Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters


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Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby sprintdoc » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:44 pm

Link here from front page: http://www.trackalerts.com/index.php/ne ... ate-system

Over past few years what US guys have emerged at world elite level for US?

Walter Dix - often injured but really the exception to the rule
Ryan Bailey - one term at JC, developed outside NCAA system completely
Mike Rodgers - developed outside NCAA system
Trell Kimmons - developed outside NCAA system

Going back a few years Gatlin and Gay did achieve success yet Gatlin's is tainted and Gay has been seriously injury prone over past 5 seasons so perhaps US system hurt as much as helped him

From international pool there is:

Richard Thompson who did manage final in London but beyond Olympic medal following senior year at LSU has done little internationally

Sure Kiranyi James is somewhat a product of NCAA system but hats off to Harvey Glance for effectively only racing him in essential NCAA meets and virtually no relays. This was one reason James chose Bama over others schools and he looks smart at this point. Even LaShawn Merritt skipped out of NCAA system in first year.

NCAA burnouts? Xavier Carter, Curtiss Mitchell, Lionel Larry...

From women's side the top US women are Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix. Jeter didn't emerge until well after her collegiate career was over and Felix obviously skipped the system altogether. Makes you think.

Not saying, just saying.......
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby fasttrack85 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:17 pm

I didn't read anything but just to contribute to your post...... duh!!!!!!!!!!!! no shit!!!!!
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:34 am

The OP has so many qualifiers and exceptions, not to mention all the other unmentioned great sprinters who achieved greatness after going through the NCAA system (eg. Sanya Richards, Jeremy Wariner, Veronica Campbell, Lauren Campbell, Wallace Spearmon, . . . . , Carl Lewis, Gwen Torrence, Merlene Ottey, Leroy Burrell, etc.) that I can't take this seriously. I also think it's disingenuous to blame the NCAA system for Xavier Carter's lack of post-collegiate success and it's reaching to use Kimmons, Bailey and Rodgers as examples of the pro track success stories.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby Marlow » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:28 am

jazzcyclist wrote:not to mention all the other unmentioned great sprinters who achieved greatness after going through the NCAA system (eg. Sanya Richards, Jeremy Wariner, Veronica Campbell, Lauren Campbell, Wallace Spearmon, . . . . , Carl Lewis, Gwen Torrence, Merlene Ottey, Leroy Burrell, etc.)

Bingo. The list is MUCH longer of those who went on to greatness from the US college system than those who didn't.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:02 am

There is something else missing from Bert assessment. There is a college education, which may have more impact on these athletes, especially those other than the extreme top several that make it to the top.

Another thing the might underlie Bert's opinions: Those that go to the US more often have a much wider range of coaching opportunities and that diminishes his potential coaching clientele.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby tandfman » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:04 pm

Didn't Cameron himself become a world champion after going through the NCAA system?
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby gh » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:08 pm

26mi235 wrote:...
Another thing the might underlie Bert's opinions: Those that go to the US more often have a much wider range of coaching opportunities and that diminishes his potential coaching clientele.


not to mention... how would you feel after living in El Paso for 4 years? :twisted:
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby gm » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:59 pm

I'm sure Mr. C was, ummmmm, well-rewarded for his stay in EP :lol:
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby fasttrack85 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:08 am

jazzcyclist wrote:The OP has so many qualifiers and exceptions, not to mention all the other unmentioned great sprinters who achieved greatness after going through the NCAA system (eg. Sanya Richards, Jeremy Wariner, Veronica Campbell, Lauren Campbell, Wallace Spearmon, . . . . , Carl Lewis, Gwen Torrence, Merlene Ottey, Leroy Burrell, etc.) that I can't take this seriously. I also think it's disingenuous to blame the NCAA system for Xavier Carter's lack of post-collegiate success and it's reaching to use Kimmons, Bailey and Rodgers as examples of the pro track success stories.



How many years did Sanya run for Texas? Didn't VCB also skip alot of her final year in the NCAA system to train/peak for Olympics? I truly do feel that many people have survived the NCAA system and have been successful but I think elite talent would be better off with coaching that is benefited towards their individual goals than winning school championships.

