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NCAA would move CWS dates in '12

1/14/2009

OMAHA, Neb. -- In an effort to help Omaha land a return engagement of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, the NCAA has agreed to move up the start of the 2012 College World Series one day.

NCAA vice president for football and baseball Dennis Poppe said the schedule change was made after the Division I baseball committee and ESPN gave their blessings.

The Olympic Trials played to rave reviews in 2008, and USA Swimming has told Omaha sports officials that it would strongly consider returning to the Qwest Center in 2012.

The CWS will have moved to a new stadium next to the arena by then and officials were worried about having such large events overlap on the calendar.

The CWS will start Friday, June 15, and end no later than Tuesday, June 26.

Omaha Sports Commission president Harold Cliff said the Trials probably would run June 27-July 4 if a deal is finished with USA Swimming.

"The swim trials are a wonderful event for the city, and we wanted to work with them to do both events," Poppe said.

A new scheduling format started last year has the CWS opening on a Saturday and the best-of-three championship round starting nine days later, on a Monday.

The event is slated for the same number of days in 2012, but with a Friday start, the championship round will begin on a Sunday.

USA Swimming spokeswoman Jamie Fabos Olsen said last week that swimmers, coaches and staff fell in love with Omaha. The Trials played to large crowds and Michael Phelps set two world records as he began his bid for his record eight gold medals in Beijing.