Back when we had TAC--
* T.A.C. needs to reposition itself as a service organization first and as a governing body second. History has proved time and again that when an organization serves its constituency, the constituency is much more likely to give that group its respect, cooperation, loyalty and even obedience.
* T.A.C. has to learn from road running and take track and field to the people. Track is not sold as an elitist sport at the scholastic level. Why should it be when the athletes get older? Track, like road running, can and should be a lifetime participation sport.
* T.A.C. must reestablish among the sport's many different disciplines, groups and events that in order for all to succeed and even survive, everyone must work together.
* T.A.C. must take advantage of the fact that it is a model volunteer organization, ideally set up to use the many talents and contacts of its membership.
* T.A.C. must take a proactive, as opposed to a reactive, approach to the sport. Like any business, T.A.C. must spend money today in the belief that, like any investment, it will be returned tenfold in the future.
* T.A.C. must lead an effort to sell the sport for what it is - competition and the striving for excellence. We will kill it in the public's eye if we continue to market track only by the presence of stars and record possibilities. Where would football, basketball, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, auto racing, boxing and the rest of them be if the success or failure of an event or an athlete rested solely on whether or not more points were scored that day than ever before?
* T.A.C., developmentally, cannot continue to focus the lion's share of its energy and resources at the elite end of the sport, the one area in these difficult financial times that is able to fend for itself. The sport is woefully out of balance when the national scholastic indoor track and field championships (created and operated by the M.A.C.), which annually generates more than $2 million in scholarships, may die for lack of a $50,000 sponsor - about equal to what several of the world's elite athletes charge just to show up at a competition.
Track and field is a unique sport. It is not a game, but rather a discipline, one that has contributed to the development of millions of young men and women. I love how you can marry athletics with academics and can help someone grow off the field as they improve on it. For me, sport for the sake of sport alone holds little interest, but when it truly fits into the fabric of a society and contributes as it is capable, then I get excited. I, like many others, have been afraid we're about to lose that sport I love. But if T.A.C. can take advantage of what began in Chicago three weeks ago and take an objective look at what has been going on in New York for years now, it can reclaim that great sport. Being an idealist and an optimist, I believe it will.