View Full Version : Shame on you Sunbelt Conference!

May 10th, 2007, 08:59 PM
I am looking for some opinions of x college swimmers, age groupers, etc. First I want to "put my cards on the table". I am the parent of a college swimmer. My swimmer is going to be a senior next year, looking at lettering for her fourth year, on a team which belongs to the Sun Belt Conference. When she went to her current college of choice, it was not to be the best (she wouldnt be) but to strive to improve (which she has) and contribute to, and be a part of, a team. (that she has). Always in the past the SBC, when holding their end of season conference championship. Allows for non-pointing swimmers. A non pointer, can swim up to the regular limit of events, but is simply an exhibition swimmer, no matter how they do, they can not come back for the evening finals. But times are official, and they are seeded properly.
My swimmers first year, she was an exhib. swimmer...at first she was devestated, but then went to conf., swam her events. in I believe all of them, out swam a scorer on her team..had personal bests in two events, made her goals, had a heck of a good time, got pumped for the next year. Soph year. competed as a scorer, swam well, (swam the 200 fly at altitude, as a last minute change, after training for sprints the whole year>>lol)really enjoyed Denver. This last season conference was much faster, coach recruited as he should, she was back to exhibition. but guess what, had a really good time, was part of the team, times were REALLY fast, swam pretty well...got pumped really big on Sat. night for the Senior presentations.. Didnt even really mind when the SBC skipped any Academic awards (she was Academic all conference, 4.0 on a 4.0 scale) as next year her turn to be a Senior...4 long years of hard work, she would get her time.
Yesterday she calls, seems they (Coaches, AD's or whoever..the SBC) voted to no longer allow any exhibition swims at Conference. I did not say anything when they (SBC) removed the "student" from "student athlete", but now they want to remove the "athlete" ...go only with ATHLETE... no senior awards nite for her and many others on hers and others team, but now I am a little warm under the collar.. My question..why would they do this? They never added heets for exhib. granted a few teams only brought their scorers to the meet, but that was each teams option. Maybe it is because one of the coaches is a former Olympian, several are former Senior National qualifiers...they were never in the "competing for the thrill of the sport.besides only the fast swimmers count.
Shame on you SBC! I guess since it is swimming, not basketball, or football...no one is going to mind... Well I do. Next year, I guess your can just mail her her Academic award, instead of just handing it to her in the hall way like you did this year.
I have asked the SBC, back in March, they have chosen to not respond.

May 11th, 2007, 10:22 AM


May 11th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Thats just it, it is not the money. Teams pay their own expenses, room and board, transportation..which is probably why some bring ex. swimmers, some dont. they do not add heats to accomadate,...but lets say they did, what is another heat of 100 fly added to an existing meet? about 2 minutes of time, no more cost for officiating or facility rent. Ink for the program maybe. They did away with the awards banquet as well. Hey I guess in life this is a small thing...but because it is a small thing dosent seem real hard to do the right thing....but administrations, be they Sports conferences, Schools, Governments, etc....rarely do what makes sense. As I said, would post their reasoning, if they would reply to my two emails (In which I was not snotty)

May 11th, 2007, 11:46 AM
When I swam, the Big Ten conference only allowed, I believe, 18 swimmers at the conference championship per team. I always thought that's just the way it was and it gave me something to strive for. I did make it to the conference team my final two seasons. I think they still have the same policy today. Anyway, I only later realized other conferences DO allow additional swimmers to swim exhibition. As far as I'm concerned that's a good thing. These swimmers worked their butts off all year, too, and the electric atmosphere of a conference championship is a heck of a lot more conducive to fast swimming than a dual meet or USA Swimming meet. I really don't see a down side. After all, these swimmers are still going to work to try to make the non-exhibition team.

So, yeah, it seems like a bad call to me. It would be interesting to know their reasoning. Good luck to your daughter, Hoosier. Hopefully the rule change will inspire her to make the scoring team this season!

May 11th, 2007, 12:00 PM
I really never swam competitively much until I took up masters swimming three years ago. (Even now, swimming meets takes a back seat to most other activities in my life.) I do remember going to the Men's NCAA championships at Long Beach as a spectator one year when I was an undergrad at UCLA. Oh man! What an exciting atmosphere. You've got contingents from Texas, Tennessee, UCLA, Florida and just about everywhere else, making huge amounts of noise in essentially every race. I can definitely understand how such an environment, even (or especially?) at the conference level would motivate you to swim some really fast times even if you were only swimming exhibition. Seems like it should be an opportunity you would want to make available to your swimmers if you could.


That Guy
May 11th, 2007, 11:05 PM
There is nothing like a conference championship meet. There are two things I wish could somehow be a part of Masters swimming: swimming trials and finals (impossible, I know), and the experience of just being at the finals. My junior year I was waiting behind the blocks for the 400 IM championship final. Medium sized natatorium with terrible reverby acoustics, completely packed, everyone screaming in the general direction of the 8 waiting swimmers. Seeing nothing but open mouths and clapping hands and hearing noise louder than any sporting event I've ever been to before or since, I actually started to experience disorientation. I leaned forward with my hands on the block, stared at the tile floor, and got my head back together. Eventually the referee got everyone to quiet down and I proceeded to finish 2nd with a best time (which I lowered 3 times the next season :)). I'm looking forward to my first Nationals next week but I know it won't be anything like that.

edit: oh yeah, forgot to mention, Boo Sunbelt!

May 14th, 2007, 02:16 PM
It's probably the athletic directors who made the policy shift, and most of it probably has to do with money. The conference may not be paying for those exhibition swimmers to go to the meet... but the school is. It costs extra hotel rooms, extra meals, extra plane tickets perhaps, etc. So yeah, it's money.

There's also likely an argument about the meet being too large. If you have extra swimmers there during prelims, then it means that the warmup lanes are more crowded. That impacts the ability of the elite swimmers in the conference to properly prepare for their races.