College basketball: OU, OSU matchup would help save All-College

Even then, it might be worth asking if the All-College is worth saving. Is an off-campus, marquee matchup good for college basketball?
by Berry Tramel Published: December 13, 2012
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“They do a great job of everything they host. So yeah, we're 100 percent behind All Sports.”

But here's the thing. Does even the All Sports Association need the All-College? The All-College birthed the association, and the tournament for many years was All Sports' bellcow. But that was long ago.

The All Sports Association now brings much bigger events to OKC. The Women's College World Series has become a runaway annual success. Periodic Big 12 and NCAA tournaments. NCAA Championships in wrestling and volleyball are headed to OKC. All Sports is bidding on the 2017 women's basketball Final Four.

Compared to those events, the All-College is an antique. A museum piece. The All Sports Association is a wonderful success story for Oklahoma City, even without the All-College.

Tim Brassfield, All Sports' 14-year executive director, said preserving history is important. But he also said keeping the All-College alive is important for OKC's reputation.

“Thriving cities that are doing well are keeping their collegiate sports,” Brassfield said. “We are doing that with the Women's College World Series, Big 12 baseball took a trend up this year. Having college basketball here keeps us to where we're not taking a step backwards.”

OSU has agreed to play a men's/women's doubleheader next December. Then Brassfield is shooting for a Bedlam All-College in 2014.

I'll sign the petition. But I won't blow a trumpet. It would be hypocritical. College basketball's attendance problem is multi-faceted, but it starts with too many off-campus games. Too many marquee matchups are played where no one cares — like Reliant Stadium.

The best thing for Sooner basketball is for OU-A&M to be played at Lloyd Noble Center, just as the New Year's Eve OSU-Gonzaga game in Stillwater best serves the Cowboys at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

And more and more, you wonder if keeping the All-College is even the best thing for the All Sports Association.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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