Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Exhausting Trips Are the Norm in the Wac

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Exhausting Trips Are the Norm in the Wac

Article excerpt

The Western Athletic Conference likes to brag that its 16 schools span nine states, five time zones and 4,000 miles.

That's fine unless you're traveling among them on a tight schedule, and there's nothing like a potential airline pilots strike to make it a little harder. That's what happened recently.

The SMU men's basketball team was originally scheduled to leave Wednesday night on a nonstop American Airlines flight to Salt Lake City for games at Utah on Thursday and at BYU late Saturday night. Because of the possibility of a strike Saturday, trainer Gary Nelson started looking for alternative flights. Nonstop flights on Delta didn't have enough open seats, so Monday, Nelson settled for a United Airlines flight with a connection in Denver and an all-too-early departure time for the return trip Sunday. In the old Southwest Conference, SMU's basketball teams could take a bus to and from some games. Often they could leave the night before the game and return the night of the game. But in the WAC, most road trips are five-day affairs: leave Wednesday night, play one game Thursday night, travel to the next school Friday, play Saturday and return Sunday morning. "Four plane trips in five days, different hotels every night. It seems like we're always on the go and there's no time to stop or relax," said forward Jay Poerner. Men's coach Mike Dement said there's no question travel is more tiring in the WAC than in the SWC. "And based on what others say, we haven't experienced the really rough travel like we will next year when we go to Hawaii," said Dement. It may sound like he's joking about Hawaii. But Dement said that because of distance and travel time, a team loses an entire day when it travels to or from Hawaii. Women's coach Rhonda Rompola agreed. "My team and coaching staff will probably desert me on that trip," she said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.