Mossman Prophecies No. 030
July 2, 2007
We finally have hit upon a topic that fits my very
limited expertise... women’s basketball regionals
and air conditioning, or the lack thereof.
Back in 1999 I was on the staff at Illinois State University
and we hosted a regional. And this wasn’t just
any regional, but the regional that featured the Purdue
team that went on to win the National Championship.
The other three teams were Texas Tech, North Carolina
It was a heavyweight regional to be sure.
We hosted the event in picturesque Redbird Arena, a
facility that opened in 1989 but still looks like it
might have opened yesterday. It’s a very nice
building, except for one little thing.
You guessed it, no air conditioning.
The temperatures cooperated for the most part during
that regional and we saw nothing of the sauna that
broke out in Dayton over the weekend.
All the prayer paid off.
Anyway, I’m in a little bit of a quandary on
this issue. I saw a very successful regional staged
in a non-air conditioned building, and was proud that
Illinois State could pull off such a venture.
I also know Dayton’s wonderful history as a basketball-crazy
city and in hosting NCAA events.
On the other hand, the women’s tournament, despite
lagging attendance, is showing growth and has a television
deal that works very much in its favor.
Moreover, anyone even remotely connected with an NCAA
event knows all about the meticulous game management
standards that must be upheld.
That being the case, unless the tournament goes back
to campus sites, a move that gets my vote for the time
being, it’s time for the women’s basketball
committee to take advantage of the myriad of great
arenas in this country and include climate control
as part of the bid requirement.
Do I state that from an Oklahoma perspective because
Oklahoma lost in a hot building? Not at all. OU’s
own Leah Rush pointed out that both teams were subjected
to the unusual conditions.
Rather, holding to a higher standard speaks to building
a fan base and simply running an event that hits on
All year long, schools host fans and players play games
in temperate buildings. The fact that the landscape
could change so dramatically at such an important time
of the season is a little hard to fathom, and it should
be enough to change things in the future.
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Kenny Mossman, Associate Athletics Director for
Communications, provides his perspective on Oklahoma
Athletics in his regular column on SoonerSports.com.