NCAA Reveals Peculiar Choice for 2014 S&D Division II Hosts

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 6

November 01st, 2012 College, News

The NCAA has chosen a bit of a peculiar choice to host the 2014 Division II Swimming & Diving Championships: Cleveland’s SPIRE Institute.

See Division I Men’s and Women’s hosts, revealed yesterday.

The choice isn’t peculiar because of the quality of SPIRE’s facilities. The 10-lane, 50-meter pool with a separate 25-yard warm-up/cool-down pool is more than adequate to host a meet of this size; rather it is because the NCAA yanked this same meet from the SPIRE Institute in 2013. After concerns over the location of the pool, and specifically the location of the hotels that were 45 minutes away, the NCAA instead moved the event clear across the country to Birmingham, Alabama.

The difference would seem to be that this event, at least as was announced yesterday, doesn’t appear to be a “Winter Sports Festival,” rather it will have these Winter sporting events spread out at different spots around the country.

The Festivals have been used off-and-on by the NCAA’s lower divisions for the last few years with varying degrees of success; the biggest challenge has been the logistics of housing so many athletes and support staff within close proximity of a multi-sport event.

The 2013 event was slated to include Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field (in 2014 – held in Raleigh, N.C.); and wrestling (also to be held in Cleveland, but at a different venue an hour away).

The pool is brand new, and has been considered by USOC officials as a possible training and competition venue. That’s specifically because it is a full-service training center, competition center, research and nutrition center on a 280,000 square foot piece of land. Really, it is too nice of a venue for the NCAA to pass up giving it a second hosting chance.

For a full listing of the 54 (out of 89) championships announced for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, click here.

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6 Comments on "NCAA Reveals Peculiar Choice for 2014 S&D Division II Hosts"

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With the event not being a Winter Festival it eliminates the hotel requirement for participating teams that was one of the biggest issues with D2 coaches this year. Now teams are free to stay wherever they choose, including closer to the Spire Center, and that alone should eliminate some of the main concerns expressed this year.

I’ve been on site and have concerns, especially for a national championship. The SPIRE folks are passionate, knowledgeable, friendly and overly accommodating, but that doesn’t compensate for a few issues that need to be addressed and a few that are out of their control. The swimming course appears to be national caliber; however, the diving facilities are not what you would expect at a national finale. 1. Lodging – there is a Motel 6 within a .5 mile, but it has exterior entrances to the rooms. Five miles away is a 40 unit Hampton Inn and a Sleep Inn. I believe the Sleep Inn has exterior doors as well. The closest full service hotel of size is the Quail Hollow… Read more »


all good points. I don’t know much about DII diving but I believe there are a few coaches that are heavily responsible for both swimming and diving so don’t know how much those folks would go for split facilities.

why would CSU be a viable option for diving but not the swimming? Seems like a better facility with all things considered for a Nat’l championship (proximity to airports, hotels and bigger/better hotel agreements, food, fan seating, team seating, diving facility, extra, extra warmup/down space, huge locker rooms, etc. etc., fast pool – that’s always a plus as well.

my .02

Hi Greg, I’m very familiar with SPIRE as well, and I agree that the staff and athletic facilities are amazing…possibly one of the fastest pools in the world. However, I think you have some of your facts wrong. Regarding the hotels, you missed a few key hotels in the vicinity including the Ramada (right by the Sleep Inn), Baymont Inn and Suites, and the Lodge at Geneva, which is a spectacular full service hotel. There are other smaller hotels, and beautiful offseason condos that are perfect for visiting teams and families. Regarding the diving venue, it’s my understanding that SPIRE is in the process of upgrading all four of their platforms (3 and 1m). You mention “portable” Duraflex stands, and… Read more »
Been to Spire too!
I have also been to Spire, and swam in the pool and used the facilities. Everything is top shelf. The pool is the identical design to the one used at Trials on Omaha, built by the same guys. It is fast. If you don’t believe me, swim in it. You will agree. They have the largest club team in Northeast Ohio affiliated with and training at the facility. They have landed many top USA swimming events coming up. Some of the fastest age group swimmers in Ohio train there – including several Ohio High School champions. Diving – sounds like they are improving it. Be patient. 2014 champs are over a year away, and you probably haven’t see what the… Read more »
Folks, if you think Spire is something to write home about, you’ve certainly got it all wrong ! A Chap in South Africa has been working on a project for the past two years and when complete, it will be the largest, state of the art, Sports Academy of its kind in the World. I’m told that big money has been thrown at the project. Situated on 800 Hectares (1976 Acres), of which 500 Hectares (1235 Acres) are dedicated to Sports Facilities and Accommodation – I believe they have criss-crossed the planet in order to secure the very best of everything. They will be offering close on 50 different Sports disciplines, making full use of a Resident Team of hand… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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