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does USATF serve too many masters?

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  • does USATF serve too many masters?

    An e-mail I got this afternoon:

    <<> Gotta love usatf. During one of the best nights of US middle distance
    > running in quite some time, they send out an Athlete of the Weak (sic)
    > release about some ultra trail runner. Way to go!!!>>

    This was the release:

    <<INDIANAPOLIS - Anton Krupicka has been named USA Track & Field's Athlete of > the Week after successfully defending his title at the 2009 USA 50 Mile Trail Championship at the White River 50 Mile Run.>>

    This happens almost every year. If you ask Indy about it the stock answer is "we serve a wider constituency than just the pros."

  • #2
    Which is why it needs a split between the openly professional end and the wider constituency, as does golf (USGA/PGA) and tennis (USTA/ATP).

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    • #3
      IMO, the USATF doesn't serve too many masters, because it does encompasses the different levels in the sport, is why you can't simply acknowledge what is done on the pro level.

      Now is the issue a matter of balance?
      on the road

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      • #4
        ...and two hours after the Athlete of the Week release, there was a release giving a quick summary of the top US performances in Monaco.

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        • #5
          USATF tries to handle too much. The numbers are too vast and the constituency too large.
          There is a NEED for an elite division just as there is an LDR arm. It is unrealistic to think otherwise and we keep seeing the results of the impossible task. How does one entity that is minimal in number and relies on volunteers to run it deal with the professional and business demands of elite track AND the millions of youth participants at the same time???
          So far we have done the least possible in survival and continually have nonsensical internal wars.
          Does it make sense to see youth athletics threatened by the USOC because they do not like how the board is structured or how the Olympic team is being managed???
          These are not deep thought issues, and repeat themselves every convention.
          The organization needs to be separated into its parts, grassroots, LDR, and elite track. Let USATF be the umbrella organization.

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          • #6
            Y'all are overthinking this. First of all, this is the USATF AOW award we're talking about, not the Nobel Peace Prize. I doubt any of the Monaco runners lost sleep over not winning the award. Second, they can create whatever awards they wish, so there can be an elite AOW, and a masters AOW, and a youth AOW, etc. Thirdly, USATF does need to be the glue that holds all the American T&F pieces together, because separate fiefdoms just create more anarchy and discord than we've already got with competing factions.

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            • #7
              The Athlete of the Week is based on the PREVIOUS week, and an elite athlete almost always wins it when there is an elite achievement worth noting. A non-elite usually gets it as a default choice. I bet Vessey gets the nod when it is handed out again early next week.

              As for the comments about USATF, the alternative to an umbrella organization is to go back to the 1960's & 1970's with separate organizations which often end up in conflict with each other. That was no picnic. Let's let the recent changes have a chance to work. And no matter how good the structure of any organization, it is only as good as its people, especially its leadership.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Marlow
                Y'all are overthinking this. First of all, this is the USATF AOW award we're talking about, not the Nobel Peace Prize. I doubt any of the Monaco runners lost sleep over not winning the award. Second, they can create whatever awards they wish, so there can be an elite AOW, and a masters AOW, and a youth AOW, etc. Thirdly, USATF does need to be the glue that holds all the American T&F pieces together, because separate fiefdoms just create more anarchy and discord than we've already got with competing factions.

                Seriously. I really doubt any of our elite athletes care at all if they win AOW.

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                • #9
                  Does MLB (Major League Baseball) have jurisdiction over "Little League" ?

                  Do NFL and NBA supervise the youngsters programs of their respective sports?

                  Well-informed participants in this T&FN forum may know and share organizational details about sports other than track and field athletics.

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                  • #10
                    The difference is the NBA, NFL, MLB don't need master and youth participates to generate income. USATF does.

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                    • #11
                      Some suggest USATF doesn't serve Masters well enough.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by James Fields
                        Does MLB (Major League Baseball) have jurisdiction over "Little League" ?

                        Do NFL and NBA supervise the youngsters programs of their respective sports?

                        Well-informed participants in this T&FN forum may know and share organizational details about sports other than track and field athletics.

                        MLB and the NBA don't pick the Olympic teams in their sport. In all of those sports, competing at the Olympics is not the highest honor there is.

                        Doesn't the USOC want the governing bodies picking the Olympic teams to be responsible for all aspects of the sport? I could be wrong about that, but someone name an NGB that picks an Olympic team and is not responsible for development programs as well as a wide range of other things in their sport?

                        When we compare track to professional sports, in all of those other sports, the Olympics is not THE main event. In track it is.

                        So while yes, I would love to see a decent professional athletes organization get off the ground that really does something for our pro athletes, I don't think it's possible or desirable at this time to completely split pro athletes from USATF.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by James Fields
                          Does MLB (Major League Baseball) have jurisdiction over "Little League" ?Do NFL and NBA supervise the youngsters programs of their respective sports? Well-informed participants in this T&FN forum may know and share organizational details about sports other than track and field athletics.
                          USATF does not run HS or college track.
                          US Soccer does run most of youth soccer - very successfully - but they also have little say over the HS or college game.

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                          • #14
                            Forget who runs what. What's at stake here is track's credibility as a real sport. The average sports editor wrote the sport off long ago, but if there's any hope of it gaining some traction, it's not going to come by expecting somebody to run filler material on the national 50M trail champion. An award to an Olympian/real national champ just might get a hit here or there. We don't have enough spare credibility lying around that we can blow it on silliness llike this.

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                            • #15
                              Amen!

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