June 21, 2011

Going, Going, Gone

That is how I feel about College Volleyball when I watch 2 weeks straight of NCAA Softball being on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, live score updates on the ESPN ticker, pre-game lead ins from a studio set, post game follow-up from the studio, etc.  Softball is not even an Olympic sport now, they are on the same time as the NBA play offs, the Hockey play offs, Major League baseball season, International Soccer Cups and Championships, yet they are on ESPN with great looking coverage.

Oh yeah, I forgot we are now all about NCAA Sand Volleyball.....that is right, Sand Volleyball is now the silver bullet for our challenges. Very depressed when I see Lacrosse getting more juice than Women's Volleyball, only the most popular women's sport in the world.

I get even more depressed by our cumulative lack of a long term strategy for promotion, marketing and professionalization of our sport (maybe professional is not the best term, but it is the only word I can use to describe the growth/support of college football and the basketballs).  First it was for all of us (college coaches) to reach out to help anyone and everyone who could play or sponsor a Volleyball team at any level, then it was get College Volleyball on television because this will be the answer, and now we are going full tilt for Sand Volleyball.  The first two plans I could see some logic, but Sand Volleyball will be great for Sand Volleyball and will do NOTHING substantive for College Volleyball.  That is probably what is so frustrating to me.  Sand Volleyball and Volleyball are two different sports....period.  Sand Volleyball will not increase the budgets, salaries and marketing support for Volleyball and in fact, will most likely reduce all of these categories.

What is Softball doing which we are not?  I watch a lot of college softball at my school, because I like the coach and their players are supportive of us in the Fall, but I just can't bring myself to believe that softball comes anywhere close to the athleticism and dynamics of College Volleyball.  What has Softball done which we have not?  

Maybe it is just best to collectively bury our Volleyball heads in the sand, so we don't have to witness other Olympic sports racing by us in support and popularity, while we pretend everything is going to work out just fine.

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