Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mailbag question: During the Iowa game

During the Iowa game, the announcers talked about how the visitor's locker room was pink and only had "two commodes" for the whole team and that the visitor's sideline was much shallower. This is obviously legal, but why should it be? For one, it's petty competitiveness to the point of showing bad sportsmanship, which I don't think is good for sports. Obviously, there are limits to how far you can go in making the visiting team uncomfortable, so why doesn't the NCAA make a rule stating that both visitor's and home team accommodations be equal or at least have a standard for minimum necessities?



Thanks for the question.

This is sort of an old school tradition in football, making things tough on visiting teams. Some schools turn the heat up, some have super small, likely ancient facilities, some have cold water running only to the visitors locker rooms, others have the locker rooms so small that only half the team can fit comfortably. Some of you may remember the classic old Boston Gardens. The Celtics never stopped being creative in finding ways to make the other team dread the trip. Of note is the game against the Lakers in the mid 1980’s where the Garden was 90 degrees and the aged Celtics ran the young Lakers into the ground.

With the economic conditions around the country it would be tough for the NCAA to mandate any type of "standards" for the locker rooms and think about how costly and time consuming it would be to operationally define standards for lockers rooms. In this world there are differences, and locker room differences likely are secondary in importance. All football fields are of the same dimensions but it would be hard to fathom that Kent State’s locker facilities must equal Florida’s.

Also some stadium facilities would be tough to expand depending on how and where they are located. Minnesota 's home locker room is 60 yards long in the shape of a football so we highly doubt that they would have anything similar to it for the visitors. The home locker room is what most universities show off for recruiting and publicity

One thing to remember, in most cases the visitors will travel with roughly 65 players. Of course you will have other team members go to the game as well, but they will not be allowed to dress. Now add in the coaches, staffers, administrators and whoever else might be on the locker room at any given time and as you point out things can be less than ideal on the road. Most home locker rooms are simply nicer and bigger than the visitor’s locker room.

In the end it is what happens on the field that matters, this type of external condition was once used to throw visitors off their game and if the players, coaches, staff worry about these "other things" then the home team did was indeed successful in creating an advantage.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Anonymous said...

How does Michigan treat its Visitors? Are the VIsitors' facilities deliberately lacking or uncomfortable? I would hope we had more class than that. Sure these "gimmicks" make good press and might get you a win or two, but when all is said and done, it's a form of cheating. If you can't beat an opponent at his best, then can you really say you're better than them? I'd be embarrassed to win that way. Some might say it is clever, I say, it's just a sign that you're scared of beating the other team fair and square and have to resort to desperate measure. It's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

This answer is a cop out. The NCAA doesn't need to regulate this, the Big Ten can do it. The conference can set certain minimum standards that each school must meet. And the standards can easily be met because there certainly isn't a money problem in the Big Ten (see Big Ten network).

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