NCAA baseball officials mull length of CWS, total expenses for teams
OMAHA, Neb. -- The number of days the College World Series runs probably will be discussed when the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee meets this summer, but no format change is imminent, chairman Dave Heeke said Tuesday.
The CWS now goes 11 or 12 days, and coaches generally like the setup because it rewards teams that win early by giving them days off to rest pitchers.
Before the best-of-three finals were implemented in 2003, there was a one-game, winner-take-all final. In those days, the CWS ran nine days.
The longer participating teams stay, the greater their expenses. The NCAA pays $130 a day for each member of a team's traveling party. The per diem covers hotel, meals and miscellaneous expenses. The schools must cover inevitable cost overruns.
"It can be a major expense to the teams that stay here for an extended period of time," Heeke said.
Heeke said a long stay also causes financial strain for families and friends of players and staff and also for fans. Local fans don't seem to be bothered. This year's CWS is on pace to set an attendance record.
"We want to make sure it's a great fan experience, that people can afford it," Heeke said. "We go back to the teams and their ability to afford it, but for moms and dads and the fan base, it's a huge commitment. If we can try to condense it, we'd look at it."
As it is, teams that win their first two games can get two or three days off before their third game, and there is a built-in day off between bracket play and the Finals. If each bracket is won by a team that goes 3-0, there are no games on the Saturday or Sunday before the Finals.
Heeke said it might be possible to trim the CWS by a day. From a competitive standpoint, he said, it's important to let teams that are winning to re-set their pitching staffs for the finals. Regardless, he said, stakeholders such as ESPN would have a major say in any change.
"All these pieces are floating around," Heeke said. "It's easy to say let's jam this thing into two weekends. Could you move it a day here, a day there, so you have more games on the weekends? Those things would be positive in my mind, but we have to get the right windows television-wise and we have to have the right agreement with our coaches."
This article was written by Eric Olson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.