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  • Pat Henry on Ducks' Home-Track Advantage

    There's an article linked on the home-page here in which the TA&M coach whines (my word) about how unfair it is that the Ducks get to compete on their home track every year at the NCAAs. Sports Illustrated did a great piece on home-field advantage, which definitely exists for soccer, baseball, football, basketball, etc., but it is NOT about

    1. being at home in a familiar environment
    2. have more fans cheering for you
    3. sleeping in your own bed, eating your usual meals
    4. not having to time-shift your body

    These factors together do not add up to the overwhelming advantage of having the refs sub-consciously trying to please the fans, thereby making a few more calls on the behalf of the home-team.

    Since this isn't a factor in T&F, I'm not feeling his argument. I remember my own comp days and what my athletes say about away-meets. They are MORE psyched to perfrom well precisely because it IS a hostile environment and they are not distracted by other things; they are only there to compete.

    But . . . he does have one good point: transparency in awarding the championships to a school. The NCAA should indeed let everyone know what the 'bid' entails, so other schools have a chance to top it. And . . . if, say, Phil Knight is tipping the scales by 'sweetening' the deal, that should be open and above-board also, so other sugar-daddies have a chance. And . . .if other sites can come close to the bid, the meet SHOULD travel to accommodate other regions' fans. But they had better put on as good a meet as Hayward does, which, in and of itself, is virtually impossible, so . . . Oregon it is, Pat H.

  • #2
    Five years ago, when Texas A&M swept the NCAA titles in Eugene, he was singing a different tune. I seem to recall him saying that Eugene should be to track and field what Omaha is for baseball, since nobody in the country does a better job at hosting track meets.

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    • #3
      An NCAA coach talking out of both sides of their mouths... hide the children.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jazzcyclist View Post
        Five years ago, when Texas A&M swept the NCAA titles in Eugene, he was singing a different tune. I seem to recall him saying that Eugene should be to track and field what Omaha is for baseball, since nobody in the country does a better job at hosting track meets.
        That was when the meet was moving around (occasionally) (Arkansas, Texas, Sacramento).

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        • #5
          But he was opposed to it moving around back then.

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          • #6
            Part 3 now posted: Henry expands on his thoughts.

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            • #7
              The biggest advantage that the Oregon kids have is that they get to sleep in the same beds with the same mattresses, the same pillows, the same sheets, they get to eat the same food that they would regularly eat, drink the same water they regularly drink, and really don't have to upset their normal routines whatsoever.

              Villanova gets a similar boost from the Penn Relays. Their biggest inconvenience is taking a half hour train ride from a station that's literally on Villanova's campus to 30th Street Station and then walking a few blocks to get to Franklin Field. At night, they go home and sleep in their own beds. No hotels, no flights, no long bus rides, etc. There's also the added boost of having lots of people there to cheer them on.
              Last edited by JumboElliott; 08-08-2015, 07:41 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DJG
                ... I would hope that all the coaches east of the Mississippi would want the championship held on their end of the continent every other year, but it will be nearly another decade before that happens….
                the reason that the meet has been held on the East side so few times is because there (just as there are in the West) are too few suitable stadia and too few schools with the infrastructure and willingness to put on the meet.

                You can't award the meet to people who aren't bidding, and it's not as if the history of the sport is littered with failed "eastern" bids.

                It certainly didn't help when the NCAA declared a few years back that Baton Rouge (a delightful venue with good motivation) didn't have the requisite seating.

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                • #9
                  Lets Make the NCAA meet Great Again

                  Jazz "Five years ago, when Texas A&M swept the NCAA titles in Eugene, he was singing a different tune. I seem to recall him saying that Eugene should be to track and field what Omaha is for baseball, since nobody in the country does a better job at hosting track meets."

                  Jazz is correct about that statement but that was YEARS AGO and when Oregon was not competing year in and year out for a national championship. So now when their best sprinter is competing against the best sprinters in the country (which they were not doing five years ago) and he or she gets to sleep in their own bed and go through a normal routine - then there is a CLEAR advantage. Let me give you all a recap of what Oregon has done at the NCAA outdoor since 2005 and you can clearly see the program has changed.
                  2005 men 9th/women 32nd -
                  2006 men 12th/women 11th -
                  2007 men 10th/women 27th -
                  2008 men 11th/ women 8th -
                  2009 men 2nd/women 2nd -
                  2010 men 3rd/women 2nd(Eugene host)
                  2011 men 10th/women 2nd (Eugene host) -
                  2012 men 9th/women 2nd (Eugene host) -
                  2013 men 4th/women 3rd (Eugene host) -
                  2014 men 1st/women 3rd (Eugene host) -
                  2015 men 1st/women 1st (Eugene host)

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                  • #10
                    Oregon may or may not have a home field advantate for all the reasons listed but that is not the reason they should not have a lifetime lock on major meets.

                    To get people in other places interested in high quality track, ya gotta have high quality track meets in other places besides Eugene.

                    Besides, ya gotta spread it around because you should spread it around...its just fair.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JumboElliott View Post
                      The biggest advantage that the Oregon kids have is that they get to sleep in the same beds with the same mattresses, the same pillows, the same sheets, they get to eat the same food that they would regularly eat, drink the same water they regularly drink, and really don't have to upset their normal routines whatsoever.
                      Not necessarily true. Oregon often, perhaps always, boards their NCAA team at a local hotel when the NCAA Championships are in Eugene. I know this because I have sometimes been at the same hotel. I have heard that the reason might have something to do with getting them away from distracting roommate situations at their apartments or other housing, and perhaps other reasons as well.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                        Oregon may or may not have a home field advantate for all the reasons listed but that is not the reason they should not have a lifetime lock on major meets.

                        To get people in other places interested in high quality track, ya gotta have high quality track meets in other places besides Eugene.

                        Besides, ya gotta spread it around because you should spread it around...its just fair.
                        And I repeat, for the 133rd time (167th if you include USATF threads): the governing bodies are not involved in the process other than going with the best bid there is. They have no interest (vested or otherwise) in spreading things around, getting people in other palces interested in the sport, etc., etc.

                        And the cruel, hard fact is that for virtually the entire life of the sport, there have been few venues willing/able to step up with first-class bids for either meet.

                        Don't yell at Oregon just because they've come up with a winning formula top to bottom.

                        The problem is, they had that formula before Nike was even a twinkle in anybody's eye, but the addition of that financial backing to the whole mix has made for a colossus that's indeed "unfair."

                        Put me on record as one who, if such voting were possible, would indeed vote to move the meet(s) around. (Except maybe the OT)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gh View Post
                          Put me on record as one who, if such voting were possible, would indeed vote to move the meet(s) around. (Except maybe the OT)
                          I would move it elsewhere IF AND ONLY IF it would be promoted/attended/supported/media-noticed/fan-friendly/conducive-to-good-marks/fan-fared even 80% as much as it is in Eugene. But that's just not going to happen, so there ya are.

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