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  • Originally posted by Cloud View Post
    The statement released by AMTA is full of inaccuracies and flat out lies. We are spending time looking it over and compiling evidence to point all of the fallacies. One example that pops out right away:

    On page 3 of the statement, Dave writes,

    "An examination of the rosters for Steel City/Yale and then Pittsburgh/Buffalo shows that one,
    and only one, change was made to each squad. A single member from Stacked A was swapped
    for a member of Stacked B. The person who was dropped from the A team after Steel City was
    the attorney who had the lowest attorney scores on both sides of the case at that tournament."

    This is false and a complete misrepresentation of the facts. A simple scan of the rosters he mentions shows that there was more than "one, and only one" change. The B team had several more changes, which include the dropping of the lowest scoring attorney and witness from the team and the addition of the highest scoring witness from the C team.
    I think the point they were trying to make is that no swaps were made to balance between A and B, and that the only change between those two teams made A stronger and B weaker. Swaps between B and C aren't relevant to that point.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by mocktrial96 View Post
      Reading this, I don't think AMTA took away bids because they thought the switching of teams harmed the power balance at the tournaments. I think it's very clear from the way they discussed the conflicting statements given by PSU students: they think Penn State lied. They got conflicting statements from various members of the team. It also seems clear that PSU violated the technical letter of the rules, even if there wasn't any major harm done. I think what the real issue they have is what they perceive as dishonesty. Whether or not Penn State was dishonest, I don't know. But it seems clear the AMTA board believed they were dishonest, and that's why the punishment was so severe.
      As someone from PSU that didn't have a role in writing the appeal and can't understand why our team is so offended by AMTA, thank you for pointing this out. The contrasting statements and stories come across as incredibly unprofessional.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by OffOnCross View Post
        I think the point they were trying to make is that no swaps were made to balance between A and B, and that the only change between those two teams made A stronger and B weaker. Swaps between B and C aren't relevant to that point.
        And as the PSU attorney who was switched from A to B after my low scores, thank you for pointing this out as well. Despite being unhappy with having no bids after taking Buffalo, I truly don't think the AMTA board would deliberately make up information in their statement with the knowledge that PSU has been active in public discussion and would be itching to point out inconsistencies.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Cloud View Post
          The statement released by AMTA is full of inaccuracies and flat out lies. We are spending time looking it over and compiling evidence to point all of the fallacies. One example that pops out right away:

          On page 3 of the statement, Dave writes,

          "An examination of the rosters for Steel City/Yale and then Pittsburgh/Buffalo shows that one,
          and only one, change was made to each squad. A single member from Stacked A was swapped
          for a member of Stacked B. The person who was dropped from the A team after Steel City was
          the attorney who had the lowest attorney scores on both sides of the case at that tournament."

          This is false and a complete misrepresentation of the facts. A simple scan of the rosters he mentions shows that there was more than "one, and only one" change. The B team had several more changes, which include the dropping of the lowest scoring attorney and witness from the team and the addition of the highest scoring witness from the C team.

          I understand that PSMT is not happy about what happened, and I am aware that you guys are a student run organization. For that reason I am going to give you this advice. Stop posting on this issue before you give future members of your program problems. Since a definitive decision has been made, letting this go is the best decision you can make. It is also professional.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by jvsen View Post
            I understand that PSMT is not happy about what happened, and I am aware that you guys are a student run organization. For that reason I am going to give you this advice. Stop posting on this issue before you give future members of your program problems. Since a definitive decision has been made, letting this go is the best decision you can make. It is also professional.
            I would also be tremendously upset, but I completely agree here. Water under the bridge.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by BrennaThorpe View Post
              As someone from PSU that didn't have a role in writing the appeal and can't understand why our team is so offended by AMTA, thank you for pointing this out. The contrasting statements and stories come across as incredibly unprofessional.
              lol, so someone from Penn State thinks Penn State was lying? I suppose that doesn't look too good, does it?

