The 2011 NCAA Division III Championships will be headed to the University of Tennessee. The move was initially reported last month
, and the move was confirmed by the NCAA Committee in a memo today.
Beloit College and the College of Wooster will host the national meet March 23-26, 2011. The meet is one week later than usual, which was necessary to secure the site. The combined men’s and women’s format for the Division III meet (which went into effect two years ago) has resulted in it being the largest NCAA swimming and diving meet, which limits the number of facilities that are capable of hosting such an event.
Once the Division III Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Committee secured a bid from Tennessee, arrangements were made to move the Division III meet back one week because of facility availability.
Accordingly, the Championships Committee approved a swimming committee recommendation to maintain the current qualification deadlines, even though the meet will be held a week later than normal. That means the traditional end of the qualifying window and allowable dates for last-chance meets will remain intact.
The swimming committee noted that the date change will affect only a small percentage of the swimming population by adding one week of training for those selected to the championships. In addition, student-athletes not selected can be released for the season once selections are announced. The decision also limits potential abuses of the 19-week rule. In 2010 one conference was given an incorrect interpretation of the rule, resulting in their exceeding the results. In at least two other cases teams began practicing as early as September 14th and continued competition through the March qualifying deadline.
Committee members reasoned that maintaining the current qualification dates will allow more time for championships travel planning and likely result in a travel cost savings. Institutions that wish to participate in last-chance meets will continue to plan for participation accordingly and in compliance with NCAA Bylaw 17.
The committee’s intention is not to increase the length of the playing season for all sponsoring institutions, but rather to provide the best championships experience possible for those student-athletes that are selected. The venue is at the heart of the championships experience for participating student-athletes and, in the estimation of the committee; a high-quality facility outweighs the consequences of moving the dates of competition.
The Knoxville Marriott will serve as the host hotel for the 2011 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The Knoxville Marriott is located on a hilltop overlooking the Tennessee River and situated in picturesque East Tennessee, within one mile of the Allan Jones Aquatic Center, fifteen minutes from McGee-Tyson Airport and just five blocks from the Knoxville Convention Center.