I'm not sure how the process worked, but if "most" coaches opposed the plan, how did it get approved? As I recall the dialogue in T&F News through the last couple of years, the big-name/big-conference coaches were opposed, but most of the little fish--who couldn't afford to fly massive squads all over the country in search of qualifiers--liked it. Did the coaches as a whole vote?
>We know most coaches don't like it. Track and
>Field News is obviously in favor. What do other
>track fans think?
No, you mean coaches of big-time programs. Any coach who thinks he has a shot at an NCAA title hates it. The rest of them like it, especially up north where you don't have decent weather until mid-May (and it's a rainy, windy, 60-degree day outside right now). There are now about an extra 75 athletes per event that have something to shoot for at the end of the season.
As for the criticism that the NCAA meet is too close to the USATF, that again is a problem that only a small minority of programs have to deal with. USATF could move its championship to the mid-season GP break (just like every other country in the northern hemisphere) but that would take imagination, which they clearly do not have. Just think about how Oslo and Rome could be hyped on ESPN as leading up the the USA championships. Not-quite-GP level athletes would need domestic competition in late June and early July, but we already have the Can-Am series; similar all-sprint/hurdle and all-field event meets might be equally successful.
It seems like the regional finals would be tailor-made for Fox Sports Net. But, of course, no one in track actually would make that happen . . . why, it might make the sport popular!
I'm going to the meet at Ohio State. It's going to be a thrill, I'm sure.
I like regionals. It's great that there is one more meet on the calender where the outcome of the event (1st, 2nd, 3rd) matters, and not just the time or distance. Head to head competition is what the sport is all about, so adding a meet with that intent is great. However, as I stated eariler, this has not eliminated chasing qualifiers. The top level athletes get there easily, but the next level below them now spends their entire season chasing regional qualifiers. At every college meet I watched this season, the PA man informed us after every race, jump and throw how the mark measured up to the regional qualifier. The regional format is great- a big improvement over the old system. However, it has not eliminated chasing qualifiers. It has just changed who is chasing them.
>I for one like the idea.
>Anything to create more head to head competition.
>I'm tired of going ot endless meets with 12 heats
>of the 200.
>If a regional is ever near me,
>I'll go. I can't say the same thing for other
>college meets close by.
I'll second that. I'm in Austin, and next year's midwest regional is down the road at Texas A&M. I'm already planning to go. (And then I'm coming home to watch nationals here in Austin! Woo-hoo!)
Hopefully the Nationals will always be close to a Regionals sight so that people can get the thrill of a double. We're blessed here in greater San Francisco by having the Stanford/Sacramento conjunction this year.
I won't mention that we're doubly blessed by also having the USATF at Stanford the next week