D-I cabinet approves changes to swimming and diving, rejects tennis and wrestling

Nickalas Tabbert

An NCAA cabinet approved changes to swimming and diving while rejecting proposals for tennis and wrestling earlier this week.

The Division-I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet approved a new selection process for swimmers that would focus more on individual events starting at the 2013 Division 1 Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, a news release said.

The cabinet met last Monday through Wednesday. It approved the new swimming selection process that maintains the access ratio to the championships but selects all 281 women’s and 235 men’s swimmers in individual events only.

Teams with at least one swimmer invited in an individual event would be eligible to swim in one or more relay events at the championships, provided they have met the qualifying standard throughout the season, according to the release.

The D-I Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Committee said it believes the new selection process creates a more competitive field in each of the individual events while still allowing the top relay teams to enter those events. Additionally, more schools would be represented at the championships.

Tennis proposals denied

Cabinet members also decided not to support proposed changes to the D-I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships format, including one that would have sent four men’s and women’s teams to the finals site and reduced the length of that tournament from 12 to eight days.

The proposal would have added four campus-site regionals at which a round of 16 and quarterfinals would be played. Currently, 16 men’s and women’s teams advance to the finals site, along with all individual singles and doubles competitors.

The cabinet also did not support proposals to remove the warm-up with the opponent before singles and doubles competition at the championships, reduce the time between singles and doubles from 10 to five minutes and shorten each hangover from 90 seconds to 60.

One change to the selection criteria was approved. It requires singles players to compete in at least six matches in the spring and for doubles teams to play at least five matches in the spring to be considered for selection into the NCAA championships.

Singles players are currently required to play at least 13 matches combined through the fall and spring, and doubles teams must play at least 10 matches over the same period.

Tennis committee members said they wanted the competition to be more balanced between the two seasons, saying it will give them better information when it comes to at-large selections.

Dual-match format for wrestling reviewed

D-I wrestling changes were also denied, as the cabinet asked the D-I Wrestling Committee to alter a proposal to change the team component of the championships to a dual-match format.

The proposal called for the selection of 16 teams — nine automatic qualifiers and seven at-large selections — in the second week of February. The first round would have been conducted the following week at eight campus sites, with the participating school incurring the expenses.

Under the proposal, the eight winners would advance to the finals one week later, when the quarterfinals and semifinals would be conducted on the first day. The consolation and championship dual matches would be held on the second day.

Individual weight-class national champions would be held in the third week of March.

In its decision to refer the proposal back to the Wrestling Committee for additional development, the cabinet said it wanted to know more about how the proposal would affect the current championship and information on the views of the NCAA's media partners.

The cabinet also requested results from a survey of D-I wrestling coaches and input from student-athletes.