If you’ve been following TSPNsports for a while, you know that I have at times been critical of the SWAC and in particular commissioner Duer Sharp for the way he manages the conference and its affairs. On a larger scale the SWAC, its members schools and the administrators who run these organizations tend to make good fodder for members of the TSPN message board on an almost daily basis. Hardly a day goes by without someone or something under the SWAC umbrella taking a verbal jab and leaving others to replay with a simple “SMH” as if they are in agreement.
One can always debate if the criticisms made on this website regarding the SWAC are fair or unfair, but what isn’t debatable is that fact that TSPNsports wouldn’t exist if the SWAC didn’t exist. And for that I am appreciative.
After spending five days covering the SWAC Basketball Tournament at the Special Events Center in Garland, Texas, I left the event realizing the need to hit the reset button. I’d concluded that if I could find justification in being critical of the SWAC when warranted, it was incumbent of me to do the same when praise was warranted. This is one of those times when praise of the SWAC and the way the staff managed its annual tournament is warranted.
The SWAC (Duer Sharp, the SWAC staff, et al) did an excellent job in organizing an event that – at least from my perspective – went off without a hitch. Security was well enforced and the staff made sure not to deviate from standard policies…something that became very clear when a SWAC staffer gave me a proverbial slap on the wrist for operating my camcorder from press row. I was to operate my camera with all of the other cameras at the designated areas – not in press row (which is where I was at the time). Tournament information was disseminated often and timely. Post game press conferences where well organized and conducted… and uh… the food provided in the media lounge as wasn’t bad either.
It needs to be understood that my comments are based on my experience as a member of the media. I cannot comment nor speak for anyone who may have experienced the tournament in a different role, such as a fan or a volunteer.
Someone may be reading this thinking that praise should not be given to an organization for doing what it is supposed to do in the first place. I’d be one of the first to agree. However, as I reflect on some of the conversations that ensued with some of the SWAC staffers, I felt a post like this was necessary.
Now, does this mean that I am going to soften my views regarding the SWAC when criticism is warranted on issues that develop in the future? Hell no! But I think a pat on the back for a job well done is necessary from time to time when it is deserved.