I was a bit sarcastic in my initial response.... but I do feel that the NCAA can still be a stepping stone for an athlete who hasn't honed their skills to the point of big league endorsements and professional coaching. However people like Allyson Felix, Kirani James, and not to mention the new breed of Jamaican sprinters refusing to join the NCAA assembly line surely made the right choice and it is showing in their results in comparison to others.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby j-a-m » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:32 am

If the collegiate system really burns out sprinters, they can always leave early. The fact that not many of them do, seems to be a good indication that the collegiate system is generally working fine.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby 18.99s » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:27 am

j-a-m wrote:If the collegiate system really burns out sprinters, they can always leave early. The fact that not many of them do, seems to be a good indication that the collegiate system is generally working fine.

Not so simple. Don't look at how many leave early, look at how many have signficant improvements during their college years.

For those who have spent a couple years in college with little or no athletic improvement, or perhaps even getting worse due to the burnout and injuries, leaving early usually just doesn't make sense even if the coaching is crappy. They know they're not good enough to get a professional contract, and they don't know if they'll ever get there, but they know that if they stay for 2 or 3 more years they can get a degree out of it. So once they start, they don't leave early unless they drop out academically or become good enough to compete professionally (and with enough money to compensate for the foregone scholarship).
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:26 am

fasttrack85 wrote:How many years did Sanya run for Texas? Didn't VCB also skip alot of her final year in the NCAA system to train/peak for Olympics? I truly do feel that many people have survived the NCAA system and have been successful but I think elite talent would be better off with coaching that is benefited towards their individual goals than winning school championships.

I was a bit sarcastic in my initial response.... but I do feel that the NCAA can still be a stepping stone for an athlete who hasn't honed their skills to the point of big league endorsements and professional coaching. However people like Allyson Felix, Kirani James, and not to mention the new breed of Jamaican sprinters refusing to join the NCAA assembly line surely made the right choice and it is showing in their results in comparison to others.

Allyson Felix was running world-class times in high school so there was no need for her to run college track. On the other hand, Sanya, Veronica AND Kirani (despite your false assertion) hadn't "honed their skills to the point of big league endorsements and professional coaching" when they came out of high school so they wisely chose the NCAA route. I don't think anyone on this board is advising athletes to run four years of college track when they only need 1-3 years to get ready for the big leagues, so what's your point?
Last edited by jazzcyclist on Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby preston » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:56 am

jazz, come on, this isn't limited to track and field. There is a school of thought in baseball that direct-from-high school is the best way, while there are others that go through college first; the same could be said for hockey; African distance runners; Gymnastics...

Also, in track and field, pointing out what happened in the past makes no sense when you consider that Jamaica is developing a chasm of ELITE/ELITE sprinting performances (more specifically, the mens 100 and 200m; there is no evidence that JAM is equally efficient in any other events or on the women's side save S-AF-P) versus the USA. So prior to 2003 the college route worked (for Jamaicans; and Americans not named Maurice Greene). And? It's 2012 and he's just making the argument that the paradigm has shifted; that college coaches can't get er done - not with their responsibility to the schools and/or academics. Yes, by throwing massive numbers at the problem the USA has managed to stay competitive but it makes sense to consider the possibility that MORE can be achieved by starting these athletes younger (3-4) at their pro careers. Burn out may be an overstatement but so is quoting past results if the world has changed and the USA fails to change with it.

Also, I don't know who else you were trying to add into your point but Allyson certainly doesn't belong there; her model is identical to SAFP's. Veronica AND Kirani COULD HAVE gone pro out of high school; their performances would have led to endorsements and professional coaching without a question.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby gh » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:00 pm

preston wrote:.....
Also, in track and field, pointing out what happened in the past makes no sense when you consider that Jamaica is developing a chasm of ELITE/ELITE sprinting performances (more specifically, the mens 100 and 200m; there is no evidence that JAM is equally efficient in any other events or on the women's side save S-AF-P) versus the USA. So prior to 2003 the college route worked (for Jamaicans; and Americans not named Maurice Greene). And? It's 2012 and he's just making the argument that the paradigm has shifted; that college coaches can't get er done - not with their responsibility to the schools and/or academics. ....


I'm thinking the only paradigm that has changed is money. You've got to remember that at one time not so long ago Nike had a stated company policy that they wouldn't sign anybody with remaining eligibility.

I can't remember when that came off the table, but the reason the studs don't finish out NCAA careers in track is now exactly the same reason they do it in all the other sports: it hampers their earning ability.

The American collegiate system remains a terrific way to develop/hone your talent. If you're good enough, you just aren't required to make it a 4-year program anymore, so few do.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby Marlow » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:58 pm

gh wrote:If you're good enough, you just aren't required to make it a 4-year program anymore, so few do.

