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  • #61
    I am disgusted with the actions of the AMTA board and I am not afraid to say it. The alleged crime certainly doesn't fit the punishment. If this was up to me, I would have simply limited Penn state to two teams NEXT year .... that seems far more appropriate than what was imposed.


    After talking with many veterans of mock trial, there is one thing I certain about AMTA -- they are inconsitant with their punishments... I have head stories of how teams retyped entire witness statements, altered exhibits, made sure they had the "best and most favorable" judges for their rounds, ect..... all were met with little to no punishment.


    and.... if I understand correctly, UVA did the exact same thing last year?!?!!? what?!?!?!
    Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

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    • #62
      Sometimes being a student run program can really screw you.

      I am willing to bet if Penn State had a member on the board ( which is composed almost entirely of active team coaches) and was "well respected and liked", this would have gone a lot different. I personally hate the fact that AMTA board is not a detached and neutral body of individuals. Even if they don't admit it, each board member has a bias, personal agenda, and interest and their actions are guided by it.

      Does anyone know if anyone on the board has had a team face a sanction... what was it for and what was the punishment? I am curious.
      Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

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      • #63
        It is a serious issue that the AMTA Board has no obligation to explain their reasoning. There is nothing policing the COACHES of other programs with their own personal agendas and biases. They police us, but who watches over their decisions? Who checks them? Who makes sure they are applying their own rules fairly and justly? Answer: No one. This isn't a mockcracy its a mocktatorship.

        Someone earlier in the thread listed off the sanctions from this year and the punishments and said "Look its all people breaking the rules." But HOW DO YOU KNOW? Is it explained there what happened, what those schools appeals were, why they were given such harsh penalties as hundreds of dollars in fines and banning members from competing? Someone looking at that list would say "Penn State broke the rules" but clearly there are people on this thread who are asking themselves "what was their crime?" and hopefully wondering "if it can happen to them, what harmless unintentional error might I commit that the AMTA board could turn into banning members of my team from competing?"

        There is no transparency and certainly no sense of fair representation. I know as a member of a student run program I have come across Coaches, Tab room directors, and AMTA reps that have treated myself and the members of my team as children. We were not respected or talked to like the 20 year old ADULTS we are. I sure as hell know that if they were talking to our coach, they wouldn't have dared treated a "peer" with such disrespect and condescension. Student run programs have no voice in this organization. We don't have coaches to run the tab rooms at prestigious tournaments and guarantee us invites or board members to fight for us. (Don't get me wrong I love it, but this is the downside).

        I feel very sorry for the members of Penn State Mock Trial. Maybe we should start a rogue mock association. Mock-Federacy. NCT in Vegas perhaps??

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        • #64
          Originally posted by clustermock View Post
          It is a serious issue that the AMTA Board has no obligation to explain their reasoning. There is nothing policing the COACHES of other programs with their own personal agendas and biases. They police us, but who watches over their decisions? Who checks them? Who makes sure they are applying their own rules fairly and justly? Answer: No one. This isn't a mockcracy its a mocktatorship.

          Someone earlier in the thread listed off the sanctions from this year and the punishments and said "Look its all people breaking the rules." But HOW DO YOU KNOW? Is it explained there what happened, what those schools appeals were, why they were given such harsh penalties as hundreds of dollars in fines and banning members from competing? Someone looking at that list would say "Penn State broke the rules" but clearly there are people on this thread who are asking themselves "what was their crime?" and hopefully wondering "if it can happen to them, what harmless unintentional error might I commit that the AMTA board could turn into banning members of my team from competing?"

          There is no transparency and certainly no sense of fair representation. I know as a member of a student run program I have come across Coaches, Tab room directors, and AMTA reps that have treated myself and the members of my team as children. We were not respected or talked to like the 20 year old ADULTS we are. I sure as hell know that if they were talking to our coach, they wouldn't have dared treated a "peer" with such disrespect and condescension. Student run programs have no voice in this organization. We don't have coaches to run the tab rooms at prestigious tournaments and guarantee us invites or board members to fight for us. (Don't get me wrong I love it, but this is the downside).

          I feel very sorry for the members of Penn State Mock Trial. Maybe we should start a rogue mock association. Mock-Federacy. NCT in Vegas perhaps??
          You want to start a competing mock trial organization? Go right ahead. No one is stopping you. I think you'll find it's not very easy.

          I will say this, all of you complaining about the board and it being a dictatorship: You should have seen it 10 years ago. Or 15, from what I understand. This is nothing compared to the lack of transparency and rumored biases that used to exist. What Nelmark and Bernstein and Lyons and others have done to increase the transparency and efficacy of the system is remarkable. That isn't to say there isn't room for improvement but that improvement ones through rational debate and criticism. Not from denigrating board members and calling for a new organization,

          If you don't like the system, make proposals about how it can be approved and reasoned criticisms about the problems you have and talk to board members. Hell, go to the meeting if you can. Those things are, ultimately, more productive.
          Last edited by JayZ; February 25th, 2012, 10:48 PM.
          "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson

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          • #65
            I was joking about the rogue mock association... Honestly I thought it was clearer but apparently my sarcasm is lost in the seriousness of this debate.

            But the jokes about mocktatorships aside, a lot of what I was saying ARE serious criticisms that should be discussed in an open forum such as perjuries. Is there a check for the power of the AMTA board? As you stated, its not like we can just start a competing mock trial organization. They have a monopoly on Mock Trial. Board of coaches banning students and programs from competing? Slippery slope? Why isn't there a transparency? Board members vote individually... but if you are not proud of your vote/decision why are you voting/deciding that way?

