Two big weeks

-Paul Rudd as Kunu in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"

That quote about sums up how things are going in the MIAC right now. We've had baseball and softball postponements and rescheduling galore thanks to Mother Nature, who apparently hit her snooze button a couple times and refuses to wake up from her long winter's nap. Fortunately, we have finally started to play some MIAC baseball and softball games, and as things clear up we'll finally be able to work on the regular schedule, and completing the make-up games. Here's to warmer weather and spring sports!

However, we won't dwell on the affect the extended winter is having on our schedules. Instead, the MIAC Media Blog would like to take a look ahead to two exciting events coming up on the calendar. Next week is the second-annual NCAA Division III Week, which is a chance for the Division to celebrate all that's right with Division III athletics. And, frankly, we have plenty to celebrate in the MIAC. Also, the following week will be the third-annual MIAC Strike Out Prostate Cancer Week, where our baseball teams band together to take on a common foe for men everywhere, prostate cancer.
Division III Week was certainly a success in its debut last year and we were extremely proud of the way the 13 MIAC institutions embraced the concept and celebrated their tremendous student athletes. The MIAC contributed with promotional efforts by creating a video, publishing a feature story, and we had a landing page to share the great things that were happening on all our campuses.

The 2013 edition of Division III Week begins Monday, and look for some of those same features on the MIAC Web site, as well as some blog posts throughout the week highlighting tremendous student-athletes and their well-rounded experiences. Balance is such a key word in Division III - the balance between athletics, academics and a full collegiate experience, and the MIAC is full of perfect examples of that balance at work at an extremely high level.

Also, I was fortunate enough to join Host Mike Gallagher on the MIAC Media Weekly Podcast yesterday to discuss Division III Week in the MIAC. Mike also welcomed Hamline Head Baseball Coach Jim Weyandt to the show to talk about his team's hot start in 2013. If you're a fan of the MIAC and you're not listening to MIAC Weekly, you're missing the boat. Mike does an amazing job promoting our teams, coaches and student-athletes, and we're fortunate to have such a professional production to represent our league! Check it out.

After Division III Week concludes, the MIAC will move on to its next worthy week-long initiative, MIAC Strike Out Prostate Cancer Week. I won't get too detailed because today's Friday Feature will actually focus on the tremendous fundraising and awareness campaign, as well as a new partnership with the Minnesota Prostate Cancer Coalition (MNPCC). Fans can make donations at any MIAC baseball game that week, and there is a site set up for online donations as well. There will also be lots of information available and other special events at our games in conjunction with the mission.

I'm continually impressed that Saint Mary's Assistant Coach Pat Jacobsen developed the concept from scratch just three years ago, and I'm also impressed with the way our teams and the MIAC community has bought in. I think that "Dig Pink" and other breast cancer awareness efforts are both common and outstanding throughout college sports, but it's great to see a men's sport embrace a men's health issue as well, and hopefully the money and awareness raised can make a difference for a lot of lives.

I'll link the Friday Feature here when it's published this afternoon.

Despite our recent struggles with the Minnesota spring weather, it's an exciting time in the conference thanks to these two great upcoming events. Nothing cures the weather blues like a chance to celebrate the tremendous MIAC student-athletes, and then work together with our baseball teams to battle a serious health issue.

Have a great weekend, and keep your fingers crossed for better weather!

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