Dr. Mark Emmert
President
NCAA
700 W. Washington St. 
Indianapolis, IN 

 

Dear Dr. Emmert, 

As CEO of United Soccer Coaches, the national coaches association for soccer, I have an urgent matter to bring to your attention. 

As the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Soccer Championships approach, Division III soccer teams will once again be required to have back-to-back semifinals and finals. Both Division I and Division II are given a rest day in between, but Division III is not. This defies the scientific research the NCAA has produced on rest and recovery. The physical and mental toll on soccer players that do not have reasonable rest between games of this magnitude puts student athletes in serious jeopardy. Our coaches deplore the physical risk and the diminishing of the Championship Experience for their players. 

We assume that it must be the financial impact of an additional day of rest for these athletes as there is no other explanation for the discrepancy between Divisions I & II and Division III. We have calculated it is approximately a $20,000 expense. United Soccer Coaches would be very happy to cover that $20,000 expense for this year to make it even easier to make the change starting with this year’s Championship schedule. We can transfer that money to you at any time. 

With great admiration, we observed the nimbleness of the NCAA to restructure timing, locations, formats and other championship details due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was possible to act with great speed when the issues were large enough. For our coaches, the health, welfare and experience of Division III athletes is equally large and we ask that there is change to the Championships this year 

Our concern is with the health and safety of Division III athletes, both men and women, and the almost shocking discrepancy between their Championship Experience and that of the other divisions. I hope you are as concerned as we are and can take the immediate actions necessary to fix it for 2021. 

Sincerely, 

 

Lynn Berling-Manuel
Chief Executive Officer
United Soccer Coaches