College: NCAA committee to consider sites for Division I men's finals

News from the NCAA Division I men's soccer committee meeting in Key Largo, Fla.: ò The NCAA Division I men's soccer committee will pick the College Cup sites for 2002, 2003, 2004 and possibly 2005 at its April 17 meeting. Bidders include Berkeley, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; and Virginia Beach, Va. Columbus Crew Stadium hosts this year's event Dec. 14 and 16. ò Expansion of the men's field from 32 to 48 teams is the Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet's highest priority for 2001-02 along with women's soccer (48 to 64). ò If the NCAA Executive Committee approves the expansion at its April meeting, 22 Division I conferences would receive automatic qualification and a play-in round no longer would be necessary. Included in the list of automatic qualifiers would be the Atlantic Soccer and the Big West Conferences, both of which are being recommended for waivers from the two-year waiting period. That waiver would not be recommended if the field stays at 32 teams. ò The committee also discussed formats for first- and second-round games should the bracket increase to 48 teams. First-round games would be Friday, with 16 teams receiving a bye into the second round on Sunday. The committee still would seed only eight teams and add the other eight bye teams into the bracket geographically. ò The committee approved continuance of the top eight seeds hosting first-round games through the quarterfinals, unless a particular field is unplayable or a team did not submit a bid to host. ò The committee considered accepting synthetic-surface playing fields that feature grass-like qualities, at the committee's discretion.
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