Wednesday, April 02, 2008


For everyone's sanity, this is a new version, hopefully free of typos

There has been a recent thread on the message board
about a push to get waterskiing recognized (and thereby governed) by the NCAA. Skiers, stay the hell away from this. It is, simply put, a dangerous, bordering on stupid, idea.

Anyway, here's the slightly revised version of what I wrote:

This topic came up on a couple of years ago. It was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now.

1. Title IX-- the only thing that will happen is that women's teams would be funded and given partial scholarships and men's teams will receive no scholarship money. Sorry national champ caliber skier, the fifth string punter on the football team needs his full ride, otherwise he might attend his major in-state rival.
Collegiate Waterskiing already achieves something that NCAA sports, their rulebooks stacking as high as all volumes of the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica, have yet to achieve: full gender equality. It does this simply by awarding titles on combined team scores and weighing the men's and women's scores equally. If it ain't broke...

2. Scholarships-- It is highly doubtful that waterskiing scholarships would be the all-expenses-paid stipends skiers hope they would be. Since waterskiing would no doubt be a "nonrevenue" sport, each member would not receive a full scholarship, requiring a small percentage of scholarships to be distributed to the entire team. The New York Times recently wrote about this, here's a link

3. Regulation, Regulation, Regulation-- the governing structure of the NCAA is so mind-numbingly overreaching that the way collegiate skiing is governed (i.e., by the skiers themselves) would immediately cease to exist.

*Decisions about waterskiing would be made by people with backgrounds in football, baseball, etc. Conference/regional boards governed by student representatives-- done for.

*Skiers working toward officials' ratings by judging/driving at Collegiate tournaments-- gone. No way in hell the NCAA would let active competitors officiate an event

*Practice begins when the weather permits-- nope. Mandatory start dates. Team takes the boat to Okeheelee for spring break to train-- not without Committee approval and a feasibility study.

*Lake owners bring a local boys/girls 3 skier out to the lake when a collegiate team is practicing-- whoops, NCAA rules violation, that was an unsanctioned recruiting visit, now your school is on probation.

*What if one of the Alums at your school gives you his old jump sling? Violation. Improper gift to an athlete. No postseason for your school for the next two years.

4. Pros--None of the " top dogs" would be able to be collegiate skiers. Anyone who has won, or perhaps even competed, at a cash prize tournament is out, ineligible. This will surely include skiers who have worked in a ski show--you are now ineligible. Worked at a ski school?--prepare to show a lot of documents proving that all you did was cut grass. And if a coach shows up in the off season at your ski school, you were having a sanctioned practice out of season- your school is on probation.

5. More exposure? Forget it. Waterskiing will surely be promoted about as much as Field Hockey or Rowing. It's a nonrevenue sport

It basically comes down to the end of collegiate waterskiing being controlled by waterskiers, and the beginning of Collegiate waterskiing being controlled by ex-football coaches and compliance officers. Personally, I think autonomy in a sport is a good thing. There will be none in NCAA waterskiing.

Excuse me as this rant a little off-the-cuff

Commenters, Feel free to bitch me out if I am the stupid one.


Libby said...

Please clean up the typos. I'm not sure if I'm with you on your Title IX argument.

Rowboat Abides said...

fyi, here is the link to the specific chat thread