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            • #66
              They should be called SCAMTA
              Last edited by GoHawk90; February 25th, 2012, 11:31 PM.

              Comment


              • #67
                While I'm reluctant to make any conclusions because we're only hearing one side of the story, it seems clear that the AMTA board owes Penn State a more thorough explanation. Penn State clearly took a lot of time to put together an extensive appeal packet, they have spent countless hours preparing for the post-season, as evidenced by their excellent regional finishes, and for many of the team members this will be defining moment of their senior year in college. It doesn't seem unreasonable for each of the AMTA members who voted on this case to have to provide a couple paragraphs explaining their position.

                If I had to guess, I think many of the board members probably found the fact that Penn State had an internally-designated A and B teams to be very persuasive. From my college experiences, we sometimes straight-stacked, and sometimes split-stacked. When we split-stacked, we always referred to the teams as A/B in our internal communications. I'm not saying that I agree with giving this internal designation so much weight, especially given their even performances in invitationals, but I do suspect that this weighted heavily in many members' decisions.

                I think the fact that Penn State is student-run and Virginia is coach-run is an unhappy coincidence. I think the board's actions were influenced by Virginia's behavior last year, but the decision would have been the same regardless of which program committed the offense this year. As a former head of a student-run program, however, I can say that AMTA reps sometimes communicate with heads of student-run programs condescendingly, particularly in crises. When I was a freshman, I remember our captain being yanked out of our team's huddle before the round. He reported being berated. I can't remember the merits of the issue...maybe we deserved to be reprimanded, but the AMTA rep would have spoken to a 30-something adult much differently than they chose to speak to our 21-year adult captain. This is certainly not across-the-board (I can provide many examples from my two years as President of AMTA reps treating me with respect, I came to consider many reps from local programs to be mentors), but I think AMTA reps need to take be very conscious of how they communicate with student-run programs during a crisis.

                In short, I am suspending judgment on the merits of the case until I hear AMTA's side of the story. But in regards to communication, AMTA - you can, and should, do better.
                Last edited by dukealum1; February 26th, 2012, 07:01 AM.

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                • #68
                  Yeah, there are a bunch of non-coaches on the board.
                  Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    I know of at least one instance that a student run school almost got the shaft in the tab room. The team they faced had two coaches scoring and somehow they either helped score their own teams ballots or told the scoring person how to score the ballot. End result a 8 was counted as a 5 and that three point difference swung the ballot in their favor. If it was not for another team's coach telling the student run team they should challenge it and to do it, they would have been screwed.
                    Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by The Gelf View Post
                      Yeah, there are a bunch of non-coaches on the board.
                      i looked over the list and I don't see the any. Please identify these neutral members.
                      Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by dukealum1 View Post

                        I think the fact that Penn State is student-run and Virginia is coach-run is an unhappy coincidence. I think the board's actions were influenced by Virginia's behavior last year, but the decision would have been the same regardless of which program committed the offense this year.

                        I disagree. I seriously think board membership has its privileges with AMTA. Think about it, many of these board members have been on the board for quite some time, get to know each other and become good friends. A student run organization will change up their leadership and AMTA contacts regularly thus they do not have the built in relationship. Thus AMTA can smack them around and not worry about too much fallout. Do you seriously think a top tier team that has prestige of national championships , a well respected coach and a long standing board membership would face the same punishment Penn received if their roles were reversed? I don't.
                        Last edited by objection_conception; February 26th, 2012, 02:21 AM.
                        Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by JayZ View Post
                          You want to start a competing mock trial organization? Go right ahead. No one is stopping you. I think you'll find it's not very easy.

                          I will say this, all of you complaining about the board and it being a dictatorship: You should have seen it 10 years ago. Or 15, from what I understand. This is nothing compared to the lack of transparency and rumored biases that used to exist. What Nelmark and Bernstein and Lyons and others have done to increase the transparency and efficacy of the system is remarkable. That isn't to say there isn't room for improvement but that improvement ones through rational debate and criticism. Not from denigrating board members and calling for a new organization,

                          If you don't like the system, make proposals about how it can be approved and reasoned criticisms about the problems you have and talk to board members. Hell, go to the meeting if you can. Those things are, ultimately, more productive.

                          If there has been issues how this board is run for 10 to 15 years it just proves that there are systemic issues that need to be fixed to this very day. As for going to a meeting,No thanks. I prefer this forum as the playing field is much more even and not controlled by the board. It would not be productive to square off against a ego driven room of board members that would perceive my comments and criticisms as personal attacks.
                          Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            And no I am not part of Penn State's team and they do not endorse what I say or do on here. But I will proudly fly my "free penn state" status to support them.
                            Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
                              i looked over the list and I don't see the any. Please identify these neutral members.
                              Current examples include the president, the chair of the tournament administration committee and the tabulation director.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
                                i looked over the list and I don't see the any. Please identify these neutral members.
                                To my knowledge, Richard Calkins, David Cross, David Nelmark, Don Racheter, Kris Lyons, Heather Creed, Matthew Eslick, Ryan Seelau, and Johnathan Woodward, among others, are not active coaches.
                                Last edited by The Gelf; February 26th, 2012, 07:51 AM.
                                Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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