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  • 7Redacted
    replied
    Originally posted by OffOnCross
    Also the rule is new this year, and was deisgned to address future UVA-like switches.
    I'm well-aware of that. I've read the entirety of this thread, the appeal, and AMTA's response document. I never claimed the rule didn't exist. My claim here is that the rule is poorly written. The rule mentions an A team to D team switch would be against the rules but is unclear as to whether a program has the authority to switch teams it believes are comparable.

    If the rule had been designed to address future UVA-like switches, it objectively has failed to do so. The email conversation between members of PSU's program and AMTA's own board member showcases that the rules are still very much ambiguous. -- If their OWN board members don't agree on how the rule is to be interpreted, how on earth can individual programs be expected to understand them?

    Originally posted by OffOnCross
    This has been said at least three in this thread, but neither conspiracy nut seems capable of grasping it.
    I apologize for arguments and facts being repeated throughout this thread, but I believe that is more to the nature of the length of this thread, both in terms of posts and the duration of time it has stayed active, than it is to anyone being unable to "grasp" the facts. I've several times felt the need to respond to points I've seen previously iterated, but I've been trying to clarify my position.

    The fact of the matter remains that the UVA case last year is a relevant demonstration of why PSU's situation today is remarkably unfair.

    With that being said, I think to characterize myself as a conspiracy nut because I believe a ruling to be unfair and to hold certain lessons for other programs, is overtly offensive and simply wrong.

    Originally posted by Chris_Hitch View Post
    Well technically he said NEITHER was in NO WAY parallel. I think 7Redacted just outed himself as being on the side of reason, albeit by way of double-negatives.
    Haha, yeah. I'm not much of a writer. I think if you read the statement for its intent, however, I'm still very much on the side of reason.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris_Hitch
    replied
    Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
    Because UVA asked beforehand.
    Well technically he said NEITHER was in NO WAY parallel. I think 7Redacted just outed himself as being on the side of reason, albeit by way of double-negatives.

    Ich bin ein Grammar Nazi

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  • Nur Rauch
    replied
    It is notable that neither the investigation conducted in this case, and the sanctions received in this case, are in no way, shape or form parallel to the investigation or sanctions that occurred when UVA did the same thing last year.
    Because UVA asked beforehand.

    Leave a comment:


  • 7Redacted
    replied
    Originally posted by The J View Post
    Brenna did use the term "interrogated", but she didn't say she was forced to answer the question
    What exactly do you take the word "interrogated" to mean? That she was engaged in polite dinner conversation?

    Originally posted by The J View Post
    and make something up.
    This is part of the problem, she was, in her own words, interrogated about something she didn't know the details about, and had no reasonable expectation to know about. She spoke to her impression of the issue, though clearly she wasn't comfortable about it, and then those statements were used against her and against her program.

    I'm sorry, but I simply don't find that behavior from AMTA acceptable. This is a student academic competition, and I simply don't see the need for such unpleasantness.

    Originally posted by The J View Post
    In other words, when questioned she said X because she believed X was true.
    And then those statements were used against her and her program. Had she directed them to the president of their program instead, they may have been better off. Though, again, had AMTA just talked to the president themselves, this situation wouldn't have been so ugly.


    Originally posted by The J View Post
    I'd also note that she said later in the thread that PSU had numerous conflicting statements and that "The contrasting statements and stories come across as incredibly unprofessional."
    We're going in circles. Again.

    This is my entire point. When being investigated, have your program direct AMTA representatives to the same person. If you have AMTA questioning multiple people, they will inevitably find contrasting statements and stories. In this case, only the president knew what was going on. I think this should have been abundantly clear to the AMTA representative, and as I've said multiple times now, there is simply no excuse for the AMTA representative's first course of action to have been to call the president -- thus curtailing the need for any of their other interrogations. However, the lesson to take from this is that AMTA representatives can't be expected to do the logical thing, so to prevent this sort of thing, be safe, warn your program.


    Originally posted by The J View Post
    Find one post that says anyone told the AMTA reps that they had no idea what was going on. The B team captain believed she knew. The C team captain has made no representation either way on here. The A team captain is the President of the program.

    Again, find me a statement that supports your distorted view of events.
    Again, AMTA's response describes all the confusion surrounding their questioning, that people didn't seem to know and when pressed they didn't get the same story. Instead of being held against the students, this should be held against the AMTA representatives for conducting a sloppy and rude investigation.


