NCAA decision is dumbfounding

Every now and then the NCAA makes a decision that makes you shake your head. Such was the case on Sunday night when the 64 teams for the men’s and women’s Division II basketball field were unveiled.

It wasn’t a matter of who got in and who didn’t, it was what should have been a far easier decision. It was in deciding who to award hosting rights for the West Region events.

Western Washington University was award hosting rights for both which will go on simultaneously. It’s not that it is unprecedented. But Bellingham, 90 miles from Seattle, is too small an area to be able to accommodate 14 visiting teams.

There aren’t enough hotel rooms to accommodate the visiting teams, much less the parents of players and fans who want to attend. The other seven men’s teams are being housed in Everette, about a 70-mile drive from the site. How’s that for home-court advantage for the Vikings?

Air fares are outrageous.

And talk about a scheduling nightmare.Twice the number of games in one venue. Oh, and don’t forgot those religious schools that want to inconvenience everyone else by not playing on Sundays.

Instead of running a regional over the course of three or four days. Now it’s Thursday through Tuesday. Men’s teams play the quarterfinals on Friday then don’t play again until Monday. Just brilliant!

There were other options, including having two four-team sub-regions, then have the highest seed host the championship game.

What should have done . . . Western Washington pick one, then assign the other regional to another school. Period, end of discussion.

Both championship games on Tuesday but the men’s not starting until 8:30 p.m. What are they trying to do, avoid a rush-hour traffic jam in the thriving metropolis. How many papers will get that score in the paper? Answer –  none.

The worst part of the debacle is that the NCAA had no contingency plan in place. Western had been ranked No. 1 in the region in both men and women for a month, yet when the men’s field was announced Sunday night, they didn’t give a site until well over an hour later.

The NCAA couldn’t see this coming? Really? Everyone else did?

Everyone but the folks at Western Washington are getting jobbed here. It’s shame for the players and fans of other schools to have to deal with this.

So strike another blow for the student-athlete experience the NCAA is all about. Time and time again it proves that is not the case.




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  • jb

    this is the greatest travesty in NCAA D2 in more than a decade. both the NCAA and WWU should be ashamed of themselves. this highjacking of both regionals could prompt a class action suit. can anyone imagine what a court injunction might do to shake up the old ways and archaic system extant? michelle, you get to the heart of the issue. there is blood all over the execs in indy as well as bellingham.

  • Jeff T

    Agree with the fact one school should not host 2 regionals for the simple fact of a scheduling nightmare. Shame on the NCAA for not dealing with this sooner since both western washington teams have been at the top most of the season and the NCAA knew this would be an issue. The sub-regionals would also have been a good solution. One other possible solution would have been to hold one of the regional’s in Seattle then the hotel issue wouldn’t have been a problem. This is a PR nightmare for the NCAA.

  • Absolutely insane-Western Washington is operating with dollar signs in their eyes instead of being good hosts.I agree with the writer,this region needed to either be split into sub-regionals or assign a regional to another school.Although realistically which regional would WWU give back? The Women’s because it is less likely to produce a profit or break even.Its absolute madness and hopefully a by-law change will be made as a result of this.

  • on campus regionals in small towns are difficult enough. i checked for hotel rooms in bellingham and the choice is between motel 6 with paper thin walls allowing for no sleep or a queen bed SMOKING room at the seedy bellingham inn. it is high time we go to an arena setting like citizens business bank arena locally, the tacoma dome, or the stockton arena. stop this nonsense now!