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  • Penn State sanctions

    Now that the board of directors has denied our appeal, we feel it necessary that people know why Penn State will not be competing in the post-season this year. Attached is the appeal that Penn State submitted to the board of directors. It is mostly self-explanatory. Penn State sent what it considered to be its best team (who had been labeled the "B" team in October) in the "A" regional spot. Both A and B teams went 7-1 and won bids. The executive committee determined that this constituted a gross misconduct, enough to sanction both of the program's bids. Penn State has never been charged with any sort of misconduct. The board of directors denied the appeal and upheld sanctions against Penn State to (admittedly) send a message. This was done despite the Chair of the Rules Committee stating that if Penn State truly believed the "A" and "B" teams were competitively equal then no misconduct occurred. We feel that these measures are entirely meritless and inappropriately harsh.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    This is outrageous. I'd love to see the AMTA apologists defend this one.
    With the union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined.

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    • #3
      I have never been at more of a loss for words in my life.
      Last edited by Cloud; February 24th, 2012, 04:46 PM.
      Dominance Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

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      • #4
        On behalf of myself, individually, with no connection to my team whatsoever, I believe this is one of the most outrageous and inappropriate sanctions I can imagine AMTA imposing. Thoroughly disgusting.
        "Calm down, Pippy."

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        • #5
          Why didn't you guys address the switching of the C and D teams? Do you think part of the denial of the appeal was because of that?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The J View Post
            Why didn't you guys address the switching of the C and D teams? Do you think part of the denial of the appeal was because of that?
            In all questioning during the weekend, they only requested information on A and B and only seemed concerned with those two teams. Since we won three bids, sanctions upheld on C and D wouldn't matter.

            Also, to this point, they have provided us with no rationale. The email informing us was 3 sentences long.
            Last edited by Cloud; February 24th, 2012, 05:28 PM.
            Dominance Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RuHurt View Post
              On behalf of myself, individually, with no connection to my team whatsoever, I believe this is one of the most outrageous and inappropriate sanctions I can imagine AMTA imposing. Thoroughly disgusting.
              I'm glad other people see it that way. I have never before in my life felt like I was unjustly persecuted for something until now. I'm sick to my stomach that a small mistake (which I maintain that I am correct on based on the way the rules read now) like this on my part could ruin mock for all of my friends.
              Dominance Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cloud View Post
                In all questioning during the weekend, they only requested information on A and B and only seemed concerned with those two teams. Since we won three bids, sanctions upheld on C and D wouldn't matter.
                But sanctions on the entire program, for switching teams, could be levied on the program for switching C and D. While you focused extensively on the equality of A and B, you don't actually state that switching C and D left equally competitive teams in the two regionals. It seems that if you're trying to say you did nothing wrong as a program, you would need to say that A = B and C = D.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The J View Post
                  But sanctions on the entire program, for switching teams, could be levied on the program for switching C and D. While you focused extensively on the equality of A and B, you don't actually state that switching C and D left equally competitive teams in the two regionals. It seems that if you're trying to say you did nothing wrong as a program, you would need to say that A = B and C = D.
                  Justin Bernstein's email to me after the sanctions said "if we thought A and B to be equal, then there would have been no violation. The decision was based on that they weren't equal."

                  I also say in my personnel statement that I thought C and D were equal. We did not expand because the rules chair told us that we only had to show A and B were equal for no violation.
                  Last edited by Cloud; February 24th, 2012, 05:34 PM.
                  Dominance Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cloud View Post
                    Justin Bernstein's email to me after the sanctions said "if we thought A and B to be equal, then there would have been no violation. The decision was based on that they weren't equal"
                    Unless you read the entire sentence which says: "If the teams labeled A and B were truly of equal strength there would be no violation (not including any issues related to C and D)." And this is in response to your email which makes no mention of your C and D teams.

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                    • #11
                      I'm sorry, this is the wording:

                      "The sanction issued by the EC is based on the conclusion that A and B were not of equal strength"

                      It clearly states that the decision was based off A and B, not C and D.
                      Dominance Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lionLawyer View Post
                        Now that the board of directors has denied our appeal, we feel it necessary that people know why Penn State will not be competing in the post-season this year. Attached is the appeal that Penn State submitted to the board of directors. It is mostly self-explanatory. Penn State sent what it considered to be its best team (who had been labeled the "B" team in October) in the "A" regional spot. Both A and B teams went 7-1 and won bids. The executive committee determined that this constituted a gross misconduct, enough to sanction both of the program's bids. Penn State has never been charged with any sort of misconduct. The board of directors denied the appeal and upheld sanctions against Penn State to (admittedly) send a message. This was done despite the Chair of the Rules Committee stating that if Penn State truly believed the "A" and "B" teams were competitively equal then no misconduct occurred. We feel that these measures are entirely meritless and inappropriately harsh.
                        I'll withhold comment of the appropriateness or lack thereof of the sanctions. I will say, though, that the appeal was impressive (though I question the ethical implications of making it public, particularly the e-mail correspondences.) My heart goes out to your students who, I'm sure, are very upset over this. It's clear you all care about the activity very much and, I hope, this doesn't destroy y'all's passion for mock trial.
                        "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson

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                        • #13
                          Also, I have not yet noticed any formal statement from the board on this. I sort of think one is due to the public so people know exactly what behavior was damning so it can be avoided in the future.
                          "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JayZ View Post
                            Also, I have not yet noticed any formal statement from the board on this. I sort of think one is due to the public so people know exactly what behavior was damning so it can be avoided in the future.
                            The "behavior" would appear to be switching teams among regionals without prior approval from AMTA. That said, having skimmed the appeal (which is just one side of the story), I have serious questions as to whether the rules at issue were clear, whether they were violated, and whether the violation (which one person in a 70-person program took full responsibility for) merited the indisputably harsh sanction of denying the entire program any bids to ORCS. I hope a rationale is forthcoming.
                            Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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                            • #15
                              Having previously been unaware that there was a "harmless error" provision in the AMTA rulebook, I'm kind of at a loss for how it wouldn't apply to this situation. By pretty much any objective measure, Penn State "B" has outperformed Penn State "A" this year (including at regionals). I'm curious as to how the switch wouldn't constitute harmless error.

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