    Originally posted by The J View Post
    Wouldn't the way to prevent this sort of thing from happening be that the program keeps its members informed of its decisions and decision-making process?
    It simply isn't realistic that every single member of the program will be intimately familiar every single step of organization. In the case of assigning the team's rosters, that was just a single person in this case who had the task of doing so. Other team members were likely dealing with funding, travel arrangements like booking rental cars and hotels, getting tournament details, etc.

    In this case the AMTA representatives were concerned with one small procedural rule that was unrelated to most of the members' duties. Why would they be expected to know what someone else had reasoned when doing a job they weren't responsible for?

    Obviously one would want to do their best to ensure all members are informed of how decisions are made and what process went into them, but despite any programs best efforts, its unreasonable to assume each member will know the details of every decision. So with AMTA representatives behaving as they have been this year, it simply is safer to make sure you direct them to person who knows about whatever they seem to be concerned with.

    Originally posted by Redding View Post
    Also, 7Redacted, how can you argue with Penn State designating their teams Stacked A, Stacked B, Stacked C, Stacked D in an email? It's one thing to call your teams A, B, C, D and claim your teams are equal. But do you honestly believe Penn State believed their teams were equal calling them Stacked A, Stacked B? Either you do, or you have to admit Penn State violated the rule. You can claim Penn State was "interrogated", but even when they weren't the evidence presented points to them switching Regionals.
    The problem here is that AMTA's rule was written ambiguously. The example it cites talks about how it is illegal to swap an "A" and "D" team on bad faith, but is silent on the specifics of the switches that occurred in this incident. Personally, I feel the argument could made for PSU to have received some sanctions from their actions, but with the wording of the rule as it stands their "stacked" naming convention isn't particularly relevant. PSU admits they swapped their stacked designated teams, but what's more at issue is that if a program believes that their teams are comparable, can that program switch where its teams are sent? Even if you read through the entirety of AMTA's response to PSU's appeal, they have still kept this issue quite muddy. As I read it, they seem to believe a switch can be made if a team genuinely believes their teams are comparable, but in this case AMTA didn't believe the program genuinely believed their teams were comparable. The crux of my issue is that AMTA's subjective opinion on the program's behavior surrounding the investigation is, at least in part, the source of their sanctions. I am of the opinion that AMTA has merely created problems where none exist by conducting an over zealous investigation to produce the "evidence" used to justify the extreme sanctions PSU received. It is notable that neither the investigation conducted in this case, and the sanctions received in this case, are in no way, shape or form parallel to the investigation or sanctions that occurred when UVA did the same thing last year.

    My conclusion from this is merely that AMTA representatives cannot be trusted to perform unbiased investigations into violations like this, and because of that I feel all programs would be wise to do their best to ensure their members are informed of the possible dangers and repercussions even slight miscommunications with an AMTA representative may entail. For those reasons, I believe it is best to have all team-members of any Mock Trial program know that when being investigated, it is best to utilize coaches or exec-board members to talk to AMTA representatives to ensure that these miscommunications, intentional or not (Though, I think the evidence clearly points to AMTA representatives using their position to intentionally produce these miscommunications) can not occur.

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  • Redding
    replied
    There is no doubt Penn State cheated.
    Last edited by Redding; April 24th, 2012, 04:05 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • The J
    replied
    Again, there have been postings on this board from PSU members who talked about how they were "interrogated", unable to leave where they were being questioned by AMTA representatives, and felt forced to answer.
    On this thread, four members of PSU have posted -- Cloud, the president/captain of A, lionslawyer, another member of A, BrennaThorpe, the captain of B and TensAllDay, the captain of C. Of those four, lionslawyer was not questioned by AMTA, since he's not a captain.

    Brenna did use the term "interrogated", but she didn't say she was forced to answer the question and make something up. She said:
    Because my name/position has been brought up a few times (B team captain), I want to clear the air. I was under the impression when interrogated by AMTA reps at Buffalo (I don't use the word interrogated lightly, they wouldn't even let me leave the tab room to go to the bathroom), that a) we switched regionals for logistical purposes, and b) that my president (Cloud, on here) had checked with AMTA to make sure this was ok. I told this to AMTA then, I maintain it now, it's what I believe and what I knew at the time.
    In other words, when questioned she said X because she believed X was true. I'd also note that she said later in the thread that PSU had numerous conflicting statements and that "The contrasting statements and stories come across as incredibly unprofessional."

