to be happening around the nation. Coaches will continue to add to next season’s roster, and coaches are  beginning to migrate. USA Field Hockey has become part of the season of change, as they are amending their partnership with Spooky Nook.

The original agreement was signed in 2013 for Spooky Nook to become the home training base for U.S. Women’s Field Hockey. Sam Beiler founder of Spooky Nook Sports commented,” As the needs of USA Field Hockey national team have grown, USA Field Hockey’s needs have changed, and we have jointly decided that the Nook may not be able to accommodate all of those needs moving forward.”

Simon Hoskins the CEO of USA Field Hockey, thank Mr. Beiler and the Nook for their support….”We are happy that our relationship will continue in the future through the Nook’s hosting of select USA Field Hockey events.”

USA Field Hockey will be playing their FIH games at UNC’s Karen Shelton stadium this season ,and will train at the Olympic training facility in Chula Vista, California. In the meantime the management will be looking for a new permanent training facility for the future as they prepare for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and hosting the Olympic  games 2028 in L.A.

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Coach Stone with Amanda Magadan and Sarah Dalrymple at Spooky Nook

Sarah Dalrymple Decides To Take The Head Coaching Job at Moravian

Sarah who joined the Leopard Coaching staff several years ago from Hofstra played field hockey at Temple where she was a strong goalkeeper. At Lafayette, that’s where she found her home, coaching our cage minders. Not many people know this, Sarah originally came to Temple as a field player but jumped into GK position when there was a need and was their defensive MVP.

Sarah has been a loyal and effective coach. I am glad for Sarah and know she will tear up the Landmark Conference. Best of luck with the Greyhounds!!

Bucknell Adds Another Recruit

Bucknell has announced that Sydney Ponagos from John Burroughs High School in St. Louis Mo. will join the Bison. Sidney was a first team all conference midfielder.

Who Won The Recruiting Wars So Far In The Patriot League

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All league midfielder Ana Steps will return to the Lafayette mid field

Ok, we are now past the New Year and many of the Patriot League field hockey teams have announced their new incoming classes. While the classes will not be complete until the end of the spring, we could start to see who filled needs and who didn’t. Last year, most “experts” agreed that Boston University may have brought in the best class. However, Boston didn’t even make the playoffs, although they did have some stars who had a impact.

Jodie Conolly, a freshman midfielder from South Africa was named rookie of the year and garnered all Patriot League honors. She led all freshmen in points and points per game. But having a great individual year doesn’t necessarily, guarantee team results. A lot depends on the mix and how they are used by coaches.

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Audrey Sawers did what was needed all season and especially in these final two games. No doubt a future star!!

Last year’s Lafayette freshmen class saw plenty of action, as the season progressed, and injuries became a key factor. The coaching staff should be applauded for their efforts in getting these freshman ready to play. Even during the Patriot League championships injuries kept key players on the sideline, but Lafayette developed a bench that filled in admirably. Coach Stone has a reputation of a strong teacher of individual skills and she and her staff built the skilled bench that was ready when needed.

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Molly McAndrews challenges a Bucknell mid

No, there were no Lafayette freshmen on the all League team but they played key roles in Lafayette’s late season run.

American will certainly be the preseason favorite come this fall, given their plethora of returning talent including offensive player of the year Noor Coenan. They will have to play at Rappolt field this year and I expect they will see a strong Lafayette squad at the ready.

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Freshman Tara Hamilton will see Boston U at home next year!!

Yes, the Leopards will lose the talent and leadership of their graduating senior class, but I see talent not only in the returning squad but in the incoming class. So who has an edge?? The top four or five teams will be competitive. I expect Boston will be there as will American. Bucknell always seems to find a way. Lehigh is starting to scare me and those one goal games can be nerve racking.  Lafayette will be ready, and I see a stronger offensive squad in the process of building. The defensive line is solid and goalkeeping will be ready as well.

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Freshman Sydney Woolston was part of the stout Leopard defense!!

We are about 8 weeks from spring games, with the first test against LaSalle on March 29th at home, followed by Penn State, a tournament at Delaware, Albany at home, and finishing with Drexel at home. All of these will have no incoming freshman but it will be a great opportunity to see the core of the team in action!!

American So Far Has Two Commitments

Needing only two recruits the defending Patriot League Champion returns a very strong group of veterans including All American Noor Coenen. She scored 18 goals of the 50 goals American tallied in 2019. She did it on 91 shots while the defense held opponents to 26 goals. One of the more noteworthy items in American’s statistics is the 58 percent save percentage by American’s returning goal keeper. It is no surprise then, that Head Coach Steve Jennings would be looking to create some additional competition in that spot.

Oddly he may have found two outstanding recruits from the same High School. An all state defender in Emily Horace and Gk Bryn Underwood. Both come from Wilson High School who won the PIAA 3A Championship. Both players played key roles in the championship game.

Emily Horace scored the winning goal in the shootout and Bryn Underwood of course was the GK that held their opponent in the end. This was Wilson’s first championship

Emily Horace

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Emily played her club hockey at X Caliber and was named All State, All County, All conference as well as academic all American. The future defender for American aspires to be a chemistry major.She was also an excellent softball player while at Wilson. Her season ending heroics were not limited to one game as she was a constant key contributor all year.

Bryn Underwood

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Bryn is an all American, all State and all Conference selectee. She plays three sports and is an accomplished musician and singer. Her times in track demonstrate her athletic ability. I have seen several tapes on her and she is everything they say she is. She also played her club hockey at X-Caliber

Bryn is a big time player who plays a high pressure position. She wishes to major in Business and Entertainment. It would not surprise me to see her in the cage at Rappolt Field, when American arrives next season. Perfect fit for a real need by Jennings!!

Tragic News From The Holy Cross Rowing Team.

In the early morning on  January 15 the Holy Cross rowing team was traveling to a practice session in Vero Beach. Sadly, the team van was hit by a truck and a member of the team died as a result. She had just set a world record in her sport. Her name was Grace Rett and she was only 20 years old. As a parent, I can only imagine the pain suffered by her parents. There are several other student who suffered serious injuries but are expected to recover given surgical and other treatment in Florida.

My prayers and thoughts go to those families affected by this tragedy and to the Holy Cross Community.