Sep 18, 2011, 3:31 PM
Post #4 of 11
Posted on the ICSA mailing list:
Re: [The Publisher] College sailing - the tilt of talent to the east
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It is exactly this sort of insular self-serving logic espoused by NEISA and MAISA representitives that ensures college sailing remains an exclusive nitch sport centered in the NE United States. Really, Ken's argument boils down to this: "schools in any regions other than NEISA and MAISA don't have enough good sailors, and are just too far apart to support good competition, so it is only right that NEISA and MAISA steal away the cream of their sailing talent, else those poor athletes are forced to languish in such terrible places to sail."
It is great that NE'ers take so much pride in their venue, but this logic supports a self-sustaining status-quo that is to NESA and MAISA's benefit and everyone else's detriment. As long as NEISA and MAISA continue to steal away all the talent, their districts will be more attractive places to compete, and so by Ken's logic it is only right that they continue to steal away the talent. The inevitable conclusion is that NEISA and MAISA should have the most talent, the most teams, and the best competition forever.
As I type this from my location in Tampa, FL, I can think of nine colleges and universities within a two hour drive from here (Eckerd, USF, UF, Rollins, UCF, NewCollege, SPC, StateCollegeFL, FGCU), all with excellent access to great sailing venues. No snow down here in FL. All we're missing are the sailors. So why is it ordained that the only place really suited to college sailing is the North East?
I have a very simple suggestion on what ICSA can do to help College sailing in the United States at large: ICSA can vote to allow colleges and universities to offer sailing based financial scholarships to athletes.
With this vote publically funded institutions will suddenly be able to attract talented freshman sailors who desperately need financial assistance to attend college, and additionally, financial scholarships will attract many new athletes to the sport! (As anyone who has coached youth sailing will attest: how many times have coaches been asked by potential new sailor-recruits if there are college scholarships for sailing, only to witness the recruit's disappointment and fading interest when we reply in the negative?)
Sadly, ICSA voting is dominated by NESA and MAISA representatives, who, along with a scattering of representatives from privately funded schools in other regions, refuse to even entertain a vote on financial scholarships. And thereby perpetuate their dominance of the nitchy exclusive sport of college sailing.
As was said earlier in this thread- despite NEISA and MAISA's overwhelming success at recruiting talent away from everywhere else in the country, this has not completely squelched the rise of college sailing in the rest of the United States. There will come the day when college sailing is popular enough in SEISA, SAISA, MCSA, NWICSA, and PCCSC, for ICSA to gain enough representatives from these regions to break the dominance of the North East on this truly great sport, and institute structural changes that will further the growth of college sailing in ALL regions of the United States.
It is sad to see that NEISA and MAISA representatives continue to employ skewed logic that postpones this day, and resists the popularization of college sailing across the country.