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  • Regional format criticized

    Article by Mike Strange in the Knoxville News-Sentinel:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/gv_other_sp ... 28,00.html

  • #2
    Re: Regional format criticized

    Typical reaction from wealthy programs that don't realize how privileged they are. You take one step to level the playing field between teams in big and small programs, and the SEC howls like they won't still win the NCAA.

    Maybe if regionals had taken place a few years ago, there still would be more competition from the mid-major programs, instead of the massive cuts we've seen. I've never heard that Tennessee might eliminate their men's track program -- I think schools in the MAC (the ones left, that is) have a lot more to complain about.

    It's about time that someone shows the complaints about regionals as what they are: a tug-of-war between the haves and the have-nots. The have-nots won the war of numbers and got regionals put in place, but the haves get all the press.

    I'm going to Ohio State this weekend to see a great meet. The fans aren't bitching, only those who are in a situation where they actually have to beat people to get to the NCAA.

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    • #3
      Re: Regional format criticized

      >The fans aren't bitching, only those who
      >are in a situation where they actually have to
      >beat people to get to the NCAA.

      The fans aren't bitching because, sadly, there aren't many. Track & field is hardly a blip on the radar screen in American sports, and no one cares any more about it just because the NCAA added a silly meet.

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      • #4
        Re: Regional format criticized

        The NCAA did not add the meet. The coaches' association made the decision -- it was not forced upon us by outsiders. And if there are no track fans left, why are we here?

        I'm looking forward to a good meet this week, where team scores will be kept between some of the best teams from the SEC, Big 10, and MAC. I'll get to see the best distance runners from Eastern Michigan and Arkansas go at it (Desilets v Lincoln, Cheboiywo v Cragg).

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        • #5
          Re: Regional format criticized

          No offense to the Tennessee program, but the one year I went to the Sea Ray Relays I was bored to death. Sure, there was a windy 19.8 in the 200, but it was one of a dozen or so heats, so who could follow the action?

          I've been looking forward to this regional meet for months. I can't remember the last time I could say the same thing about a collegiate meet other than NCAA's.

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          • #6
            Re: Regional format criticized

            The story in the Knoxville paper talked about how it was costing the Vols something like an extra $20,000 to add in the Regionals. I wonder how much they saved in travel expenses this year not worrying about sending athletes hither, thither and yon in search of automatic Qs?

            I highly doubt that any of the powerhouses went out of their way to send their second-raters to out-of-the-way meets just to get one of those easy Regional qualifiers like they used to do for the Nationals. Any athlete who is likely to score for them at Nationals is going to get a Regional Q the minute they fall out of bed.

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            • #7
              Re: Regional format criticized

              I agree completely. Every other sport has playoffs; are we too good for that?

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              • #8
                Re: Regional format criticized

                \>The fans aren't
                >bitching because, sadly, there aren't many. Track
                >& field is hardly a blip on the radar screen in
                >American sports, and no one cares any more about
                >it just because the NCAA added a silly meet.

                While I'm hard-pressed to argue with you (attendance was pathetic at the Big 12 Championships here in Austin last week), I will say that I personally am certainly eager to attend a Regional. Midwest is at Texas A&M next year, and I'm definitely going. If it's within 100 miles, I'm there.
                "Run fast and keep turning left."

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                • #9
                  Re: Regional format criticized

                  The Eugene Register-Guard's take on the subject, with some pro and con:

                  http://www.registerguard.com/news/2003/ ... .0526.html

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                  • #10
                    Re: Regional format criticized

                    What do the Sea Rays have to do with the NCAA Regionals???

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                    • #11
                      Re: Regional format criticized

                      Well, the biggest complaints about regionals seem to be 1) it's one more high-level competition for athletes and 2) it's another expensive road trip which strains the budget. These are problems that individual teams can solve by eliminating one road trip to a big invitational (such as the Sea Ray Relays). The writer was implying that fans would be a lot happier if they did.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Regional format criticized

                        >I agree completely. Every other sport has
                        >playoffs; are we too good for that?


                        Well, there is one sport that doesn't have a playoff...do I need to mention which one? The regional concept is a good thing. Worried about the expense of traveling to the meet? Well, eliminate travel to a big invitational away meet, and you're even (or ahead, because you're likely to take fewer athletes to region than to an invitational). Fans love head to head competition. As a spectator, one thing at meets I hate is watching heat after heat after heat of certain events not knowing who's in first, or any other position. Give me a race with a trip to nats on the line...greatness.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Regional format criticized

                          >Well, the biggest complaints about regionals seem
                          >to be 1) it's one more high-level competition for
                          >athletes and 2) it's another expensive road trip
                          >which strains the budget. These are problems
                          >that individual teams can solve by eliminating
                          >one road trip to a big invitational (such as the
                          >Sea Ray Relays). The writer was implying that
                          >fans would be a lot happier if they did.

                          Which fans would be happier? Fans in Knoxville wouldn't be happier if teams had to choose b/t regionals and Sea Rays. Are you referring to track fans in general? Or fans who happen to live in cities hosting regionals?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Regional format criticized

                            >>What do the Sea Rays have to do with the NCAA Regionals???>>

                            Tennessee, like most big schools, complains about the regionals. But what do they bring to the table in the way of enjoyable track meets? Certainly not the Sea Ray Relays. I'd rather watch regionals, or a dual meet.

                            I remember sitting next to a Big 12 coach on the plane to NCAA Indoors a few years back. We discussed the possibility of regionals. I said that it would provide, if nothing else, four more excellent meets with head-to-head competition. He replied, "We've got good meets. That's not the problem." I didn't want to argue that any meet his school hosted was surely boring as heck, so I said nothing.

                            Coaches complain about regionals, but when was the last time they paid to watch a meet? Or simply watched a meet as a fan? Most collegiate meets are simply unwatchable. But I'm fired up for the regional at Stanford this weekend.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Regional format criticized

                              If the point of regionals was to increase visibility of the sport, it has failed miserably. The East region is at Mason, and the coverage in the DC area has been almost nil. Indeed, if you didn't already know the meet was going to be here, you wouldn't know it now, based on the coverage in the local media, which, by the way, covers track better than most places in the US. This despite the fact that many local athletes are competing, from G-town, American, UVA, etc.

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