In One Place

By Staff

Athletic Management, 16.3, April/May 2004, http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/am/am1603/wuinoneplace.htm

On Monday, May 10, the NCAA will hold opening ceremonies for the Division II Spring Sports Festival in Orlando, Fla. The event represents the first time in its history, at any level, that the NCAA will group multiple championships at a common place and time. During the six days, champions will be crowned in menís and womenís golf, menís and womenís tennis, womenís lacrosse, and womenís softball.

Sharon Cessna, Director of the NCAA Division II Championships, says the catalyst for the event is the chance to bring together student-athletes from different sports. "Itís an experience that most have never had," says Cessna. "The student-athletes have a chance to stay in our athlete village where they can interact with each other when they have downtime. Rarely in college athletics is there that opportunity to create relationships and make friends outside your school or your sport, because you donít have the extra time."

With nearly 600 athletes expected to compete, and an awards ceremony to close the event, the NCAA hopes to see more fans in the stands at each competition as well as enhanced media attention. "Weíve been able to secure some TV coverage for a couple of the events," says Cessna. "And we hope that with the TV crews already there, the other sports can also get mentioned in daily recaps, which will help to promote what we think is a really great product."