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The future of US college athletics and its impact here

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  • The future of US college athletics and its impact here

    I've noticed that, partly as a result of Covid, a number of US colleges/universities are permanently cutting track and field teams, with the majority of cuts for male athletes - a lot of female teams are staying. In recent years a number if our junior athletes have headed to the US drawn by scholarship offers, coaching and the hope of regular competition, and many of the boys may no longer have that option.

    I also wonder what this may mean for future US participation at the professional level. Fewer US medallists at world/Olympic level a few years down the line? The best will still flourish, but later developers may not have the chance to do so.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    The closures of T&C at college level in the US really does have wider implications I agree. I might need to go away and read up on our athletes though and see who has come through the US system to senior success for GB :/

    As for the american system, its going to be a rough time, as they have very little in the way of what we would class as Club athletics and coaches, makes it very difficult for anyone to stay in the sport past 21/22 already

    Comment


    • #3
      There's a list here of the "schools" that have cut sports provision - https://hoopdirt.com/the-list-colleg...utting-sports/. I think it's pretty up-to-date since it includes Minnesota who only cut their Men's T&F program a week or two ago.

      Looking at that list, obviously it's a bummer for Americans at those "colleges" and those who really want to go to particular colleges, however I think it's going to have to get much worse before it really impacts British athletes' options. Without fact-checking I think there's over 300 Division 1 schools, most of which currently have T&F and XC provision. And the number is similar I think in each of Division 2 and Division 3, a road much less travelled by British athletes though a bit more popular with Irish athletes. So, there's still a huge amount of choice for non-American athletes.

      Also, the biggest school withdrawing its T&F provision so far is Minnesota. The others are very much bit-part players in T&F and XC and considering these cuts started happening about 3 months ago the number of cuts seems to have been something of a trickle so far (given there's around 1,000 colleges in the NCAA system across all 3 divisions).
      I'd be surprised if any/many of the powerhouses of T&F & XC cut their provision. And by and large it's to these 40 or 50 Universities, that have consistent success, that the majority of British athletes go.

      Regarding prospects of women's T&F provision being cut I think there's one factor that will prevent large numbers being cut. Maybe after gymnastics it's probably the most prestigious sport on the female side of the NCAA? They're not competing for eyeballs with the behemoths of American football & basketball like the men are. Yes, there's women's basketball but (pure guess here) success in that is probably no more prestigious to a college than success in T&F.

      So, concluding, I think it's still a long way from critically affecting British athletes' options. The bigger issue may be if the powerhouse Universities keep their T&F & XC but decide to drastically cut the number of paid scholarships available. That would have a big impact on Brits.

      Side note: I never realised that there was NCAA Rodeo!
      Last edited by LuckySpikes; 17-09-20, 11:53.

      Comment


      • Occasional Hope
        Occasional Hope commented
        Editing a comment
        I believe it's actual head count that has to be the same, at least in terms of scholarship money. American football has large numbers of team members at each college, and apparently it's sacroscanct.

      • trickstat
        trickstat commented
        Editing a comment
        I suspect American Football is sacrosanct because the ticket sales must be a huge money spinner. The US has over 300 million people but 'only' 32 pro teams in the NFL. This means that for large areas of the country, the college team is your local team. Some of the college stadiums are amongst the largest in the world with capacities larger than Wembley.

      • Occasional Hope
        Occasional Hope commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh yes, it's all about money.

    • #4
      Although not directly dealing with 'T & F' - I watched a fascinating documetary about American College sport - how the NCAA, the colleges and coaches can all make a huge amount of money, but the young athletes are prohibited from cashing in on their perfomances. It was quite a revelation ...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0ar...ab_channel=HBO
      Last edited by carterhatch; 17-09-20, 12:43.

      Comment


      • Grassmarket
        Grassmarket commented
        Editing a comment
        Really only applies to basketball & football which are huge money-spinners. There isn’t much money in the others. Even baseball & hockey players are really on the bottom steps of a pro career. T&F athletes always have the option of turning pro on the Euro circuit.

      • LuckySpikes
        LuckySpikes commented
        Editing a comment
        Hmm, there's decent money** on the US road running circuit and whilst most collegians don't bother with that, a few occasionally do.

        For example, last year Makena Morley (still eligible for track at Colorado University at the time) came 2nd in the USATF 10 Mile Championship behind Sara Hall but presumably she had to turn down the $10,000 prize money.

        ** Enough to make a difference to your life in your early 20s
        Last edited by LuckySpikes; 17-09-20, 20:04.

      • trickstat
        trickstat commented
        Editing a comment
        Turning pro is an option for the T&F athlete who is already truly world-class. It is not really an option for a 20 year old who is a year or two from reaching that stage.

    • #5
      Originally posted by Occasional Hope View Post
      I've noticed that, partly as a result of Covid, a number of US colleges/universities are permanently cutting track and field teams, with the majority of cuts for male athletes - a lot of female teams are staying. In recent years a number if our junior athletes have headed to the US drawn by scholarship offers, coaching and the hope of regular competition, and many of the boys may no longer have that option.

      I also wonder what this may mean for future US participation at the professional level. Fewer US medallists at world/Olympic level a few years down the line? The best will still flourish, but later developers may not have the chance to do so.

      Thoughts?
      Just read the plethora of sad and depressing posts about the possible decimation of college non- revenue sports in the US, as currently appearing on Letsrun.com. Theres food for thought. Our universities of course are basically for education and not able to raise the enormous sums of money from College Football and Basketball. I had to smile reading Leroy Burrells letter about the effect of colleges cutting back on athletics and other sports that dont bring in vast cash, despite the fact that he earns 155,000 dollars plus pension rights as head Track coach at Houston.

      Comment


      • #6
        And the latest news of the resignation of one of the most powerful money men at Nike. Maybe its true the Covid excuse will hit US college sports that are non revenue very hard.

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by carterhatch View Post
          Although not directly dealing with 'T & F' - I watched a fascinating documetary about American College sport - how the NCAA, the colleges and coaches can all make a huge amount of money, but the young athletes are prohibited from cashing in on their perfomances. It was quite a revelation ...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0ar...ab_channel=HBO
          of course its all about money and greed; thats America folks.!!!!!

          Comment


          • #8
            If Nike stops doling out the cash for talented students it would have quite an effect especially in the sprints and explosive events.

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by philipo View Post
              If Nike stops doling out the cash for talented students, it would have quite an effect, especially in the sprints and explosive events.
              Doling out when they can't resist turning pro; so many students left their college education unfinished, when the Nike chequebook started waving.Especially in the last couple of years.

              Comment


              • trickstat
                trickstat commented
                Editing a comment
                Worth pointing that some athletes turn pro for sport but wisely opt to finish their degrees. I suspect that option isn't available to those who do so for American football and basketball.
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