By Mick Holien
Former University of Montana head basketball coach Wayne Tinkle, who often vacations in Polson, his Oregon state men’s basketball team and his family were exposed to the perils of foreign travel Thursday night when a van deliberately rammed a group of people killing 13 and wounding more than 100 in Barcelona, Spain.
The Beavers, who were in Spain to play in a basketball tournament, were in their hotel near the site where the incident occurred.
Tinkle, who himself played several years professionally in Spain, quickly used Twitter to communicate the team’s status and assured fans and administrators everything, was in order.
According to the tweet shared by Oregon state it was a horrific scene and he refused to share video of what was occurring.
Oregon State is joined in Barcelona by Clemson, Arizona and Tulane.
For several years men and women’s teams either take a several game tour to a foreign country or travel to warm weather tropics for tournaments.
But it is far from life of leisure. While it sometimes is used as incentive in recruitment of key players … like we’re going to Hawaii when you’re a junior…it also is a chance to fine tune a veteran team or give a young team additional time on the court together.
Then there’s the matter of video which in the old days was harder to acquire and break down. It’s all there on computer now for immediate perusal.
But with the status of the world I think you may find athletic administrators rethinking especially overseas travel. While sometimes the NCAA allows the play of three games counting as just two or other arrangements against the mandated total games allowed rule, how much possible harm are you putting your student athletes in to make such trips.
And of course they also come at a financial price with most teams putting together specific fundraisers to pay for the trips.
While I didn’t go to the NCAA bible you are only allowed a major week long trip every 3-4 years and can play in a more regional tournament – like the old Top of the world-every three years or so.
The exposure concerns me with so many American teams in one location …just sayin