Saturday, September 13, 2008 Avoids Suit By Approving Suits Avoids Suit By Approving Suits: The NCAA Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Committee has decided to allow all new-technology suits approved by FINA (the international governing body for swimming) to be worn in intercollegiate competition including NCAA championships.

The decision reverses their earlier declared intent to extend the moratorium that prohibited the use of any suit not commercially available prior to January 1, 2008.

The change was announced in a memo sent to NCAA coaches on Thursday. It stated that the, 'committee did not have any scientific evidence' that the suits provided illegal assistance. Without. 'concrete evidence' of illegal assistance, the suits, 'will be deemed compliant for all intercollegiate competition.'
I'm all for science. I love it. Can't live without it. But....

I'm all for the real world and free markets and the marketplace.

The way one should have approached the new suits isn't with science, but with marketplace awareness.

Ban the use of the new suit because they cost more than $100.

Make the suits a matter of fiscal equity. Don't allow the sport to dip further into a game where the rich get faster and the poor get slower, because of willingness to purchase expensive materials.

These types of rules are already in place within the NCAA in other areas. For example, in the past, it was a rule that letters to high school recruits could only be printed on stationary that has two extra colors beyond the black ink. They didn't want glossy, four-color printing to go on recruitment mail because the expensive letters would be sent from certain richer schools while the others would just send bland letters on plain paper with a little paw print on the corner of the paper.

Recruits can't be given gifts.

Athletes can't be given gifts.

So, why allow the swimmers to be given uniforms that are so expensive?

These Speedo LZR race suits cost $800 or more. They have to be custom built. Meanwhile, a college coach can't give a senior athlete who is about to appear on a nation-wide TV for a show in New York at the Downtown Athletic Club a sports coat, shirt and tie. The Heismam Trophy show is not a place where you want to show up to wearing a t-shirt. Arrive in your Sunday bests. Look sharp. But, the NCAA says no can do. Don't give the kid the money to get his shoes shined. Those are rules that are equity matters. Silly.

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