There Is No Week Like D3 Week

Fostering athletic growth and honoring their success during a week-long celebration is one way in which Hamline ensures their support of athletes in their time on campus.

Cole Brennan, Sports Reporter

Hamline’s women’s soccer team performed a choreographed dance for the inaugural SAAC D3 week talent show. (Nathan Steeves)

Regardless of what day it is, you can turn on your television and find college sports being broadcasted. Alumni get to watch their alma mater thrive on the national stage and students get to talk about how they sit next to the starting point guard in their Biology lab. But what about those who don’t get recognized at the national level? 

If you are at a smaller university like Hamline, no one is bragging to their friends about how they sit next to a student athlete. At the end of the day they are students first, and that is what Division 3 schools have to offer. No large social media followings, no national recognition and no high level sponsorships. D3 week is the time to celebrate athletes that play a sport not for praise and attention, but to compete and enjoy the sport they’ve always loved. 

In 2010 D3 week was created by the NCAA to shine a spotlight on Division 3 athletics and help people understand why students have chosen to compete at the Division 3 level. The NCAA has defined Division 3 as a place where student athletes can follow their passions and develop their potential. 

It goes without saying that athletes across campus are doing just that here in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. 

The SAAC talent show encouraged athletes to step outside of their comfort zones and have
fun with their teammates off the field. (Nathan Steeves)

“I think it takes a lot to get here no matter the division, so it’s good to celebrate that,” SAAC representative and Hamline Women’s Soccer midfielder Carin Currier said. 

Division 1 and Division 2 can sometimes be seen as the “superior” divisions when college athletics are being discussed. This can often lead to Division 3 being looked at as the “worst division,” but that is not the case. 

“I wasn’t ready to be done competing. D3 athletics have allowed me to continue to play the sport I love and compete,” SAAC Co-President and Hamline Baseball Senior Avery Nelson said about choosing a D3 school.

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has been a huge reason why the campus was talking about D3 week. SAAC hosted a variety of events for Hamline students to attend. Everything from a blanket tying event to social media scavenger hunt and talent show, SAAC representatives were making sure the Hamline community saw it as a week to remember. 

“As I’ve progressed as an athlete here at Hamline I’ve started to become more passionate and involved with making athletics the best it can be,” Nelson said. 

Braeden Bourne, a sophomore shortstop for the Hamline Baseball team knew that he wanted to be involved with SAAC from the moment he knew that it was an organization on campus. 

“I knew that SAAC prioritized getting everyone involved on campus, whether they were an athlete or not and I needed to be a part of that,” he said. 

Division 3 athletics is not the most flashy or monetizing division in the wide realm of college athletics, but that is not important to those who play. The opportunity to compete, sacrifice for their sport and be active in their school’s community are some of many reasons why we should be celebrating Division 3 athletics. 

The quote “student first, athlete second” is appreciated and truthful to those who participate in Division 3 athletics across the country. For those who may look down on Division 3 athletics, they must ask themselves a simple question. When was the last time anyone heard about the celebration of a Division 1 or Division 2 week?