    Except, again, you are missing the point here. You keep downplaying the fact that the members of this team claimed to have no idea what was going on before coming up with any excuse.
    Find one post that says anyone told the AMTA reps that they had no idea what was going on. The B team captain believed she knew. The C team captain has made no representation either way on here. The A team captain is the President of the program.

    AMTA: Why are you late to captains?
    Student: Our president told us 10:00 was when to get here.
    AMTA: Why did your president say 10:00?
    Student: I don't know.

    And here's where the conversation should have ended, but instead we heard about how the students being questioned weren't allowed to leave the room they were being questioned in, and yes, eventually they got to:

    Student1: I thought our president talked to AMTA and was told 10:00
    Student2: I thought we were allowed to be here at 10:00
    Again, find me a statement that supports your distorted view of events.

    And furthermore, redirecting back to what I've taken away from this entire fiasco. Why on earth wouldn't a program want to prevent this sort of thing from happening to them? This isn't the only incident I've heard of this semester where AMTA representatives have gone on witch-hunts like these so they could gather "inconsistent" statements from a single program and use that against them. Programs as a whole need to educate their members on being defensive and directing questioning to the right place.
    Wouldn't the way to prevent this sort of thing from happening be that the program keeps its members informed of its decisions and decision-making process?

    I meant "said as much". If you read over what their members have been posting on here, they all had been claiming they didn't really know -- which is pretty reasonable since AMTA didn't bother to forgo talking to students with no involvement in the team-stacking to call the president, or for that matter, someone on their exec board.
    Who has claimed that? The B team captain believed she knew at the time.

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  • 7Redacted
    replied
    Originally posted by The J View Post
    The AMTA document doesn't support this. Most of the statements relied on in AMTA's explanation are statements made by the president himself and statements made in the correspondence Penn State submitted in support of its appeal. Nowhere does it say that each of the other individuals said he or she didn't know what was going on. It certainly doesn't say that each individual was somehow forced to give an answer. Penn State's appeal doesn't say that either. It says that the captains "expressed confusion and confliction regarding the switches" and "tried to communicate Mr. Kirkwood's reasoning without a thorough understanding of Mr. Kirkwood's decision." It doesn't say that the lower team captains said they couldn't answer the question and were told "you have to tell us something anyway." It doesn't even suggest that any statements were made involuntarily. And, it doesn't in any way explain why a student would then give a false explanation, such as that AMTA had approved the switch. No, I can't see any team that believed its actions to be proper doing that, my own or otherwise.
    Again, there have been postings on this board from PSU members who talked about how they were "interrogated", unable to leave where they were being questioned by AMTA representatives, and felt forced to answer.

    Whether or not AMTA admits to intending to intimidate the students they questioned, they simply should be aware of how their actions are going to be construed by those around them. Whether or not they are merely ignorant to that fact, or chose to be rude is irrelevant -- Their conduct was unprofessional and reprehensible.

    Originally posted by The J View Post
    AMTA: Why are you late to captains?
    Student: I thought I was on time.
    AMTA: Captains started an hour ago, where have you been?
    Student: I thought it started now.
    AMTA: Why did you think that?
    Student: That's what our president told me.
    Except, again, you are missing the point here. You keep downplaying the fact that the members of this team claimed to have no idea what was going on before coming up with any excuse.

    AMTA: Why are you late to captains?
    Student: Our president told us 10:00 was when to get here.
    AMTA: Why did your president say 10:00?
    Student: I don't know.

    And here's where the conversation should have ended, but instead we heard about how the students being questioned weren't allowed to leave the room they were being questioned in, and yes, eventually they got to:

    Student1: I thought our president talked to AMTA and was told 10:00
    Student2: I thought we were allowed to be here at 10:00

    And DUH. The students, when pressed enough spilled what they had just assumed or thought, but had ADMITTED they didn't know. It should have been apparent they didn't know. Why did the AMTA representatives feel the need to press so hard on people who never claimed to know what was going on, when the president was a phone call away?

    And furthermore, redirecting back to what I've taken away from this entire fiasco. Why on earth wouldn't a program want to prevent this sort of thing from happening to them? This isn't the only incident I've heard of this semester where AMTA representatives have gone on witch-hunts like these so they could gather "inconsistent" statements from a single program and use that against them. Programs as a whole need to educate their members on being defensive and directing questioning to the right place.

    If, in fact, PSU team members didn't do a good enough job expressing the fact that they didn't know about the team assignments and stacking, etc. then it goes even farther to prove that this is the lesson to take from all of this.

