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  • #46
    Originally posted by Mocktrocity View Post

    I think you are hitting on why some people have a hard time accepting that AMTA screwed up here. AMTA are the adults in the room. They run the show. They know what they are doing. They are lawyers, how could they get this wrong!? I think that is a fallacy that we see time and time again when a power structure makes a mistake and people try to rationalize how it was not a mistake.

    Do you think it is such a stretch that a bunch of these lawyers on the board, with their overwhelming responsibilities outside of mock trial, just went with the flow of things because they didnt have the time to dig into the appeal? I honestly don't blame many on the board for not putting the necessary time into this. The EC had come to a conclusion before it got to the board. Im busying coaching my team and dont have the time to read this appeal. Ill just agree with the EC's position, because theyre the ones in charge. They have to get it right! Based on my review of the almost non-existent discussion of Penn State's actual appeal and position (there was plenty of discussion of whether or not taking away their bids was "too much") in the thread where the Board voted, I'm inclined to believe that some of these humans on the board were a bit to busy to analyze the facts of the case and realize the EC got it wrong.
    There was probably some level of deference to the EC's decision. But knowing a bunch of those 2012 board members (including a handful who are no longer on the Board), I would be rather shocked if at least the people I know voted to take away ORCS bids without reviewing the appeal. You keep mentioning this "non-existent discussion," but you also said that you only had some of the emails exchanged (not to mention discussions that likely took place outside of Board-wide emails). I find it nearly impossible to believe that the PSU sanctions were voted on without significant input from people like Toby Heytens, Neal Schuett, Johnathan Woodward, Glen Halva-Neubauer, Tom Parker, Justin Bernstein, and, yes, GooglyMoogly, among others. These people can't tell you about the discussions they had because: (i) they are respecting confidentiality; and (ii) they are respecting the principle reflected in the affirmations we make every year that -- outwardly -- the Board speaks with one voice.
    Last edited by The Gelf; January 16th, 2019, 09:10 PM.
    Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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    • #47
      Originally posted by The Gelf View Post

      There was probably some level of deference to the EC's decision. But knowing a bunch of those 2012 board members (including a handful who are no longer on the Board), I would be rather shocked if at least the people I know voted to take away ORCS bids without reviewing the appeal. You keep mentioning this "non-existent discussion," but you also said that you only had some of the emails exchanged (not to mention discussions that likely took place outside of Board-wide emails). I find it nearly impossible to believe that the PSU sanctions were voted on without significant input from people like Toby Heytens, Neal Schuett, Johnathan Woodward, Glen Halva-Neubauer, Tom Parker, Justin Bernstein, and, yes, GooglyMoogly, among others. These people can't tell you about the discussions they had because: (i) they are respecting confidentiality; and (ii) they are respecting the principle reflected in the affirmations we make every year that -- outwardly -- the Board speaks with one voice.
      I had the entirety of the chain back then. Admittedly, some of my comments are on my recollection of the entire chain, so my memory may be off. I only saved a few of the emails that encapsulated the lack of discussion of the appeal, which I believed to be representative of the entire thread. I do have some emails that offer a lengthy analysis, but they are only on the severity of the consequences of taking the bids away and whether it was too harsh, not the numbers behind Penn State's appeal. I believe that was the same for the names you mentioned, but I do not have those emails saved unfortunately. I welcome the transparency if someone does have them!
      Last edited by Mocktrocity; January 16th, 2019, 09:17 PM.

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      • #48
        I'm sorry you hold such contempt for the organization so many years later. But it's done. Its six years ago. Sixteen of the 28 people in that vote aren't on the board any more. None of the current competitors were around. Many of them were in middle school at the time. i came into this "new sanctions?" thread assuming it was about the new sanctions. I saw something else. I tried to share some thoughts to help but I see that I just helped reopen old wounds further, so I am removing my comment and leaving it at this: I hope you are able to move on soon. It's time to let go.
        Last edited by GooglyMoogly; January 16th, 2019, 10:54 PM.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by GooglyMoogly View Post
          Hi all. Gelf is correct, I am not going to rehash this seven-year-old argument. The board speaks as one regardless of how I felt, how I feel and how others felt. Frankly, I don't think there is anything I can say that would change mocktrocity's opinion and I'm not going to try.

