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  • New Sanctions?


    So I checked the AMTA website and it appears that two more sanctions have been issued since last year that they haven't issued statements on. I think it's a positive development that they've started issuing statements on sanctions so programs better understand how to follow AMTA rules and what kinds of violations should be reported. Does anyone know any of the details surrounding the September 12 or January 9 sanctions, and does anyone know why AMTA didn't issue statements on them like they did for the improper invention sanctions last year?

  • #2
    If I had to guess (I have no first hand knowledge of why they have chosen to post explanations for some sanctions and not for others), I'd say that it isn't that they have decided not to issue statements about the Jan 9 and Sept 12 sanctions for some particular reason, its that the ones last spring were special and they issues special statements about those and these were just a return to normal form. AMTA has never issued statements for general misconduct outside of rounds (case access, bad behavior, etc). That makes me think that the statements released last year were a special case. We know that there is particular concern on the board that people don't understand the invention rules (there was even a motion this summer to have them clarified). So they would make a point of making statements about violations of those rules to clarify them (and also probably to make an example since we've seen a rise in high profile teams inventing things recently). I'm guessing there just isn't as much widespread concern on the board that people don't understand the case access/ineligible competitor rules (whether that's justified or not is another matter).

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    • #3
      My question looking at this is how they'll handle it if the sanctioned program qualifies out of their regional. Do they give the bid(s) to the next teams in line from that regional or add them to the open bid pool? Do they indicate on the tab that it's a win* (which sounds like a confidentiality nightmare)?

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      • #4
        Based on the rules cited it seems like they had a coach or graduated student compete for their team. Low key hope they ranked and won an award. Fairly bad behavior depending on the situation and how long it was going on for. I just don't understand why AMTA would let them compete at Regionals. There are quite a few teams who are vying to get off that waitlist and it does them an injustice by having a team who can't qualify for ORCS and takes up spots. More than likely their members have very little motivation to still compete and as mentioned above it complicates the bid allocation and spirit of teams trying their hardest. I also don't understand why AMTA gives schools anonymity when they are sanctioned. The NCAA certainly doesn't. You shouldn't get anonymity when you break the rules. I'm not suggesting that they name specific individuals but they should describe the situation and use sanctions as a way to educate the Mock Community what is wrong behavior since nobody actually reads the rules.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SMUmock1996 View Post
          Based on the rules cited it seems like they had a coach or graduated student compete for their team. Low key hope they ranked and won an award. Fairly bad behavior depending on the situation and how long it was going on for. I just don't understand why AMTA would let them compete at Regionals. There are quite a few teams who are vying to get off that waitlist and it does them an injustice by having a team who can't qualify for ORCS and takes up spots. More than likely their members have very little motivation to still compete and as mentioned above it complicates the bid allocation and spirit of teams trying their hardest. I also don't understand why AMTA gives schools anonymity when they are sanctioned. The NCAA certainly doesn't. You shouldn't get anonymity when you break the rules. I'm not suggesting that they name specific individuals but they should describe the situation and use sanctions as a way to educate the Mock Community what is wrong behavior since nobody actually reads the rules.
          I think we should be incredibly cautious about condemning the team so quickly and assuming it must be bad behavior or that they deserve to be publicly outed/shamed. AMTA has shown in years past that they are perfectly capable of sanctioning teams (including massive sanctions) for behavior that was inadvertent on the part of the students. The last time someone lost their postseason bids for instance it was because they had two teams that they believed were internally equally stacked (i.e. they split stacked their A and B teams) and then they sent them to the wrong regionals because they believed that since the teams were even the A/B designations didn't really matter and it was much cheaper to do it the way they did (students could stay at someone's house). See this perjuries thread for details: https://perjuries.com/forum/mock-tri...tate-sanctions

          That's not to say that the team from the 2012 sanctions didn't do something wrong. Clearly they messed up and broke the rules. But from everything that was written about it then, its also pretty clear they didn't know they were breaking the rules and that they were not bad people trying to cheat to gain an advantage. I don't know what happened in this case, but its entirely possible that the people who just got sanctioned are in exactly the same boat. They were sanctioned fro rule 3.6.1 not rule 3.6. 3.6 governs general eligibility and if it were a matter of a coach or alum competing for them then it would probably fall under 3.6. 3.6.1 is the more complicated rule governing school combo teams, and that strikes me as something that it would be much easier to get wrong without knowing you were getting it wrong or intending to gain an unfair advantage. Again, I'm not saying they didn't break the rules, I'm just saying that until we know more it seems hasty to say that they don't deserve even to compete at regionals or that they don't deserve a little privacy (particularly since I'm willing to bet that this sanction will affect people who did not, themselves, break the rules or know the rules were being broken and those people certainly don't need their time in any remaining regionals/invites further messed up by this).
          Last edited by TheGhostofChaseMichael; January 10th, 2019, 06:01 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TheGhostofChaseMichael View Post