              That said, there are several pieces of logic in AMTA's reasoning that are somewhat concerning, but alas, it is what it is.

              Also, while I still think it's hard to prove actual harm in this situation, the "Stacked A" and "Stacked B" designations on Penn State's website is kind of hard to overcome.

              Also it sounds like statements from Team members did them in:

              "The issue of the assignments first came to AMTA's attention when a Penn State student entered the tab room at Pittsburgh looking for the 'Penn State D team.' Since Penn State's D team was not assigned to that regional, this was cause for concern."

              Among others...
              Last edited by Spidey; March 2nd, 2012, 12:29 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Spidey View Post
                lol, so someone from Penn State thinks Penn State was lying? I suppose that doesn't look too good, does it?

                That said, there are several pieces of logic in AMTA's reasoning that are somewhat concerning, but alas, it is what it is.

                Also, while I still think it's hard to prove actual harm in this situation, the "Stacked A" and "Stacked B" designations on Penn State's website is kind of hard to overcome.
                No, I'm not saying that at all. Just the lack of our leadership speaking with AMTA before we switched our teams meant that when our four captains were separately interrogated by AMTA, they were all confused (I being one of them). I was under the impression that it was all taken care of because of our logistics and abided by the rules, but our A team rep is one of our AMTA team architects and explained his decisions to 'restack' our teams that I wasn't privy to (our school is very private about what goes into the construction of the 4 AMTA teams), while another captain was a freshman and was totally confused because she had no knowledge of AMTA's rulebook at all. No one tried to lie, we were all just confused. I honestly had no idea that a rule was being broken and was totally taken aback when I was pulled into tab. While the inconsistencies were completely innocent, I can see why AMTA was skeptical.

                Does that make more sense?
                Last edited by BrennaThorpe; March 2nd, 2012, 12:33 PM.

                Comment


                • I think now Penn State needs to go into this with a "whats done is done" attitude. Let it light a fire under your ass to be even better next year. Come back and stick it to AMTA and win a National Championship.

                  Posting on perjuries wont help the situation, take it from someone in a program/on a team that had their case theories and ethics questioned all over perjuries last year. Other people will say plenty without your input (sometimes even in your defense). Just read it and weep, or read it and make a joke out of it (much healthier).

                  Also the probationary status someone had a question about before- it means essentially they are on "thin ice." If they fuck up again in the next year, literally anything- like eating food in a courtroom when they aren't supposed to- AMTA can ban their entire program from competing in any post-season tournaments.

                  They are also the largest mock trial program because of their # of members, which I believe is around 70 something...?

                  Comment


                  • Let me clarify something.

                    I do think AMTA's statement clearly establishes that there was enough evidence to show that, regardless of competitive strength, teams were swapped without prior approval and there was at least REASON TO BELIEVE that the teams were not equal. I think there is enough here to say that a reasonable person should have realized that PSU's teams might not be equal and that AMTA should have been informed prior or the swap not made. I find a lack of credibility in the PSU assertions that they were truly a "split stack".

                    However, I also find the board's analysis to try to determine whether or not the teams were equal leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don't think many of the factors they used are particularly useful and, as I said before, opinions over how teams were named or how rosters were constructed are, in my mind, essentially irrelevant to the question at hand. Personally, it makes me inclined to, from now on, use only the most vague of team names and internal assignments to prevent our own program running afoul of assumptions and prejudices that board members may have. Regardless, the totality of the circumstances seems to indicate PSU was negligent at least, intentional at worst.

                    The bottom line is this: I do not care what the particulars are and I think this case demonstrates the AMTA board should not either. I think we need a bright line rule with clear indications of what the presumptions and due process is should a violation arise and, further, what the punishment will be. There is FAR too much discretion in both the determination and the sentence. While discretion is a valuable component of our justice system when left in the hands of a jury of our peers or an informed tribunal, it is much less so when left in the hands of ad hoc determinations by a board of directors forced to make a decision on an expedited timeline. The final decision, I believe, was correct, but the manner in which it was arrived at is ugly and somewhat haphazard and I can't help but feel there was way too much of a chance for the process to have gone vastly awry.

