WINTER PARK, Florida, November 1. "COLLEGE swimming has regained some of the respect it lost a year ago," Dr. Richard Morris, president of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) jubilantly announced today.
The announcement came after the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) reversed a decision it had taken last year which devalued by 50 percent the points a school could be awarded in the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup (formerly the Sears Cup) competition for any intercollegiate sport in which the participation level was less than 25 percent of the eligible institutions. Men's Division II swimming is below the 25-percent level.
That decision was strongly opposed by the CSCAA, represented by Dr. Morris, as well as by Mike Moyer, executive director of the Wrestling Coaches Association and Deborah Yow, Athletic Director of the University of Maryland and representatives of several other sports.
According to the NCAA News, for the 2006-07 U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup, NACDA has reinstated all sports in which the NCAA sponsors a championship to full scoring value. In other words, national champions in those sports will receive the full 100 points.
The change comes after a year in which NACDA had adjusted the scoring to half value for sports sponsored by 25 percent or less of the division membership. Morris, Moyer and Yow had criticized that approach, claiming it sent the message to athletes in those sports that their participation was less valued.
The Directors' Cup scoring committee was persuaded to reconsider the issue at the NACDA convention in June and decided on the change. The committee also adjusted the philosophy of the program to focus on honoring institutions maintaining a broad-based program and achieving success in many men's and women's sports. The Cup's intent is to treat equally all student-athletes who compete in those sports.
NACDA president Lee McElroy, A.D. at the University at Albany, said the changes were made as a result of the scoring committee's engagement with representatives from various sports who advocated for a more inclusive model based on all NCAA championship sports.
"These adjustments keep in line with the broad-based philosophy of the Directors' Cup," McElroy said. "In my 10 years of involvement with the Directors' Cup scoring, revisions are common and always in the best interest of student-athlete well-being."
Morris commented: "This was clearly the right decision and I am delighted that NACDA took this action, though it did not happen easily. I take pride in this reversal. As the CSCAA representative to the NACDA meeting last year, I stood outside the doors of the Directors' Cup committee meeting that day until Mr. McElroy would meet with us. I am sorry I stepped on a lot of toes and angered some people with my letters, but in the end it was worth it."
See the NACDA Web site (www.nacda.com) for the complete scoring structure.