          But I will say this - I have over 150 emails in my inbox in a four day span directly related to that PSU appeal. I have over 90 emails alone in the thread involving every board member - all over that four day span. I have another 60 with various board members where we were attempting to understand each other's positions on the issues presented and exchanging thoughts and ideas on what some other board members said in that discussion. These aren't one liner emails. They are extensive, long, very long, detail oriented emails addressing many different considerations, concerns, schools of thought, debate and discussion and, yes, several of those emails included a discussion of the analysis by the appellants. During that time, opinions and stances changed. New angles were thought about and new perspectives added. A vigorous debate took place with virtually all voters chiming in - whether people like(d), agree(d) with or respect(ed) the result of that vigorous debate is irrelevant to that truth.
          I had access to all of those emails at one time and still have a decent portion of them. The "vigorous debate" was over whether Penn State's violation was egregious enough to warrant the bids being taken away. There was essentially zero discussion, aside from Bloch, that focused on the merits of Penn State's appeal. All debate focused on the the severity of the sanction such as the below:

          Subject: Re: Penn State Sanctions Appeal

          All -

          My initial reaction to this was the same as Alicia's. The rules are
          clear, the sanctions are consistent with the rules, and Alicia's logic
          is immediately appealing. I worry, however, as I think more about
          this, that this logic misses something: the students who are innocent
          in this.

          The President has taken responsibility for the violative decision, and
          the coach (though he rejects that title) says the same. There's no
          evidence or reason to believe that every member of the program was
          culpable in the misconduct or even aware of it. Indeed, it's perhaps
          contrary to the interests of some of the students to do what the
          program did, and thus it seems highly unlikely all supported this or
          even understood it was not permitted. This means, as the coach notes,
          that the proposed sanctions would penalize students who did nothing
          wrong. I think this is something we need to carefully consider.

          Some may note that sports programs are routinely penalized for the
          misconduct of their leadership. But this is not a sports activity and
          we're not a sports institution. We're an educational institution. The
          proposed sanctions prevent innocent students from obtaining the
          significant educational value of competing at nationals. I think we
          need to take our education mission into account here and not make a
          purely competition-based decision. If there's a balance to be struck
          between these two goals, I think we need to strive to achieve that
          balance.

          Some also may note that the program members are answerable for the
          decisions and conduct of their leadership. In many circumstances, this
          may be true and appropriate. Here, we're dealing with young adults,
          perhaps some in their first year away from home. It's not clear what
          we expect of them or would have them do differently in a situation
          where their leadership makes a decision that they must follow, and may
          have no reason to believe is improper. We're not talking about conduct
          sanctioned by the institution itself, but by one or a few misguided
          students.

          The EC has wisely observed that reducing them to one bid may result in
          them reconstituting their national team in a manner that effectively
          avoids the sting of the penalty. But we can control this. We can
          designate the specific team by roster that may compete. We could even
          formulate our own roster from all the competing Penn State teams. In
          particular, we could bar any of the program leaders from competing.
          The coach reports they're all on the A team, I believe. There may be
          other options here I've not considered.

          To be clear, I'm not necessarily opposing the EC's proposed sanctions.
          Again, the sanctions seem logical and appropriate at first blush. My
          point is merely to encourage everyone to think carefully and
          critically about the conduct at issue and all possible sanctions. This
          is not to suggest the EC did not (or that anyone else has not). The EC
          obviously did. And it may be as I think more about this before next
          week's vote, I'll reach the same conclusion as they did. Or I may not.
          Perhaps I'm overly concerned about the students here who may be
          innocent. But I think the impact on any such students is sufficiently
          significant to warrant careful and critical consideration by each of
          us and perhaps reasoned discussion among all of us, with a goal of
          fashioning a sanction that balances competition and punishment
          considerations with education considerations as best we can.

          I will confess that the primary factor in favor of the proposed
          sanctions for me is avoiding similar offenses in the future. A
          zero-tolerance message may ensure that programs will avoid region
          shopping and will communicate with us candidly about their team
          strength, assignments, and intentions. But it may be that a lesser
          sanction sends an equally (or sufficiently) effective message without
          penalizing innocent individuals. I think how I would feel as an
          innocent competitor (or parent of one) after working so hard all year
          to get to nationals, only to have it taken away because of the conduct
          of others whom I couldn't control and didn't understand to be wrong.
          We think about such issues as involving and affecting "programs." But
          programs are nothing more than collections of individual young adults,
          not all of whom act in concert or possess the same knowledge,
          understanding and responsibility.

