Ladies and Gentlemen, friends and colleagues, soccer fans everywhere. As the self appointed commissioner of WDBS (We Deserve Better Soccer), the state of the college game is dismal and in serious need of reform. The problems and what needs to be done. Coaching. In a nutshell, it is abysmal. Universally, the level of the players far exceeds the level of coaching, and therein lies a major problem. Soccer clubs in this country are doing a better job every year, educating and training our youth players to succeed at the next level. Players with international experience, regional team and national team experience, are being underutilized and forgotten in the college game, and it's due to the fact that most college coaches are incapable of recognizing talent, and developing that talent. Most of these coaches were marginal players at best. The style of play in the college game is becoming more direct each and every day, and it is becoming more defensive and physical, with very little emphasis on creativity, combination play, and possession. College coaches stress physicality over skill, running speed over speed of play, fouling over smart defending, and dribbling over passing. Soccer fans, I feel your pain. Like you, I am sick and tired of watching Division 1 players dribbling into pressure and losing possession. I am distressed to watch defenders REFUSE to play the simple ball, a 6 yard pass to a wide open midfielder, opting instead to send a long ball to a forward with his back to goal while being marked by two opposing players. I too am tired of NEVER seeing a team build an attack from its own third, using combination play and smart off the ball movement. The culprit is bad coaching, and it's reached epidemic levels. We need to cure this ill, and we need to clean house in the coaching ranks. Players who enter the college game with great credentials are being forced to the bench by coaches who prefer "athletes" over soccer players. Coaches who tell players that the impending game is going to be "too physical" for them, therefore, the coach starts a lowly skilled player whose best attribute is repeated fouling and hacking. There is no longer a flow to the game, and look around at most D1 schools and you will find highly skilled players with outstanding backgrounds, sitting on the bench while other players who couldn't hold possession against a U-10 team are getting most of the playing time. There is a serious lack of integrity among college coaches, who are allowed, and even encouraged, to lie and mislead recruits and players in order to serve their own misguided agenda. There are many instances of coaches "putting the word out" that a certain player has committed to that coach, when in fact that was not the case at all. Yet if a recruit was to verbally commit to more than one coach, that recruit would be chastised and blackballed. In college soccer, it's perfectly normal for coaches to be dishonest, while recruits and players are expected to take the high road. The double standard we have in college soccer is disgusting. At D1 progams all over the nation, coaches show favoritism to their "chosen few", while treating most players on their roster as commodities and interchangeable parts. After extensive research, there are fewer and fewer upperclassmen playing college soccer every year. It has become a sport dominated by freshmen and sophomores, with very few exceptions. The reason is simple. Players get sick and tired of dealing with all the crap that these incompetent, manipulative, and dishonest coaches throw their way. By the time the player becomes a junior, or senior, he's ready to have become a "normal" college student because all the bull far outweighs the benefits of playing. This is in direct contrast, to college football. While I recognize that soccer and football are two very different sports, there are several similarities as well. While it is true that most football players will redshirt their freshman season in order to become physically stronger and faster, MOST players will stay with the team through their senior year, barring injuries. This is because football coaches realize that upperclassmen are crucial to the success of their program. It is the upperclassmen who provide leadership and continuity. They also play a key role in recruiting. By contrast, soccer coaches feel a need to treat upperclassmen as chopped liver, restocking with more and more freshmen every year. As a result, there is no continuity...there is no senior leadership...there is no true feeling of TEAM. College soccer has become a sport of individuals, which is due in large part to the lack of upperclassmen who are playing the game. The only uppclassmen you see playing the game today, are the ones who LOVE the game dearly, or the players with pro potential. And as we are seeing now, more players are turning professional following two or three years of college, or no college at all. College soccer coaches are awful people managers, lacking the necessary skill and experience to effectively manage 25 players while football coaches are hired primarly for their ability to manage people. Imagine what the game of college football would be like with only freshmen and sophomores playing. Athletic Directors. These men and women have a responsibility to their alumni and fans, not to mention their student athletes, but soccer continues to be widely ignored. Even at the most tradition rich schools in our country, soccer coaches are allowed to rule their fiefdom without accountability. Until athletic directors begin to hold soccer coaches accountable, nothing will change. Athletic Directors need to demand the same kind of excellence from their soccer coaches, as they do from their football and basketball coaches. Olympic sports do matter, and they need to be treated with the same passion reserved primarily for football and basketball. Athletic directors need to attend games, interview the players, EDUCATED themselves on the game so that they can make informed decisions. As it is right now, most AD's simply ignore soccer, while the student-athletes suffer the consequences. The college game is in dire need of fresh, new faces to coach our players. Out with the old and in with the new. We need coaches with playing experience similar to that of their players. We need coaches with passion for the game, who recognize talent, and who consider it part of their job to develop our players' skill and character. We need coaches who will consider it imperative to make the game attractive to watch, while STILL focusing on winning. We need change.