NCAA puts nonlower-48 hoops at disadvantage

With the economy quickly sliding into the sewers, budget cuts are
hitting college athletic departments hard.
The NCAA recently announced that due to travel costs, neither
UAA’s women nor Brigham Young-Hawaii’s men, both ranked
number one in Division II basketball, would be permitted to host the
full West Region tournament due to the fact that seven of the eight
teams would have to fl y in order to play.
Despite the remote possibility that the Seawolves might relinquish
their stranglehold on their West Region standing, the fact that it is
now impossible for them to host this prestigious tournament is unfair
for the Seawolves. These women have put tremendous effort into
achieving and maintaining the No. 1 spot that they have held onto for
the last three weeks and should not be cheated of the opportunity.
Last season the Seawolf men were allowed to host the West
Regions, and in doing so, UAA organized and presented a very well
put together tournament.
The NCAA is presenting the argument that all the teams should not
have to pay so much when they earn their way into a tournament like
the West Region; what about UAA?
The Seawolves travel by plane to every away game, so have they
not already paid their dues? Not to mention continuously overcoming
jet lag, sickness and back to back away games, the Seawolf women
have kept up their top notch play and deserve some credit for their
efforts by being able to host the full eight-team tournament.
Not only are the downsized tournaments unfair to the Alaska and
Hawaii teams, they are also unfair to the towns behind the teams.
Anchorage fans make sure to support the UAA Seawolves and should
have the privilege of watching a full size tournament.
Even Gov. Sarah Palin, former guard for the Wasilla High
Warriors, wrote a letter to some of the higher-ups of the NCAA and
Great Northwest Athletic Conference protesting the newly announced
guidelines for West Regionals, but the GNAC’s commissioner
Richard Hannan said it is too late to do anything about the rules for
the upcoming tournament.
It seems as though the announcement was abrupt and makes these
teams’ achievements less important than teams who would be able to
hold the full tournament, creating a rift in the conference. This is not
how these teams should treated for having impressive records and the
NCAA should be called on their foul.