          My apologies for the long message. Perhaps I worry too much about such
          things, but I think what we do here is significant and can affect a
          number of people in important ways. I intend to think about this much
          before the vote. I encourage others to do the same. And I welcome any
          and all views.

          Best,
          David

          Once the EC made their decision, the hive mind of the Board was made up that a violation had occurred. You will also note the blind deference given to the EC that I mentioned earlier, "the EC obviously did". The debate was then just how hard to punish them. I repeat my question: If Penn State's teams in 2012 were submitted to the TAC, would they be considered to be egregiously violating the Regional assignments based on the objective evidence set forth in Penn State's appeal?

          Also, I see you edited to add a comment that my emails on timing were misleading.

          Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 1:12 PM
          > Subject: Re: Penn State Sanctions Appeal
          >
          >
          > Friends and Colleagues,
          >
          > My remarks will be extremely brief. It seems very clear that Penn State
          > has admitted numerous times throughout their communications with
          > representatives of AMTA that they sent what they deem their A and D teams to
          > the site where their B and C teams were supposed to attend and vice versa.
          > The only question is their explanation as to why they did that and whether
          > it was egregious and intended to violate the rules.
          >
          > Because I do not believe that, based on our rules, the REASONING for the
          > violation is a necessary consideration to whether the rule was violated or
          > not, it seems clear to me that a) they violated the rule; and as such b)
          > should be penalized.
          >
          > Three of their teams earned bids from a tournament they were not supposed
          > to be attending. I therefore agree with the EC's suggested sanctions and
          > find them completely appropriate based on the admitted violations that
          > occurred.
          >
          > Thank you and good luck to those competing this weekend.
          >
          > ~Alicia Hawley
          >
          > "Dance like no one is watching.
          > Sing like no one is listening.
          > Love like you've never been hurt."
          >
          >
          sent t: Friday, February 17, 2012 12:58 PM
          > Subject: Re: Penn State Sanctions Appeal
          >
          >
          >
          > Dear Fellow Board Members:
          >
          > Below please find:
          > 1) The body of the email of the President's message to the Board;
          > 2) The body of the email of Penn State's submission of their Appeal.
          >
          > Attached please find:
          > 1) The President's Statement to the Board;
          > 2) Penn State's Appeal Letter and
          > 3) Penn State's Appeal Package.
          >
          > Please use this thread to engage in discussion.
          >
          > Please note that this thread is confidential. It has not been shared with
          > candidates.
          >
          > Very truly yours,
          > Adam Detsky"

          These are the very first two emails in the chain. You said above you still have the chain, so please prove me wrong if I am. I deleted the email addresses in between but the times are highlighted. 14 minutes from the time the appeal went out until the first response. Which I think everyone will admit is not enough time to read all the attachments.

          It is okay to admit when you made a mistake Mr. Googilyoogily.
          Last edited by Mocktrocity; January 16th, 2019, 10:59 PM.

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          • #50
            Yo we are all mockers here. In cases the accusers have a burden of proof they need to exceed in order to initiate some type of punishment (whether it be money or jail time). Let us first ask: what standard of proof does AMTA hold themselves to when evaluating whether or not a team deserves sanctions?

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            • #51
              These are the very first two emails in the chain. You said above you still have the chain, so please prove me wrong if I am. I deleted the email addresses in between but the times are highlighted. 14 minutes from the time the appeal went out until the first response. Which I think everyone will admit is not enough time to read all the attachments.

              It is okay to admit when you made a mistake Mr. Googilyoogily.
              Your posts of the emails *are* misleading, since you're not posting the 90+ emails that were sent over the course of four days. I think the point about the first knee-jerk email is made. It doesn't demonstrate that AMTA had its mind made up.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post

                Your posts of the emails *are* misleading, since you're not posting the 90+ emails that were sent over the course of four days. I think the point about the first knee-jerk email is made. It doesn't demonstrate that AMTA had its mind made up.
                Googlemcoogles edited his post multiple times but at one point, he specifically said my timing of the initial emails was misleading and indicated there was one a few minutes after the appeal went out, presumably before Hawleys. I posted the evidence to show that was not true and he edited his post again to delete it. He keeps saying that the makeup of the board is completely different as a way of, I guess, shifting blame....."hey it wasnt THIS board's mistake, we didnt do that nonsense back then." But he was on the EC back then and ignored the evidence of the appeal, as with most of the rest of the board.