    Originally posted by The J View Post
    I don't understand why the fact that "all questioned members said so much" is a clue that AMTA shouldn't have been talking to those students. If the students repeatedly said they didn't know anything, I would understand that position. But if they say they do know things, why on earth would AMTA not hear and consider what they claim to know?
    I meant "said as much". If you read over what their members have been posting on here, they all had been claiming they didn't really know -- which is pretty reasonable since AMTA didn't bother to forgo talking to students with no involvement in the team-stacking to call the president, or for that matter, someone on their exec board.

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  • The J
    replied
    You seem to be reading quite a bit into AMTA's explanation document that simply isn't there, so either you have an alternative source of information that you are choosing not to disclose or you are just seeing what you want to see.

    When each individual member was asked, in each instance the first response was that the individual didn't know what was going on. -- That didn't matter -- The AMTA representatives continued to question those individuals until different answers were received. To extend your metaphor, it's as if a program's president told all four of the program's teams rounds started an hour later than they actually did. When asked why they were late, each team responded that they weren't aware they were late and each team was confused. Then, instead of being sensible and calling the person who did know what was going on -- Who may have well made an innocent mistake -- The AMTA representatives demanded answers from each team, and was shocked that each team had a different answer. This, after they already had claimed to not know.
    The AMTA document doesn't support this. Most of the statements relied on in AMTA's explanation are statements made by the president himself and statements made in the correspondence Penn State submitted in support of its appeal. Nowhere does it say that each of the other individuals said he or she didn't know what was going on. It certainly doesn't say that each individual was somehow forced to give an answer. Penn State's appeal doesn't say that either. It says that the captains "expressed confusion and confliction regarding the switches" and "tried to communicate Mr. Kirkwood's reasoning without a thorough understanding of Mr. Kirkwood's decision." It doesn't say that the lower team captains said they couldn't answer the question and were told "you have to tell us something anyway." It doesn't even suggest that any statements were made involuntarily. And, it doesn't in any way explain why a student would then give a false explanation, such as that AMTA had approved the switch. No, I can't see any team that believed its actions to be proper doing that, my own or otherwise.

    In your analogy, the conversation I would expect would go like this:

    AMTA: Why are you late to captains?
    Student: I thought I was on time.
    AMTA: Captains started an hour ago, where have you been?
    Student: I thought it started now.
    AMTA: Why did you think that?
    Student: That's what our president told me.

    Instead, the conversation went like this:

    AMTA: Why are you late to captains?
    Student 1: I thought I was on time.
    AMTA: Captains started an hour ago, where have you been?
    Student 1: I thought it started now.
    AMTA: Why did you think that?
    Student 1: Our president asked an AMTA rep when it started and that's what he told our president.

    AMTA: Why are you late to captains?
    Student 2: Our president said we're allowed to be late to captains.

    AMTA's response (which they have removed from their website, but is still available on this thread) talks about how the first people were question was a student who was lost and was looking for the "wrong team" and a student asking for the "wrong" ballots.
    Where does it say that? It says that the issue was brought to AMTA's attention when a student entered the tab room looking for the D team. It doesn't say that student was questioned or cite anything else that student said. I don't know what you're referring to about a student asking for the wrong ballots. If you mean the roster issue, it says the student was presented the roster and "panicked and lied" because the roster was for students who were not attending that regional. The students doing the team check-in, again, are presumably the captains, and would reasonably be expected to know about issues relating to their own team rosters.

    Furthermore, none of the captains, outside of the A team captain, were exec board members and would therefore not necessarily be expected to know all of the fine details of the team stacking procedure, the assignments, etc. This, and the fact that all questioned members said so much, should have been a clue that the only person AMTA needed to call / talk to was the program's president.
    I don't understand why the fact that "all questioned members said so much" is a clue that AMTA shouldn't have been talking to those students. If the students repeatedly said they didn't know anything, I would understand that position. But if they say they do know things, why on earth would AMTA not hear and consider what they claim to know?

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  • 7Redacted
    replied
    Originally posted by The J View Post
    This isn't applicable to the hypothetical I was responding to. With Penn State, it wasn't just the A team at the wrong tournament. The B, C and D teams were as well.
    And none of them knew why there was any problem. When each individual member was asked, in each instance the first response was that the individual didn't know what was going on. -- That didn't matter -- The AMTA representatives continued to question those individuals until different answers were received.