            I think we should be incredibly cautious about condemning the team so quickly and assuming it must be bad behavior or that they deserve to be publicly outed/shamed. AMTA has shown in years past that they are perfectly capable of sanctioning teams (including massive sanctions) for behavior that was inadvertent on the part of the students. The last time someone lost their postseason bids for instance it was because they had two teams that they believed were internally equally stacked (i.e. they split stacked their A and B teams) and then they sent them to the wrong regionals because they believed that since the teams were even the A/B designations didn't really matter and it was much cheaper to do it the way they did (students could stay at someone's house). See this perjuries thread for details: https://perjuries.com/forum/mock-tri...tate-sanctions

            That's not to say that the team from the 2012 sanctions didn't do something wrong. Clearly they messed up and broke the rules. But from everything that was written about it then, its also pretty clear they didn't know they were breaking the rules and that they were not bad people trying to cheat to gain an advantage. I don't know what happened in this case, but its entirely possible that the people who just got sanctioned are in exactly the same boat. They were sanctioned fro rule 3.6.1 not rule 3.6. 3.6 governs general eligibility and if it were a matter of a coach or alum competing for them then it would probably fall under 3.6. 3.6.1 is the more complicated rule governing school combo teams, and that strikes me as something that it would be much easier to get wrong without knowing you were getting it wrong or intending to gain an unfair advantage. Again, I'm not saying they didn't break the rules, I'm just saying that until we know more it seems hasty to say that they don't deserve even to compete at regionals or that they don't deserve a little privacy (particularly since I'm willing to bet that this sanction will affect people who did not, themselves, break the rules or know the rules were being broken and those people certainly don't need their time in any remaining regionals/invites further messed up by this).
            I don't think the team in 2012 "clearly messed up and broke the rules." The rule in 2012 said that teams of equal strength were interchangeable. At the Cornell tournament just a few weeks before regionals, the "B" team placed ahead of the "A" team. While both teams went 7-1 at Regionals, the "B" team had a higher CS and PD at their regional. Objectively, at the last two tournaments of the year, the "B" team was the better performing team and easily could have been labeled the "A" team. The rule was completely rewritten after that year to this:

            "In certain circumstances, a school may assert that two or more of its teams are of equal strength, or that the above factors do not adequately address the school's system of team selection and assignment. In such cases, the school's primary contact person shall contact the Tournament Administration Committee ("TAC") Chair before submitting final regional rosters to AMTA online to obtain a ruling. The request must be in writing and shall include all information that the requesting school believes pertinent to allow AMTA to fully evaluate the issue presented and make a ruling. The writing should include, but is not limited to, the factors enumerated in rule 2.9. The TAC chair shall forward the inquiry to the Tournament Assignments sub-committee ("TAS") and TAS shall issue a ruling. Unless the school can show extraordinary circumstances exist, a school's primary contact shall initiate contact with the Tournament Administration Committee Chair at least three weeks prior to the first tournament that the school is assigned to attend."

            If that rule was in place in 2012, then the team clearly would have broken the rules by not sending the rosters to the TAC. But back then, the rule just said if teams were of equal strength, then they are interchangeable.
            Last edited by Mocktrocity; January 11th, 2019, 08:32 AM.

