December 2, 2010 – USRowing Convention – Tampa, FL
CRCA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Submitted by: Steve Kish
Start time: 6pm EST
Present: BOD members: Robyn Horner, Steve Kish, Jane LaRiviere, Liz O’Leary, Steve Pritzker, Martin Stone, Kate Strum, Bill Zack. Guest present: DI Rowing Committee members Joe Wilhelm (Northeastern University Head Coach) and Marshall Foley (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference).
Approval of Minutes: Minutes from November 22nd conference call were not approved as there were only eight board members present, and a quorum of nine are required to officially conduct business.
Jane reported that we have $30,614 in checking and $14,532 in savings. She has retained a CPA to assist with the filing of taxes, as the requirements have changed for organizations like ours. She also reported receiving the Pocock Sponsorship check from 2009.
Championship and Competition: Martin Stone gave a synopsis of some ideas regarding an alternative to awarding AQ’s to conferences who sponsor women’s rowing. The basic framework includes returning to an individual team sport, and attempting to somehow re-secure at-large eights. The assumption is that the numbers would be similar to 2008 (12 teams and 4 at large eights). Conference championships would be held in late April or early May, followed by five open regional championships. Winners of the five regional would qualify automatically for the NCAA. Then seven full teams would be selected. Finally, conference champions who were not selected would then be selected for the remaining 4 at-large eight positions. The idea is that based on the last 15 years of results, at least eight conference champions would be at the NCAAs, and probably four of them would only be there with an at-large eight. Marshall Foley noted that he believes we would have to have at least 70% of the DI programs in favor of a new proposal before the NCAA would consider revisiting what was recommended by the DI Rowing Committee and ratified by the Championships and Sports Management Cabinet last year.
Marshall also emphasized that one of the key philosophical pillars behind every NCAA championship is that the championship field should represent the full breadth and depth of the membership. Specifically, it has never been the NCAA’s mission to bring the top (fill in field size) teams to the (fill in sport) championship. Marshall noted that the NCAA typically funds regional championships and that would be something that would have to be ironed out, as he doubts there would be any funds. As for the current plan for AQ’s to be in place for 2013, everything is moving ahead accordingly. The budget for play-ins will be voted on during the NCAA Championship and Sports Management Cabinet meetings in June and if there are insufficient funds, the DI Rowing Committee will need to come up with a play-in alternative that works within the budget.
Marshall made note of an initiative that seems to be circulating at the highest level of the NCAA. The NCAA Board of Directors, made up of school presidents, is rumored to be discussing the possibility of awarding AQ’s to every conference that sponsors a sport. The point is to confirm the value of conference sponsorship and affiliation, and to also standardize the overall AQ system. It would be a general directive, and then the folks at the next level of the NCAA would then be charged with figuring out how to implement it. In the case of women’s rowing, it could lead to an increase in the championship field, as there are 10 conferences which will be eligible by 2013 (ACC, Big East, Big 10, CAA, Pac10, Patriot, Conference USA, Ivy, MACC and WCC). The board will be in contact with Marshall in January to hear what the prevailing wind was regarding this topic.
Finally, Marshall also said the DI Rowing Committee will be putting together the criteria for conferences to follow in order to qualify for their designated AQ spot. As we all know, the NCAA requires a conference to have six teams competing in order to have an AQ. The DI Rowing Committee is going to create a definition for a “team.” In other words, a team will need to have two eights and a four competing at the conference championships (without doubling up student-athletes). The current topic they are discussing is whether there will be a requirement that those three separate boats compete a certain amount of times over the course of the season (spring, or fall/spring). The current number being considered is six, but encompassing both fall and spring.
Legislative Review –Bill followed up on the proposed CRCA response to the NCAA regarding recruiting days. The present board members supported the letter he sent out to the membership on November 18th. Bill will ask for any last minute suggestions or changes from the membership at tomorrow’s general membership meeting.
Hall of Fame – Liz O’Leary briefed the board on suggested updates and changes to the website and nomination process with regards to the Hall of Fame. Discussion focused on whether there should be definitive requirements for nominees, meaning, do they need to be retired from coaching, or perhaps at least 25 years into their careers? Liz will continue to look into the matter and will solicit feedback from the membership committee. Also, discussion ensued regarding the best venue and timing for honoring an inductee.
Membership – Steve will provide each board member a list of potential members in their region who have not signed up to date. The idea is to send them a personal email, inviting them to become a member and emphasizing the benefits of membership. Steve also asked for permission to look into additions or improvements we might make to our website in an effort to support the full membership.
Awards – Kate had no report, as expected at this time of year.
Nominating – Robyn had no report, as expected at this time of year.
Lightweight – Lori Dauphiny was not able to attend, and there was no report.
Coaches Poll – Steve had no report, as things have been ironed out since the change to polling all three crews. He emphasized the need for coaches to continue to serve as pollsters, recognizing that it most definitely is a time-intensive job for everyone.
Coaching Education – Robyn Horner was elected. She will be looking into two potential dates for the conference, as well as potential speakers. Scholarships will be available and evaluated by the Coaching Education committee.
Administrative Assistant Compensation – Jane moved that we increase the salary for the CRCA Administrative Assistant. Discussion ensued and all eight present board members voted in favor. An official vote will take place via email.
Recognition of outgoing board members – not addressed.