                    I'll also offer this as a word of advice to PSU: Exercise your right to remain silent. If you wish to construct some statement, as a program on this or maybe even draft a motion to bring to the directors to correct the errors you see in the system, more power to you. But bickering on the board, either aimed at the board or aimed at each other, will accomplish nothing but discredit you and harm you reputations in the future.
                    "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by BrennaThorpe View Post
                      No, I'm not saying that at all. Just the lack of our leadership speaking with AMTA before we switched our teams meant that when our four captains were separately interrogated by AMTA, they were all confused (I being one of them). I was under the impression that it was all taken care of because of our logistics and abided by the rules, but our A team rep is one of our AMTA team architects and explained his decisions to 'restack' our teams that I wasn't privy to (our school is very private about what goes into the construction of the 4 AMTA teams), while another captain was a freshman and was totally confused because she had no knowledge of AMTA's rulebook at all. No one tried to lie, we were all just totally confused. While the inconsistencies were completely innocent, I can see why AMTA was skeptical.

                      Does that make more sense?
                      Yes. Can I ask you if you, as an ordinary team member, were under the impression that the internally designated A & B teams were also internally considered to be equal competitors? Because the most damning evidence AMTA has are the moves you all made which look at awful lot like a team stacking their A team.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by BrennaThorpe View Post
                        No, I'm not saying that at all. Just the lack of our leadership speaking with AMTA before we switched our teams meant that when our four captains were separately interrogated by AMTA, they were all confused (I being one of them). I was under the impression that it was all taken care of because of our logistics and abided by the rules, but our A team rep is one of our AMTA team architects and explained his decisions to 'restack' our teams that I wasn't privy to (our school is very private about what goes into the construction of the 4 AMTA teams), while another captain was a freshman and was totally confused because she had no knowledge of AMTA's rulebook at all. No one tried to lie, we were all just totally confused. While the inconsistencies were completely innocent, I can see why AMTA was skeptical.

                        Does that make more sense?
                        She is correct. So while there were "inconsistencies" in PSMT statements, they were from confused members that had no idea why I did what I did. Like we stated previously, the rule makes no mention of internal designations and is based on honest evaluation of the teams, see previous arguement etc.

                        I was completely consistent in my statement upon first questioning. AMTA had already formed an opinion on the situation from talking to other members and thought what I said was an "after the fact fabrication" that was actually the complete and whole truth.
                        Dominance Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Spidey View Post
                          Yes. Can I ask you if you, as an ordinary team member, were under the impression that the internally designated A & B teams were also internally considered to be equal competitors? Because the most damning evidence AMTA has are the moves you all made which look at awful lot like a team stacking their A team.
                          Plead the 5th Brenna. While Spidey may have good intentions and we all have curiosity, answering this is a lose-lose. As mentioned by jvsen earlier, throwing fuel on this fire cannot bring back your bids, it can only cause future headache. Sorry to cut you off at the pass Spidey, but PSU mock has been through enough at this point, I kind of wish this would all go to rest.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Spidey View Post
                            Yes. Can I ask you if you, as an ordinary team member, were under the impression that the internally designated A & B teams were also internally considered to be equal competitors? Because the most damning evidence AMTA has are the moves you all made which look at awful lot like a team stacking their A team.
                            I believe we were of an equally competitive strength. AMTA's logic that 'the majority of the exec board was on the A team, therefore it is better' doesn't really hold water (honestly, I think that team was given that title just because exec liked having the title of being on the A team, haha). When I was dropped from A to B, a member of the exec board was moved from B to A. Him and I tend to be fairly equal competitors, so I'm not sure of the logic behind the switch, other than he was closer friends with people on A through exec, and I was given the chance to captain with one of my best friends, who was my co-captain from last year. The switch made the teams more compatible in terms of work ethic for sure, but I can't say if the switch was made for any reasons regarding strength (which is what AMTA is concerned with). Like I said, I'm not privy to what goes into the creation of our AMTA team rosters, so I have to defer to the logic in the appeal. But as the B team captain I was given the impression that my team and the A team were on equal levels in terms of the opportunity to advance out of ORCS, and I think the results proved that.