Well, most do, but the few elite who should bail early do (and are smart enough to finish their degree program anyway).
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby j-a-m » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:55 pm

gh wrote:The American collegiate system remains a terrific way to develop/hone your talent. If you're good enough, you just aren't required to make it a 4-year program anymore, so few do.

Yes, and those that leave early to go pro don't do so because of being burned out; to the contrary, they did well in college, which is why they have sponsorship opportunities in the first place.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby Pelpa » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:27 pm

Well this is a debate worthy of some real research, whichever way for my local reality, I will lean to my rule of thumb that NCAA equals potential burnout of male sprinters in particular and home university is the way to go. However, if as a student athlete and you know deep down you are not interested in pro sprinting but have the wits for it; then a US collegiate degree is worth the burn.

...Football (soccer) on the other hand....go get it kid!
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:03 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
fasttrack85 wrote:How many years did Sanya run for Texas? Didn't VCB also skip alot of her final year in the NCAA system to train/peak for Olympics? I truly do feel that many people have survived the NCAA system and have been successful but I think elite talent would be better off with coaching that is benefited towards their individual goals than winning school championships.

I was a bit sarcastic in my initial response.... but I do feel that the NCAA can still be a stepping stone for an athlete who hasn't honed their skills to the point of big league endorsements and professional coaching. However people like Allyson Felix, Kirani James, and not to mention the new breed of Jamaican sprinters refusing to join the NCAA assembly line surely made the right choice and it is showing in their results in comparison to others.


Allyson Felix was running world-class times in high school so there was no need for her to run college track. On the other hand, Allyson, Veronica AND Kirani (despite your false assertion) hadn't "honed their skills to the point of big league endorsements and professional coaching" when they came out of high school so they wisely chose the NCAA route. I don't think anyone on this board is advising athletes to run four years of college track when they only need 1-3 years to get ready for the big leagues, so what's your point?


When I spoke about the NCAA being a stepping stone I wasn't referring to any of the people you implied that I implied(Allyson, Veronica, and Kirani). It was more of a general statement that I didn't give any examples for. I think alot of athletes have benefited from smaller and lesser known schools, very often many are community colleges. Ryan Bailey, Veronica Campbell, and Tyson Gay are examples of that.

At the larger more well known schools the ultimate goal is to win school championships. The althetes are just pawns to get that done. Sometimes they are able to benefit from the system and sometimes they are not so lucky. For example English Gardner, Kimberlyn Duncan, and Christina Manning could probably have all made the olympic team this year in their respective events had they been coached with the intent on their individual success vs that of their schools.

It's not a straight slope figuring out what is best for who. It is a matter of goals. How important is education? Will they stay all four years? Can they get a professional contract as it stands? I believe Gardner, Duncan, and Manning could have all had pro contracts since 2011 but they all ran NCAA in 2012. They furthered their degree by one year but likely lost out on a shot at the Olympics because of it. What mattered more to them? Only they know.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:37 pm

fasttrack85 wrote:At the larger more well known schools the ultimate goal is to win school championships. The althetes are just pawns to get that done. Sometimes they are able to benefit from the system and sometimes they are not so lucky.

I think it's a mistake to assume that college coaches view their star athletes as nothing more than a piece of meat to be discarded after their four years of eligibilty are up. That might be true of some coaches, but defnitely not all. For thing, often times the college coach is also that athlete's future pro coach (eg. Kirani James, Jeremy Wariner, Richard Thompson, etc.) in which case the coach will be loathe to run the athlete into the ground during the collegiate season.
fasttrack85 wrote:For example English Gardner, Kimberlyn Duncan, and Christina Manning could probably have all made the olympic team this year in their respective events had they been coached with the intent on their individual success vs that of their schools.

How do you know their coaches didn't have an eye on the Olympic Trials when they planned their seasons? It's not like they went to the trials and bombed, all were finalists. In Gardner's case, four of the six who finshed ahead of her had superior PR's. Manning finshed fifth and all four of the women who finshed ahead of her had superior PR's. And Duncan finshed fourth behind three former world champions, two of whom had superior PR's.

fasttrack85 wrote:It's not a straight slope figuring out what is best for who. It is a matter of goals. How important is education? Will they stay all four years? Can they get a professional contract as it stands? I believe Gardner, Duncan, and Manning could have all had pro contracts since 2011 but they all ran NCAA in 2012. They furthered their degree by one year but likely lost out on a shot at the Olympics because of it. What mattered more to them? Only they know.