    To extend your metaphor, it's as if a program's president told all four of the program's teams rounds started an hour later than they actually did. When asked why they were late, each team responded that they weren't aware they were late and each team was confused. Then, instead of being sensible and calling the person who did know what was going on -- Who may have well made an innocent mistake -- The AMTA representatives demanded answers from each team, and was shocked that each team had a different answer. This, after they already had claimed to not know.

    Originally posted by The J View Post
    That being said, what's the basis for your assertions? Especially your claim that "random members of the team" were questioned, when it's the team captains that were questioned.
    AMTA's response (which they have removed from their website, but is still available on this thread) talks about how the first people were question was a student who was lost and was looking for the "wrong team" and a student asking for the "wrong" ballots.

    Furthermore, none of the captains, outside of the A team captain, were exec board members and would therefore not necessarily be expected to know all of the fine details of the team stacking procedure, the assignments, etc. This, and the fact that all questioned members said so much, should have been a clue that the only person AMTA needed to call / talk to was the program's president.

    Originally posted by The J View Post
    As to your last question, I don't have a team.
    Then whatever team you formerly were affiliated with?

    Leave a comment:


  • The J
    replied
    Originally posted by 7Redacted View Post
    What you're missing here is that FIRST, the B team told AMTA they had no idea what was going on. THEN an AMTA representative took random members of the team away from the rest of their team, refused requests by those members to leave, and browbeat them for answers.

    Of course they got different answers -- They forced people who claimed to not know what was going on to answer questions. I've asked on this board several times now without an answer, could you really not see your own team doing the same thing? I sure can.
    This isn't applicable to the hypothetical I was responding to. With Penn State, it wasn't just the A team at the wrong tournament. The B, C and D teams were as well.

    That being said, what's the basis for your assertions? Especially your claim that "random members of the team" were questioned, when it's the team captains that were questioned.

    As to your last question, I don't have a team.

    Leave a comment:


  • 7Redacted
    replied
    Originally posted by The J View Post
    Well, I'm not sure in what way your question is relevant to anything that's been discussed in this thread. Here, all four teams showed up at the wrong regional.

    That being said, if A wasn't there, it would be perfectly reasonable for the rep to ask B's captain "do you know where A's captain is?"

    And if B answers that A told him/her that they were driving from the hotel and had car trouble, and then A shows up and says that they're late because they overslept, a penalty could be appropriate.
    What you're missing here is that FIRST, the B team told AMTA they had no idea what was going on. THEN an AMTA representative took random members of the team away from the rest of their team, refused requests by those members to leave, and browbeat them for answers.

    Of course they got different answers -- They forced people who claimed to not know what was going on to answer questions. I've asked on this board several times now without an answer, could you really not see your own team doing the same thing? I sure can.

    Leave a comment:


  • objection_conception
    replied
    Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
    More accurately, a program should make sure all its team are informed of reasons/rationale for breaking or bending an AMTA rule. At the very least, tell all the team captains.
    That is the mindset AMTA -- there is no innocent mistake, only intentional acts.

    Leave a comment:


  • The J
    replied
    Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
    Not the question posed. I asked if B was present and A was late. Nice try to dodge a response.
    Well, I'm not sure in what way your question is relevant to anything that's been discussed in this thread. Here, all four teams showed up at the wrong regional.

    That being said, if A wasn't there, it would be perfectly reasonable for the rep to ask B's captain "do you know where A's captain is?"

    And if B answers that A told him/her that they were driving from the hotel and had car trouble, and then A shows up and says that they're late because they overslept, a penalty could be appropriate.

    Leave a comment:


  • objection_conception
    replied
    Originally posted by The J View Post
    If both teams were late, I would think it was fair to ask the captains of each team individually why they were late, and to penalize them if their answers contradicted each other in a way that they could not both be true.
    Not the question posed. I asked if B was present and A was late. Nice try to dodge a response.

    Leave a comment:


  • The J
    replied
    Originally posted by objection_conception View Post
    Let me ask you this question... Do you think it would be fair for an AMTA rep to approach a B team and ask why the A team is late or why the A team used a cell phone during their round? And if ordered to answer and they give a differnt answer than the A team because they are not fully informed, do you think it is right it can be used against them ?
    If both teams were late, I would think it was fair to ask the captains of each team individually why they were late, and to penalize them if their answers contradicted each other in a way that they could not both be true.

    Leave a comment:

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