Glimpse - The Value of D3 Sports

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Ashley Mess
Ally Nikolaus
Cody Stevenson
Tyler Thorman

The Value of D3 Sports

What do seven-time NBA All-Star Jack Sikma and three-time World Series champion Scott Brosius have in common? What about Super Bowl-winning linebacker London Fletcher and Olympic gold-medalist sprinter Andrew Rock? Or how about NFL MVP quarterback Ken Anderson and two-time All-Star pitcher Jordan Zimmerman?

They all played sports at NCAA Division-III schools.

Though D-III schools — like Webster University — cannot offer athletic scholarships to student-athletes (unlike their D-I and D-II counterparts), the above list demonstrates the quality of athletes this level has produced. The third division is actually the NCAA’s largest, as it is composed of about 180,000 student-athletes from nearly 450 colleges.

But since Division-III student-athletes don’t receive financial compensation for their athletic contributions, what’s the point? Or, perhaps more to the point, what’s the value of Division-III athletics? This five-story package, reported and written by Josh Sellmeyer, BA ’13, MA ’13, aims to answer that question. Included in this package are stories about...

  • Susan Perabo, a Gorlok athletics pioneer who made history by playing her favorite sport.
  • Ashley Mess, who fits the mold of the ideal D-III student-athlete through her on-field and in-classroom accomplishments.
  • The Webster golf program, which earned the sport’s most prestigious academic award under the direction of coach Andrew Belsky.
  • The Webster baseball program, which achieved national success by recruiting and cultivating strong men of character.
  • Ally Nikolaus, Merry Graf, Bill Kurich and Scott Kilgallon, who share the significance of D-III sports in their lives.