                My point all along was that there was no debate on the merits of Penn state's appeal. After the appeal went out, Hawley said "the EC got it right, let's figure out how to punish" and almost every single other board member started with that viewpoint. Penn State is guilty, now let us debate the ethics of taking away their bids. There was no rebuttal of Bloch's mathematical analysis of the evidence put before the board. So yes, I recall plenty of more emails than I have saved currently, but none debating the actual evidence, just the consequences of taking the bid away. Also telling is googly's refusal to answer my question regarding Penn State's teams being put before the TAC. He can't say that the teams egregiously violate the regional assignments because the evidence on the table plainly says they did not. Now he has a hard time admitting he made a mistake and has to comfort himself with the fact that the current board is different.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Mocktrocity View Post

                  Googlemcoogles edited his post multiple times but at one point, he specifically said my timing of the initial emails was misleading and indicated there was one a few minutes after the appeal went out, presumably before Hawleys. I posted the evidence to show that was not true and he edited his post again to delete it. He keeps saying that the makeup of the board is completely different as a way of, I guess, shifting blame....."hey it wasnt THIS board's mistake, we didnt do that nonsense back then." But he was on the EC back then and ignored the evidence of the appeal, as with most of the rest of the board.

                  My point all along was that there was no debate on the merits of Penn state's appeal. After the appeal went out, Hawley said "the EC got it right, let's figure out how to punish" and almost every single other board member started with that viewpoint. Penn State is guilty, now let us debate the ethics of taking away their bids. There was no rebuttal of Bloch's mathematical analysis of the evidence put before the board. So yes, I recall plenty of more emails than I have saved currently, but none debating the actual evidence, just the consequences of taking the bid away. Also telling is googly's refusal to answer my question regarding Penn State's teams being put before the TAC. He can't say that the teams egregiously violate the regional assignments because the evidence on the table plainly says they did not. Now he has a hard time admitting he made a mistake and has to comfort himself with the fact that the current board is different.
                  Your statement that Adam "ignored the evidence of the appeal, as with most of the rest of the board" is baseless since you don't know: (i) what Adam read or did not read; (ii) what Adam discussed with the rest of the board (through emails or otherwise); or (iii) how Adam voted. Of course, Adam (and the rest of the people who were on the Board in 2012) can't tell you those things because their discussions and deliberations were (supposed to be) confidential, and every board member takes an affirmation every year that -- outwardly -- the Board speaks with one voice. I note that Brad Bloch (who was, at least at one point, a prolific poster on these boards) never (at least to my knowledge and recollection) publicly disclosed his views (much less his emails to the Board) regarding the PSU sanction.

                  Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by The Gelf View Post

                    Your statement that Adam "ignored the evidence of the appeal, as with most of the rest of the board" is baseless since you don't know: (i) what Adam read or did not read; (ii) what Adam discussed with the rest of the board (through emails or otherwise); or (iii) how Adam voted. Of course, Adam (and the rest of the people who were on the Board in 2012) can't tell you those things because their discussions and deliberations were (supposed to be) confidential, and every board member takes an affirmation every year that -- outwardly -- the Board speaks with one voice. I note that Brad Bloch (who was, at least at one point, a prolific poster on these boards) never (at least to my knowledge and recollection) publicly disclosed his views (much less his emails to the Board) regarding the PSU sanction.
                    I saw his emails back then on the sanctions and he did not debate the merits of the appeal, just the consequences of the sanction, as I have maintained all along. Otherwise, I would have saved his emails. I saved a scattershot of emails and made sure to save any that touched on the numbers and math behind Penn State's appeal. There were very few of those, though, as the Board just went with the EC's recommendation and did not truly consider the evidence. You don't even need to have seen the emails to know that, you can just look at the results. The numbers do not support a conclusion that Penn State egregiously violated the regional assignments. I know lawyers joke about being bad at math but these ones are not too hard to grasp.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      The fact that you have these emails means you were either a Board member or a person trusted by a Board member. In either instance, it's tactless of you to be publicly posting communications that were intended to be confidential correspondence of an organization's decision making. You should take these down.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Mocktrocity I have competed at tournaments where my school's stacked A team finished with a worse record than my school's B team. In one of those tournaments, the B team took two ballots from a team that the A team dropped both to. According to your logic, we could argue that our B team was "better" than our A team. But anyone who saw either of those teams could tell you that was wrong, because the A team was substantially more experienced, and just happened to have a bad tournament when the B team had a good one. You can keep harping on the numbers, but there is just simply more to it than that.

