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  • #76
    Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
    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.
    Lots of people have complained about the way the board was run, especially ten to fifteen years ago as Z mentioned. Those people (some of whom include friends of mine, in the interest of full disclosure), instead of limiting themselves to complaining on a message board, decided to actually take positive and constructive steps to improve the process. Are things perfect? No. But they are vastly improved from the way they used to be. If you have ideas for further improving these "systemic issues," submit a proposal for next summer's board meeting to somebody who will be there or even attend yourself, as Z suggested. Otherwise, you are simply complaining and insulting people for no real purpose.

    On a more general note, it is one thing (and I believe entirely appropriate) to argue that the sanctions imposed against Penn State are improper given the evidence that was presented and to request some kind of statement or rationale. That is attacking an idea and a conclusion. It is quite another to lob uninformed and frankly baseless attacks on the integrity and character of the board members who voted. I would strongly urge that people posting here make it their general practice (even beyond issues involving AMTA Board members) to attack ideas and not to attack people.
    Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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    • #77
      I would love to see an official statement from AMTA justifying the Penn punishment and differentiating it from the UVA non violation. I am not holding my breath on that one.
      Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by The Gelf View Post
        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.
        Not active but strong ties to particular teams.
        Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

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        • #79
          This is just what I needed to get myself fired up before the captain's meeting! Better than coffee !
          Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
            Not active but strong ties to particular teams.
            Seriously? AMTA is a volunteer organization. The board members aren't paid for their services. Do you expect that somehow there are people randomly volunteering to run this program, dedicating lots of hours and weekends who have no ties to mock trial?

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            • #81
              Originally posted by The J View Post
              Seriously? AMTA is a volunteer organization. The board members aren't paid for their services. Do you expect that somehow there are people randomly volunteering to run this program, dedicating lots of hours and weekends who have no ties to mock trial?
              Seriously? being a volunteer, does that make them beyond reproach and an excuse to act unfairly? They may not be paid monetarily but there are other benefits to being a board member. Like I have asked before, how many board member teams have faced sanctions and what punishment did they receive?
              Better to be hated by a few than loved by all.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
                Seriously? being a volunteer, does that make them beyond reproach and an excuse to act unfairly? They may not be paid monetarily but there are other benefits to being a board member. Like I have asked before, how many board member teams have faced sanctions and what punishment did they receive?
                You complain that all the board members are coaches. Then someone points out a whole bunch of them that aren't currently coaches. You then complain that they have strong ties to programs. Someone points out that you're not going to get people to run this organization who don't have ties to mock trial. I never said that it makes them beyond reproach. I said it's ridiculous to expect that the board be comprised of non-coaches who have no ties to mock trial. That's all.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
                  Not active but strong ties to particular teams.
                  Well, yes, that's probably true of anybody who has ever competed or coached. Who exactly do you want on the on board? People who have never done mock trial before, have no concept of what the activity involves and no empathy with the students and coaches that participate in it?
                  Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
                    Like I have asked before, how many board member teams have faced sanctions and what punishment did they receive?
                    You do raise an interesting question, and I share the hope that AMTA will not only explain the rationale for the sanctions against Penn State but also explain why the UVA situation was different. I'm not aware of other situations in which teams coached by board members engaged in potentially sanctionable conduct. Not saying it didn't happen -- just that I don't know about it.
                    Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by The Gelf View Post
                      You do raise an interesting question, and I share the hope that AMTA will not only explain the rationale for the sanctions against Penn State but also explain why the UVA situation was different. I'm not aware of other situations in which teams coached by board members engaged in potentially sanctionable conduct. Not saying it didn't happen -- just that I don't know about it.
                      I would GLADLY offer any support I can for a motion to set per-determined sanctions for serious violations and mandate that any time a sanction is forced, the Board must release a finding of facts for determining the violation, redacted in part to protect privacy of individuals. I think it's become clear that, if nothing else, this is essential.
                      "Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson

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                      • #86
                        I"ve mentioned several times that I have serious questions about whether the sanctions imposed here are appropriate. Since my issue is different than what most of this thread is devoted to, I figured I'd lay it out in the hope that whatever rationale AMTA gives addresses it. A lot of Penn State's appeal (and the discussion here) has been devoted to what Penn State's intent was and whether Penn State followed the standard set on the regional assignment sheet. Respectfully, I think both of those issues are irrelevant.

                        Rule 2.9(5) and (6) are the relevant rules. They state:

                        (5) COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS ARE FINAL. The Tournament Administration Committee shall
                        dictate where a school’s teams are assigned. Schools shall follow this designation. A failure to
                        do so may result in sanctions under Chapter 9. If a team appears at a regional tournament to
                        which the team was not assigned, it will not be allowed to compete, except as the bye-buster
                        team, and shall be ineligible for bids, trophies, individual awards, and all other forms of
                        recognition.

                        (6) CHANGING REGIONAL ASSIGNMENTS. No team may move out of its assigned regional
                        tournament except under extraordinary circumstances AND with the permission of the
                        Tournament Administration Committee Chair. Schools and teams may not “region shop.”

