It seems that most news sources today are playing along with the “April Fools” spirit, so I’ll write less today and focus on the more important ones tomorrow. There are a few articles at the end that are real, though.
First, we start with some news that USATF will become a subsidiary company to Nike. The duo joining together will create “100% transparency” in USATF officiating, and will allow USATF to spend a substantial amount of money elsewhere. Of course, is completely untrue, but I imagine the intent was to take some heat off USATF. Recently, USATF has been under major fire over controversies from the 2014 U.S. Indoor National Championships. Here are a few comments from Warren Buffet – some of which may convince you to at least skim the article: “I don’t really care about the track and field competition. It’s all about the money and Brooks has been on fire in recent years, marketing itself as the anti-Nike. The interesting thing we’ve found is you can market yourself as the anti-Nike for basically peanuts. The entire Brooks Beasts budget might be less than Andrew Wheating made at his peak in a year.”
A second article that screams “duh, this isn’t real” features the headline, “USATF Fires All Coaches, Hires Twitter.” The article satirizes the relationship between the media and USATF coaches in describing how social media (aka twitter followers) would produce better professional athletes if they coached them over their actual coaches. Again, note that this is just an April Fool’s joke riddled with hyperbole.
Turning to some sad (but real) news, Howard Schmertz, director of the famous Millrose Games from 1975-2003, died last Thursday due to “complications of congestive heart failure.” He was 88 years old. Schmertz first became involved with the Millrose Games in the 1950s, when he served as the assistant director under his father. Both men were later inducted in the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2012. Thanks to Schmertz’ efforts, the Millrose Games has grown to be the most prestigious indoor track and field meet in the world.
We have some updates about the Ugandan women who alleged sexual harassment complaints against their coach. Unfortunately, the situation continues to deteriorate for the women runners: the police ignored them, and continues to do so. The local university police were handling a strike, and were unavailable to help. Assistant Director General of Police Andrew Sorowen promised to handle the situation, but his absence continues. Frustrations continue, and an intervention from Ugandan forces seems unlikely. Hopefully, international acknowledgement, as well as pressures from other governments will raise more attention to this grievous harm.
Finally, American Leo Manzano, Olympic silver medalist in the 1500 meter run, turned down a 7-figure deal with Oiselle to sign with Hanes. The decision represents a growing trend of companies outside of the track and field world choosing to sponsor such athletes.