Gardner, Manning and Duncan may have been get some sort of shoe contract in 2011 which would have technically make them "pros", but do you know for a fact that they turned respectable offers? Not all pro contracts are equal. Walter Dix could have turned pro in 2006 and 2007, but he waited until the money was right. Lashinda Demus summed it up perfectly when she said, "People are making $15,000 a year and calling themselves a professional athlete. To me that's not a good job".
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby gh » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:22 pm

allow me to suggest that the NCAA system, with what can be a burn-them-out methodology is also responsible for tough sprinters who are still ready to answer the bell when the 4x4 final rolls around, and at the same time know how to run a proper 4x4. I think we've seen some good examples of this with the U.S. women winning against superior-on-paper Russian teams the last few years.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:18 pm

If you are a college coach and you regularly burn out your athletes, especially foreign athletes, do you think other top recruits are going to want to go there? I see enough of this silliness where people do not seem to have thought through the incentives very fully.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby j-a-m » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:39 am

jazzcyclist wrote:I think it's a mistake to assume that college coaches view their star athletes as nothing more than a piece of meat to be discarded after their four years of eligibilty are up.

Another aspect of this is that NCAA regulations can make it difficult for student athletes to stay with their coach after their eligilibility is over, even if the coach would like them to.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby j-a-m » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:43 am

jazzcyclist wrote:In Gardner's case, four of the six who finshed ahead of her had superior PR's. Manning finshed fifth and all four of the women who finshed ahead of her had superior PR's. And Duncan finshed fourth behind three former world champions, two of whom had superior PR's.

Exactly. Manning and Duncan ran in arguably the toughest events at the entire Trials, so it would've been far from certain that they'd made the team even without a collegiate season. And in Gardner's case, she didn't run much indoors, and at NCAAs she didn't run the 200, so at least it made the impression her season was somewhat focused on Trials.
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby fasttrack85 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:03 am

[
fasttrack85 wrote:It's not a straight slope figuring out what is best for who. It is a matter of goals. How important is education? Will they stay all four years? Can they get a professional contract as it stands? I believe Gardner, Duncan, and Manning could have all had pro contracts since 2011 but they all ran NCAA in 2012. They furthered their degree by one year but likely lost out on a shot at the Olympics because of it. What mattered more to them? Only they know.




Jazz in reply to your last comment directed to me:
Of course we can't presume how every coach thinks but some of the results speak for themselves. In Duncan, Gardner, and Manning's case their coach probably had the olympics in mind but I am not sure it was the ultimate goal. All three ran starting indoors up until the Ncaa championships. That is over five months of competiting. So come end of June for them it would be similar to end of September for pro athletes. They all did well in spite of that which has to make you wonder what they would have been capable of if their ultimate goal(coaching wise) was the oly's. Duncan ran a 22.22 and 22.19 in the Spring and both times would have qualified her to make the team. She ran a respectable 22.34 for fourth place but sometimes little things make a big difference. Gardner to me clearly bombed. 11.28 in the trial finals was completely below her standards and that was the result of a long season. As for Manning just like the others, the competition was tough but the times she ran earlier in the season showed she had potential to have that third spot on a good day.

As for contract potential these girls are really as good as it gets collegiately. Duncan ran 22.24 and 22.18w as a 19 yr old she is not too far from Allyson Felix territory if you ask me. English Gardner ran 11.03 barely out of high school. If these girls are not ready for big bucks from Nike that means not alot of ppl are. They are actually running better than the majority of the so called pro's out there. Just food for thought.[/u][/i][/b][/u][/b]
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby shivfan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:49 am

I thought the article was a very interesting one, because Cameron was in Nigeria, where they have a policy of sending athletes to the US collegiate system, under the impression that it would be the best way of developing their athletes. Now that Nigeria didn't win a single medal at this year's Olympics, they are asking themselves, what went wrong?

Cameron's speech gave the Nigerians food for thought....
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Re: Cameron says US college system burning out sprinters

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:10 pm

fasttrack85 wrote:As for Manning just like the others, the competition was tough but the times she ran earlier in the season showed she had potential to have that third spot on a good day.

Do you not remember what the weather was like for the final? If so, do you think it's reasonable to expect Manning to PR under those conditions? The history of the hurdles and the technical nature of the event suggests that Manning is still five to ten years away from running her best times, and you really expected her to finish ahead of the eventual Olympic 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers, all whom are seasoned veterans? Come on man!
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