                        I also think your hostility towards the other people on this board is uncalled for. Current and former board members have shown up in this thread to answer your questions and accusations, and you've been openly hostile and dismissive.I would suggest that you reconsider that approach.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by geneva View Post
                          The fact that you have these emails means you were either a Board member or a person trusted by a Board member. In either instance, it's tactless of you to be publicly posting communications that were intended to be confidential correspondence of an organization's decision making. You should take these down.
                          The AMTA community deserves the transparency. AMTA has just removed postseason bids from a team, for only the second time ever. The first time, as evidenced by these emails, the Board did not consider the evidence put forth by the team accused. They have never owned up to it. Shining some light on this issue might help keep it from happening again. I am not sure if it happened this time too, as we don't know any facts, but these emails provide a history of AMTA ignoring evidence put forth by the accused teams. Did they learn from their mistake? Given some of the current Board's refusal to just own up to the mistake, how can we be sure?
                          Last edited by Mocktrocity; January 17th, 2019, 12:21 PM.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by The Real Mock Prodigy View Post
                            Mocktrocity

                            I also think your hostility towards the other people on this board is uncalled for. Current and former board members have shown up in this thread to answer your questions and accusations, and you've been openly hostile and dismissive.I would suggest that you reconsider that approach.
                            Dismissive sure, because many of the Board members positions posted are nonsense that try to cover up for their mistake in 2012. Googly explicitly called me out about the timing of the initial emails saying I was "misleading." He deleted his comment when I provided the evidence that I was correct. I have every right to be dismissive of something like that. I did not believe I was being hostile and had no intention to be so in my comments thus far, I apologize for any one that has taken them as "hostile."

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              GooglyMoogly, The Gelf, Could someone who is on the board (NOT Mocktrocity, you have presented your version of how you think the sanction deliberation process works already) tell us how sanctions are discussed by the board as of 2018-2019? I know the process that is laid out in rule 9.6 indicates that the way it works is that the board has to reach out to the school being accused and let them explain their side, then the EC deliberates, then they can sanction if they feel it is necessary, then the school/individual has five days to file an appeal, then the full board decides whether to hear the appeal, then the school/individual can prepare materials for the appeal, then the board reviews the sanctions de novo at which point the decision is final.

                              But thatís just the procedural skeleton. It leaves out a lot of information. So here are questions that I think might have a bit more bearing on the current issue and shed light on how the board handles things these days:
                              What is the standard of proof the board goes on in determining whether to sanction a team?
                              If there is disagreement between the board and the school as to how the rule should be interpreted how do you handle it (it sounds like one of the issues in the PSU case was that the board and the school just had very different notions of what even strength teams were)?
                              When the school is handling the appeal process do they know exactly what evidence/arguments are being made against them (again, from the original perjuries thread, it seemed like, for a long time, the PSU people didnt exactly know which of many possible problems AMTA was basing their arguments on until it was too late)?
                              Last edited by Gadfly; January 17th, 2019, 02:02 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Gadfly View Post
                                GooglyMoogly, The Gelf
                                If there is disagreement between the board and the school as to how the rule should be interpreted how do you handle it (it sounds like one of the issues in the PSU case was that the board and the school just had very different notions of what even strength teams were)?
                                Just to comment on this, if you read the appeal, there are emails attached by Justin Bernstein where he informed Penn State that if they truly believed the teams to be equal, then no violation occurred, so the interpretation of the rule to that point was at least agreed upon. Penn State held the position that the teams were equal and the facts supported it, but the Board placed heavier weight on conflicting testimony of students that were pulled out of the middle of mock trial rounds and asked questions about team assignments (many who had no idea what the process behind team assignments even was). Based on that conflicting testimony, the Board concluded that Penn State was lying about the team assignments (even though the math completely supported the position they set forth). Bloch touches on this point well in his analysis of the Board's failure to consider the evidence.
                                Last edited by Mocktrocity; January 17th, 2019, 02:11 PM.

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