Thursday, January 12, 2012

This is the NCAA... Not the Miami Heat



Patrick Casey
In the past few weeks two high profile milers have transferred to the University of Oklahoma.  They are Riley Masters and Patrick Casey.  Both athletes rose to prominence last year from mid-major schools.  As a student-athlete at a mid-major school I take offense to their leaving.  Their respective coaches brought them to the level that they are at- and a level that no current Sooner is running at.  Why not respect your coach and continue to run for him?  This isn't professional sports, it is the NCAA.  Student-athletes are students first, and athletes second.  They are supposed to get an education and run in the meantime, not the other way around.  I have respect for an athlete who obtains a degree at their first college and then leaves to pursue grad school at another school and chooses to run their as well.  Even if the student chooses a grad school that will merit them a chance at a national title.  Ryan Collins, who graduate from Virginia and went to Wisconsin for grad school, is a fine example of this.  Also, I can understand when an athlete chooses to leave after a year or semester because it isn't the right fit.  But leaving a coach who recruited you and is largely responsible for your success after a few years of school?  This shouldn't happen.  Coaches are also part of the problem here.  A coach can choose to not release an athlete and that would cause an athlete to sit out a year.  That might make an athlete, especially one who is late in their career or one who has already used his redshirt seasons, think twice about leaving.
Riley Masters
Another athlete who has committed this crime is Trevor Dunbar, who left Portland for Oregon.  Dunbar, like Masters and Casey, is now the best on his new team at his respective event.  Unlike Casey and Masters, Dunbar was leaving a team the was very comparable to Oregon.  Oregon failed to make the NCAA championships this past year while Portland finished 8th.  Dunbar was also only the second runner on his team.

In conclusion, this is the NCAA.  It is designed for student athletes to get an education at the university of their choosing, not multiple universities.  Coaches should not grant releases for stupid reasons.  Athletes should live with their decisions instead of so easily being able to move.  Also, this brings up the question; why Oklahoma?  Were they recruited?  Norman isn't exactly a milers hotbed.
Trevor Dunbar bursting onto the national scene with a 9-flat 3200 meter time trial on his snow-covered home track in Kodiak, Alaska.


Anonymous said...

A crime? Really? Running for a bigger school that presents its athletes with more opportunities is now considered a crime?? What if your dream growing up was to run for a big time D1 school and you came out of high school with sub par prs? Would you give up on your dream or keep it alive by working your ass off? Thanks for the article... I loved the part when you talked about how low key athletes beat the odds and made it to a big D1 school where they can efficiently pursue their dreams and run the times that will lead them to the best endorsements possible... But ya, the Miami Heat will sleep well tonight, why? Because while you were busy typing this article, they (riley and pat) were busy working there asses off to become the best runners possible....

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous,

I think you missed what Mr. Schmidt was trying to communicate since you started off your response with "Running for a bigger school that presents its athletes with more opportunities is now considered a crime??" I don't believe Kyle's point was that it is a crime to run for a big school, heck I'm sure if you took a poll of every senior in high school that was planning on running collegiately which school they would prefer to run for, Wisconsin or Doane (NAIA), the outcome would be overwhelmingly in favor of Wisco, but rather as a free-thinking autonomous individual you have the choice of what school to go to. Even if your high school prs were sub par you could always try walking on. If you elect to go to a smaller school and experience success, most of that success is due to hard work, but part of that success has to be attributed to the coaching staff. Now if you elect to transfer after a semester or a year because the school wasn't a great fit that's one thing. Riley Masters is listed as a senior on Maine's athletic site, Pat has a little more eligibility left but both are winding up their time in the NCAA. What if Norman doesn't have greener pastures? Barring a catastrophic series of events both will probably ink a professional contract somewhere, where they can choose to train when and where they want and could have a different coach every year (if they so choose). I like your point that Riley and Pat "were busy working there asses off to become the best runners possible" but let's be serious, this article maybe took an hour to write (which puts him starting at 9:50pm CST). It gets dark at 5pm wherever you live in the states and Bozeman and Orono aren't exactly experiencing heat waves. Any smart runner would have already got their run (or 2) in for the day. Riley and Pat were probably kickin' it with their bros and maybe having a beer.


Kyle Schmidt said...

Dear Anonymous LeBron,

I will admit, calling it a crime was over the top. However, you did miss my point. It isn't wrong to run for a big school but it is wrong for an athlete to leave their school for purely athletic reasons late in the game. Especially when the opportunities might not even be better at the new school. I already said this once but I'll say it again: Dunbar, Masters, and Casey are all better at their specialty event than anyone on the team that they are transferring to. If they can achieve more than anyone already there why go there. Aren't these guys supposedly better since they were recruited out of high school (or JuCo in OK's case)? Obviously this is a matter of opinion but I don't like yours and you don't like mine.

Thank you anonymous #2 for the back up.