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            • #7
              I don't understand why everyone just accepts Penn State's version of the story re: the 2012 sanctions. Reading over the materials, and I personally am pretty convinced that AMTA was right to sanction them. 4 of the 5 exec board members were on their A team, basically all of the people who had previously competed at ORCs were on their A team, and people who had won awards earlier that year were on their A team. And most damningly, on their own website, they referred to the teams as Stacked A, Stacked B, Stacked C, and Stacked D. Combined with the fact that PSU people gave conflicting statements to AMTA reps, and by PSU's own admissions in some cases lied to AMTA reps, those sanctions were I think clearly justified.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Real Mock Prodigy View Post
                I don't understand why everyone just accepts Penn State's version of the story re: the 2012 sanctions. Reading over the materials, and I personally am pretty convinced that AMTA was right to sanction them. 4 of the 5 exec board members were on their A team, basically all of the people who had previously competed at ORCs were on their A team, and people who had won awards earlier that year were on their A team. And most damningly, on their own website, they referred to the teams as Stacked A, Stacked B, Stacked C, and Stacked D. Combined with the fact that PSU people gave conflicting statements to AMTA reps, and by PSU's own admissions in some cases lied to AMTA reps, those sanctions were I think clearly justified.
                The rule said teams of even strength were interchangeable. The strength of the team is determined objectively, by results, not by how many members on the team are executive board members or how the teams are designated on a website. The statistical results from the last two tournaments of the year had the "B" team performing better than the "A" team, but just barely. The math supports their version of events, that is why people accept it.

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                • #9
                  I think given the information I mentioned earlier, and the fact that PSU lied to AMTA reps, the only reasonable conclusion for AMTA to make was that PSU tried to skirt the rules.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Real Mock Prodigy View Post
                    I think given the information I mentioned earlier, and the fact that PSU lied to AMTA reps, the only reasonable conclusion for AMTA to make was that PSU tried to skirt the rules.
                    The information you mentioned earlier tried to argue that the "A" team was clearly better due to executive board members being on the team etc. This ignores the facts of the situation. The numbers do not lie. There were three tournaments that the "A" and "B" teams competed at once they were stacked in December. The "B" team went to Yale in December and placed higher than the "A" team at the Pitt tournament that same weekend. At Cornell, where both teams competed together, the "B" team placed higher. At regionals, the "B" team again placed higher. Statistically, over the last three tournaments, the "B" team was actually the "A" team.

                    I think AMTA realized their mistake here by completely rewriting the rule as I mentioned above. Let's be honest, Penn State had no reason to try to skirt the rules at that time to get bids out of regionals. Penn State received 10 bids in the three years prior to 2012. There were no shortage of bids going to that program.

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                    • #11
                      The issue with using those tournaments is that PSU acknowledged in its appeal that they changed teams between those invitationals and regionals, but according to AMTA did not specify what exactly those changes were. And even ignoring that, there is ample evidence that PSU did not truly consider those teams equal. Of the six returning members who competed previously at ORCs, five were placed on the A team. The President also stated that he was embarrassed that the B team had outperformed the A team at Cornell, which is a strange thing to say if the teams are supposed to be equal.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Real Mock Prodigy View Post
                        The issue with using those tournaments is that PSU acknowledged in its appeal that they changed teams between those invitationals and regionals, but according to AMTA did not specify what exactly those changes were. And even ignoring that, there is ample evidence that PSU did not truly consider those teams equal. Of the six returning members who competed previously at ORCs, five were placed on the A team. The President also stated that he was embarrassed that the B team had outperformed the A team at Cornell, which is a strange thing to say if the teams are supposed to be equal.
                        There was one attorney that went from the "A" team to the "B" team after Pitt and Yale. There were zero changes made after Cornell. Even if we accept that Penn State lied and thought their "A" team was clearly better, the results show two teams of relatively equal strength, which the rules at that time said were interchangeable. You can think the "A" team is better than the "B" team but still believe the teams are of relatively equal strength. That was the position of Penn State which is supported by the numbers.

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                        • #13
                          At this point I think we're going in circles. I get the numbers argument, but I do not find it particularly persuasive when compared to the other evidence.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Real Mock Prodigy View Post
                            At this point I think we're going in circles. I get the numbers argument, but I do not find it particularly persuasive when compared to the other evidence.
                            The numbers argument is all there is. The rule says teams of equal strength. How do you determine that? Numbers. That is why this is such a black and white issue and why AMTA clearly messed up, which led them to completely rewrite the rule.

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                            • #15
                              >The numbers argument is all there is. The rule says teams of equal strength. How do you determine that? Numbers.
                              Eh. That's farcical in a lot of situations. Penn State themselves did not consider their B team to be equal to or better than their A team. They did not put the stock in those numbers that you are putting in them. And that is because invitationals and regionals are usually not a reliable sample size to draw conclusions like which team is better than another.

                              Obviously there are better metrics than numbers. A team with a bunch of Nationals returners is probably better than a team that did mildly better than them at a few tournaments. Penn State themselves did not consider those results good evidence that their B team was full of better competitors, so why would we?
                              Last edited by Nur Rauch; January 11th, 2019, 08:07 PM.

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