December 21, 2002

Is it time for Mount Union to move out of Division III?

More news about: Mount Union
Dan Pugh and Rob Adamson celebrate Mount Union's seventh national championship.
Photo by Pat Cummings, D3sports.com

By Pat Coleman
D3sports.com

SALEM -- It had been a nice couple years.

Before the past few weeks, the rumbling had stopped. But come December, just like in 1999, the call from fans was clear.

Mount Union should move out of Division III.

This is a request that doesn't make any sense, frankly. The people who think Mount Union can play Division II football the way Johns Hopkins plays Division I lacrosse or Colorado College plays Division I hockey don't realize that the NCAA won't let schools "play up" a level in football or basketball.

The people who think Mount Union should move up to D-II in everything don't understand the financial outlay it would take to do so. It's more likely those people haven't even considered Mount's other sports at all.

Where was all this negative feeling last year, when they barely beat Bridgewater in the Stagg Bowl? Or in 2000, when they were coming off a season-ending loss from the previous year and were held to 10 points in the title game?

Fact is, it should be fun to chase Mount Union. Every coach that has brought a team to Salem the past three seasons to play Larry Kehres' squad has talked about how it's an honor to play the best team of the era. To get to the title game, you'll have to go through Alliance.

Besides, who knows? Mount Union faces an offseason where it loses Rob Adamson and Dan Pugh on offense, and unlike when Chuck Moore graduated after the 2001 season, having a seasoned Pugh to step in, the probable 2003 starter averaged fewer than five carries per game.

"I think there are some relatively significant changes that we'll experience next year," said Kehres. "There were glimpses of those changes this year, when we played without Rob. We played with a slightly different style, and that could be our trademark next year."

The Purple Raiders also lose eight starters on defense, including Hula Bowl-bound cornerback Chris Kern. And Don Montgomery, Mount Union's defensive coordinator, could take the head coaching job at Marietta. It's apparently his if he wants it.

But even that might not prove a blip on the purple radar, as four starters return on an incredibly talented offensive line and wide receivier Randell Knapp has come into his own. The biggest pressure the 2003 Mount Union squad will face might be from themselves.

"Our football team this season had sort of the daunting task of trying to play as well as the others," Kehres said. "It's hard to be recognized as a great team unless you win all your games, and they did."

With all due respect to teams like UW-Whitewater, Baldwin-Wallace and OAC up-and-comer Capital, I fully expect to see Mount Union playing in the national semifinals next year, going after its 55th consecutive win, breaking its own record.

Is that considered balanced? No. Does the dominance lessen people's general interest in Division III? Probably. But is it fair? Yes. Many have griped about it and some have tried to do something about it, but nobody has proven that Mount Union does anything illegal.

So, as long as Mount Union doesn't suddenly start offering athletic scholarships, they belong in Division III as much as anyone else.

It's up to you other 226 to catch them.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Coast Guard
7:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
7:00 PM
Ursinus at Millersville
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
8:00 PM
Bethel at UW-Stout
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater (Va.)
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Morrisville State
7:00 PM
MIT at WPI
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
7:00 PM
Becker at Fitchburg State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Curry at Bridgewater State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
7:00 PM
Averett at Washington and Lee
Live Stats
8:30 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
TBA
Buffalo State at Otterbein
TBA
Buena Vista at UW-Platteville
12:00 PM
Hobart at Dickinson
12:00 PM
Norwich at RPI
12:00 PM
Heidelberg at Cortland State
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Thomas More
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Alfred at Husson
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Live Stats
12:00 PM
TCNJ at Christopher Newport
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
12:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Southwestern Assemblies
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Alfred State
1:00 PM
Alma at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
1:00 PM
Earlham at Olivet
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hampden-Sydney
Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Wooster
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Ithaca at Union
1:00 PM
Brockport State at Oberlin
1:00 PM
John Carroll at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Castleton State at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Methodist at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Wittenberg at Capital
1:30 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Franklin
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Bethany at Mount Union
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Bluffton at Wilmington
2:00 PM
North Park at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
2:00 PM
Beloit at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Rockford at Lawrence
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Lake Forest
Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Coe
2:00 PM
Jamestown at Concordia-Moorhead
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Hamline
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Dubuque at St. John's
2:00 PM
Illinois College at Aurora
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Simpson
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Austin
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Hardin-Simmons
2:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Ripon
2:00 PM
Louisiana College at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
3:00 PM
Pacific at College of Idaho
4:00 PM
George Fox at La Verne
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live Stats
4:30 PM
Misericordia at Utica
Live Stats Video Audio
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
5:00 PM
Defiance at Adrian
6:00 PM
Moravian at King's
6:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
6:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at Albion
6:00 PM
Redemption Christian College at Southern Virginia
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Guilford at Greensboro
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Rose-Hulman
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Hiram
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Anderson at Taylor (Ind.)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Frostburg State at Geneva
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at Robert Morris University (Ill.)
7:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
7:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Howard Payne
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Sul Ross State
7:00 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Augustana
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
7:30 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
7:30 PM
Benedictine at Central
8:00 PM
McMurry at East Texas Baptist
8:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Wartburg
8:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Crown
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
Maintenance in progress.