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Sunday, May 21, 2017

All Things Wet - Sunday Cardinal Couple

NCAA Swimming Should Switch to Meters

Kelsi a champ no matter how they measure her! 
University of Louisville Swimming has now had six straight years of NCAA National Champions (11 total), several American records in a variety of events, and numerous Olympics appearances representing a number of different countries.  Those achievements can be quite difficult to compare, though, for one very basic reason.  NCAA events are measured in yards, EVERYTHING else is measured in meters.

This means that breakout performers in NCAA events, such as we've seen recently in Kelsi Worrell and Malory Comerford, have another hurdle to climb when they move on to international and pro events.  The races are almost 10 percent longer!  To be specific, 1 meter is 1.09361 yards (according to Google calculator).  So when you hear about Comerford tying Katie Ledecky in the 200 free at the NCAA Championships, and when you look at the time, 1 minutes 40.3 seconds, you can't compare those with any swimming times and achievements outside of the NCAA.  For reference, the NCAA women's record in the 200 Free (in yards) is held by Missy Franklin at 1:39.10, while the world record 200 Free (in meters) is held by Federica Pellegrini at 1:52.98.

Mallory another NCAA champ! 
The US does very well internationally in swimming, but I have to believe that swimming in yards for the major feeder avenue for swimmers into the US international swimming ranks, and then expecting them to jump up to meters when the time comes to make the transition, puts the US system at a disadvantage.  This disadvantage was highlighted recently in a short blurb by Swim Swam News questioning what Malory Comerford needs to do to "find her meters gear."

I don't hide my distaste for the NCAA as an organization.  Their hypocrisy in "protecting the amateurism of athletes" (or somesuch) by preventing companies, universities, even charities(!) from making money on the likeness of student-athletes, while they themselves rake in millions knows no bounds.  Yes, the NCAA is a non-profit, but don't look behind the curtain, and remember that they also prevent other non-profits and charities from making money on the likeness of student-athletes.  Well known basketball announcer and analyst Jay Bilas essentially teaches a master class on this via his twitter account on a regular basis.

Get with the program, NCAA...
Back to the point, though, by holding NCAA events in yards, I believe the NCAA is doing a huge disservice to the greater US swimming community and program.  Of course, this whole debate is a microcosm of the US's stubborn insistence of sticking with so-called Imperial measurements over Metric in everyday life.  Yes, I come to this debate from a background in math, science, engineering, and technology (the so-called STEM fields) where metric is essentially universally used because it's easier, works better, is more consistent, and is just all-around better.

The time has come to switch to meters.  NCAA, let's get it done.

Baseball Washed Out On Senior Day

I've got a bad feeling about this.  Baseball has lost their last three games of the regular season, a road trip up to IU in Bloomington, and two games at Patterson against FSU.  Last night, in what was to be the final game, with no opportunity to potentially schedule a make-up game, or play the game today because the season officially ended last night, weather caused a cancellation on Senior Night.

OK, yes, they still collected the number 1 seed in the ACC Tournament being hosted at Slugger Field starting Thursday, but I'm none to keen on the team entering the tournament coming off of three straight losses, and the disappointment of not getting to properly honor the seniors in front of the UofL crowd.  The team did hold a ceremony in their complex at Patterson Stadium, but I worry that there's just something missing when the fans don't get to chime in and show their appreciation.  It feels a little like they got shortchanged.  Of course, with the ACC Tournament being hosted locally, there are still opportunities for UofL fans to show their appreciation for Michael Bollmer, Chandler Dale, Shane Hummel, Colin Lyman, Jake Sparger, Ryan Summers, and Logan Taylor on the field, but I would be very surprised if they get to hold any sort of special recognition for them.  It is also expected that Louisville, unless they lay a major egg in the conference tourney, and maybe even still, would be a Regional, and almost certainly Super Regional host (assuming they advance to the Supers).

I'm not one to believe in omens, or anything superstitious, really, but I do believe in sports momentum and the habits of winning, and I worry that, right now, UofL Baseball doesn't have that momentum, and need to get back into the habits of winning.

I'll be cheering for them, of course, but I can't help going into this with a pit in my stomach worried about how they'll be playing Thursday vs Notre Dame.

-- JMcA


  1. NCAA = No Cohesive Athletic Administrating.

    Good article, JMcA.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  2. Side bar wbb topic, predictions AC Arica Carter's three point shot should be on the money next season.


    1. One can only hope, MLW. She'll get her shot at the job.

      The NCAA is such a ponderous, un-predictable organization that takes their sweet time in doing everything. Unfortunately, they have a monopoly in D1. Inflated ticket pricing for championship events, weird Championship numbers and bracketing for some events (lacrosse and field hockey come to mind) and the recent selection of all 13 SEC teams to the softball tournament (Georgia gone as of today, thanks to FSU). Preposterous.



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