Tuft, I don't really think ST helps new players learn the game. I propose they learn the game by getting mentors, posting in the forums and reading as much as they can in the forums; which is what I always suggest new players do.
And I'm not opposed to keeping ST one week long, it should just be made relevant or interesting somehow.
Or if they decide to keep it pointless and boring, they should at least shorten it. Maybe take the time they shorten ST and make the 2nd round of the playoffs a best of seven instead of five. That way the season is still the same length. (Heard that idea from mal in Hobbs. Thought it was a good one and relevant to this discussion. But credit to him, not me)
I'm just opposed to ST staying long AND pointless. It would really be better if it was just one or the other instead of both.