                        These rules make no reference to intent. Either Penn State violated the rules or they did not. There is also no reference to the regional assignment sheet. Nobody reading Rule 2.9 would be alerted that the regional assignment sheet is to be used as interpretative guidance. Nothing on the regional assignment sheet states that its language is binding or carries the force of a rule in the rulebook. Indeed, the assignment sheet, at least at times, uses merely instructional as opposed to mandatory language (e.g., stating that a school's "A" team "should" (as opposed to "must" or "shall") be the school's strongest team). Therefore, I do not believe that anything on the regional assignment sheet is relevant as to whether the rules were violated.

                        The term "team" is defined in Rule 1.2(b) as "a group of eligible students who constitute a roster for the purpose of
                        competition." There is no guidance in any of the rules as to how that roster must be constructed, when it must be submitted, or whether it can be changed (and under what circumstances). As far as I am aware, Penn State was assigned four teams. Penn State's four assigned team numbers showed up at the regionals to which they were assigned. If one of Penn State's teams had showed up at, say, New Haven, without permission, that would be a violation of this rule as written. An internally designated "A" team showing up as the "B" team under the properly assigned number for the regional does not appear to violate the rule (as long as the team is comprised of all eligible students). Notably, the rulebook makes no reference at all to "A", "B", "C" or "D" teams and to how those designations must be meted out.

                        This is supported by the Rules Committee Chair's email cited on page 15 of the Appeal, which confirms that the entire rulebook (much less Rule 2.9) does not contain any discussion of what constitutes a school's "best team." Indeed, the rules do not require that a school designate ANY team as its "best team." Mr. Bernstein also indicated that this is the first year that Rule 2.9 (as currently written) has been in place (the rule with respect to A/B/C/D teams was apparently different in the past), and that no other school has been sanctioned. Thus, there was no precedent or "real world" guidance to instruct teams as to how to properly comply.

                        Reasonable minds can disagree with my interpretation of the rules, but, at best, the rules appear ambiguous. And under the Rule of Lenity, ambiguous statutes are to be interpreted in favor of the accused. That's because we recognize that it's fundamentally unfair to penalize people when the rules they allegedly violated aren't clear (regardless of what their intent was).
                        Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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                        • #87
                          I don't think you can look at Rules 2.9(5) and (6) in isolation though. I don't think the language that "If a team appears at a regional tournament to
                          which the team was not assigned" was meant to address the hypothetical you used (Penn State showing up to New Haven, where it had no teams assigned). I don't think that's ever been a problem, as far as I know, and I can't imagine that such a situation was what was intended to be addressed. You make a good point that the language on the Regional Assignment Sheet is not mandatory. However, that's a far cry from saying that it isn't relevant
                          "You can't steal second with a foot on first."

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                          • #88
                            To me, I think that they must be taken in conjunction. One can't ignore that the assignment sheet DID assign Penn State's "A" team to Buffalo. However, as the appeal shows, the assignment sheet clarified that the "A" team needed to be a careful designation of what Penn State's "best team" was. As the Bernstein email points out, the rules make no specification as to what a school's "best team" is. There is certainly no claim that an internal designation must match the "best team" status. AMTA seems to give a lot of leniency for schools to make their own determination to where to send their teams, and for them to come down hard on Penn State for sending what the (apparently) thought was their "best team" seems hypocritical at best.

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by philbertk View Post
                              I don't think you can look at Rules 2.9(5) and (6) in isolation though. I don't think the language that "If a team appears at a regional tournament to
                              which the team was not assigned" was meant to address the hypothetical you used (Penn State showing up to New Haven, where it had no teams assigned). I don't think that's ever been a problem, as far as I know, and I can't imagine that such a situation was what was intended to be addressed. You make a good point that the language on the Regional Assignment Sheet is not mandatory. However, that's a far cry from saying that it isn't relevant
                              To my knowledge, the sanction was imposed for violating rules 2.9(5) and (6). As I said, neither those paragraphs (nor any other portion of the rulebook) make any reference to the regional assignment sheet. If the intent was to incorporate the language of the regional assignment sheet into the rules, that easily could have been accomplished. If it was intended that readers of the rule should consult the regional assignment sheet (or any other external source) for interpretative guidance, that also could have easily been accomplished. I don't think it's proper to read language into rules that isn't there, especially when levying harsh sanctions.

                              And as I said, at the very least, there is ambiguity on these issues. And ambiguous statutes must be construed in favor of the accused.
                              Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by The Gelf View Post
                                To my knowledge, the sanction was imposed for violating rules 2.9(5) and (6). As I said, neither those paragraphs (nor any other portion of the rulebook) make any reference to the regional assignment sheet. If the intent was to incorporate the language of the regional assignment sheet into the rules, that easily could have been accomplished. If it was intended that readers of the rule should consult the regional assignment sheet (or any other external source) for interpretative guidance, that also could have easily been accomplished. I don't think it's proper to read language into rules that isn't there, especially when levying harsh sanctions.

                                And as I said, at the very least, there is ambiguity on these issues. And ambiguous statutes must be construed in favor of the accused.
                                This is an interesting point. The only explicit declaration of "teams" that AMTA makes is the team number list it publishes. Penn State was given 4 team numbers, and if they sent the individuals who were registered under the proper team number to the right location it doesn't seem as if they would have violated 2.9(5) or (6). The ambiguity of AMTA saying "you need to show up where you were assigned" but not actually specifying any rule as to assignments or interpretation of "Best team" is tremendous

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