                            And JayZ, I'm not trying to be a bickerer, I hope you can see that! But I think the whole problem in all of this (and a problem with everything this year at Penn State apparently) is transparency. Both internally in our organization, and at times (before they released their response, at least) from AMTA. So I want to answer questions people have constructively, as other members of our organization, admittedly, are sort of shooting their mouths off.

                            Edit: Sorry grady670 - I don't really think there's anything to hide so I wanted to give him my perspective. But I agree on wishing this would all go to rest. Time to go celebrate spring break!
                            Last edited by BrennaThorpe; March 2nd, 2012, 12:53 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by BrennaThorpe View Post
                              I believe we were of an equally competitive strength. AMTA's logic that 'the majority of the exec board was on the A team, therefore it is better' doesn't really hold water (honestly, I think that team was given that title just because exec liked having the title of being on the A team, haha). When I was dropped from A to B, a member of the exec board was moved from B to A. Him and I tend to be fairly equal competitors, so I'm not sure of the logic behind the switch, other than he was closer friends with people on A through exec, and I was given the chance to captain with one of my best friends, who was my co-captain from last year. The switch made the teams more compatible in terms of work ethic for sure, but I can't say if the switch was made for any reasons regarding strength (which is what AMTA is concerned with). Like I said, I'm not privy to what goes into the creation of our AMTA team rosters, so I have to defer to the logic in the appeal. But as the B team captain I was given the impression that my team and the A team were on equal levels in terms of the opportunity to advance out of ORCS, and I think the results proved that.

                              And JayZ, I'm not trying to be a bickerer, I hope you can see that! But I think the whole problem in all of this (and a problem with everything this year at Penn State apparently) is transparency. Both internally in our organization, and at times (before they released their response, at least) from AMTA. So I want to answer questions people have constructively, as other members of our organization, admittedly, are sort of shooting their mouths off.
                              I think then, that I buy the argument that the responsibility outside of (possibly) the exec board is relatively small. So the real question then, is do you think that your A team (essentially the exec board) legitimately feels that the B team they put you on is their equal? Or do you think that while the results have been equal, and the memebers of the B team certainly feel confident that they are equal, that the A team internally believes that they are the A team because they are the best 6 or 7 competitors in your program?

                              In other words, do you believe they thought they were demoting you when they put you on the B team?

                              I will say that I highly doubt that there was any outright lying from Penn State. Every interaction I've had with Penn State mockers has generally been positive. It just sounds to me like there is a little tension internally that may have resulted in confusion, leading to what is possibly a technical violation of an AMTA rule.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Spidey View Post
                                I think then, that I buy the argument that the responsibility outside of (possibly) the exec board is relatively small. So the real question then, is do you think that your A team (essentially the exec board) legitimately feels that the B team they put you on is their equal? Or do you think that while the results have been equal, and the memebers of the B team certainly feel confident that they are equal, that the A team internally believes that they are the A team because they are the best 6 or 7 competitors in your program?

                                In other words, do you believe they thought they were demoting you when they put you on the B team?

                                I will say that I highly doubt that there was any outright lying from Penn State. Every interaction I've had with Penn State mockers has generally been positive. It just sounds to me like there is a little tension internally that may have resulted in confusion, leading to what is possibly a technical violation of an AMTA rule.
                                If you look at the letter of support from Brandeis in our appeal, it recalls a conversation with Noah Simmons (the member who switched with Brenna) in December in which he states that he believes the letters are irrelevant and he finds the teams to be of equal strength. He was a member that competed in some capacity on both teams.
                                Last edited by Cloud; March 2nd, 2012, 01:08 PM.
                                Dominance Beyond All Reasonable Doubt

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