Liz O’Leary – Hall of Fame nomination form will be e-mailed out to membership in the next few weeks. The presentation of winners will occur at the convention in December.
Kris Sanford – Awards – Please turn in National COTY and ACOTY ballots by June 3rd. Participation for regional votes was slim, but the tie races produced 60 responses in a day. Please honor the great coaches we have and vote. Also – Any recommendations for the awards process can be forwarded to Kris by e-mail to be considered by the committee.
Will Porter (Yale) – Since all events are being seeded from 1 – 16, there is more concern for accuracy.
Tom Bold (Brown AD and chair of NCAA rowing committee) – Speaking for committee – believes they spent the time and did the best that could be expected.
Dave O’Neil (Cal) – There is a need to go back to the 50% of people racing in the boat during the season rule – particularly for the 4’s.
Bebe Bryans (Wisconsin) – Wondered if the committee noticed more cross regional racing this year?
Tom Bold – Good amount. It definitely catches the committee’s eye when someone is willing to go outside and do a lot of cross regional racing.
Bob Ernst (Washington) – Believes current system is working given the grab bag of the four event.
Andy Teitelbaum (Ohio State) – Does not think random draw makes things fairer.
Andy Teitelbaum – officiating is at an all time low for the championship.
Discussion and concerns from members:
1. There is no enforcement of the honest effort rule – why have it? Dave O’Neil suggested using cycling rule that states you have to be within a certain percentage of winning time to advance or you are out and must petition the officials to get reinstated.
2. Problems at the start including ref’s coaching crews onto the stake boats, calling back races for start for breakage after the 100M, using quick start when it was specifically said at the meeting that it would not be used.
3. Communication at the start was very poor and crews were given false starts for being late to the line after their race had been delayed. They were left to try to figure out what was going on with no help from the officials.
4. Broadcasting – Very poor. Broadcasters were talking about crews who were not even in the races they were calling.
5. Safety – rowers who were ill after racing were not reached by officials in a timely manner.
Robbie Tennenbaum – Thanks to Jack St Clair and his staff for running regatta. What can CRCA do as a group to help other locations host?
Andy Teitelbaum – What does banquet cost? Can we put some of that money toward host organization to make it more worth their while?
Mark Bedic (NCAA staff) – The banquet costs $35,000. All feedback from S-A’s is that the banquet is important as it brings everyone together and breaks up the week.
Barbara Chesler (Yale AD) – There are other ways to make this a premier event besides the banquet. Why is there no signage around the site, at the airport…? This is a unique event with 800 of the best rowers in the country involved – there should be more publicity.
Mark Bedic – Finding host sites is tough. Hosts will not make money. They end up making perhaps $2500 but they usually spend some of that on the event. So – it is a hard sell when schools are not doing it for the home court advantage.
Kevin Sauer – Is there a way we can give $25,000 to the host form the banquet and do something on a lesser scale for the banquet?
Matthew Kelly (Villanova) – Would schools be willing to host for an automatic bid?
Robbie Tennenbaum – Is there a possibility of changing format so that we do not need 7 lanes opening more courses up?
Bebe Bryans – Can you have 2 hosts to split the duties?
Mark Bedic – They are open to looking at anything that will help find more hosts.
Robbie Tennenbaum – There are 87 DI programs. He has received roughly 60 AQ surveys’ that have resulted in approximately a 50/50 split for those in favor of/against AQ’s. Comments have been great and will be forwarded to NCAA rowing committee. He and Bill Zack will be calling remaining institutions to attempt to get 100% participation.
Tom Bold – Thanks to Bill Zack and Robbie Tennenbaum for doing the information piece and survey. Committee is looking for feedback going into June 24th meeting. Ivies have benefitted in most sports from AQ’s so it is hard for him to vote against it although he is more concerned with what will happen to spots after the 50% AQ spots are filled with conferences being left out. The committee will talk in June and then forward a recommendation to the sports management cabinet. The vote for the recommendation comes down to the 7 committee members. Tom emphasized the importance of doing what is best for the growth of the sport and not what is best for individual programs.
Andy Teitelbaum – What happens when there are more than 8 conferences eligible for an automatic bid?
Tom Bold – Play ins are a possibility but there is a budget impact to that. Other option is NCAA committee picks the conferences year to year based upon speed. At this time, the committee does not have an answer.
Thomas Soifres (Iona) – People will find the money to go to a play in.
Bebe Bryans – can we say that we will not do AQ’s until there are 12 qualifying conferences?
Matt Weise (Michigan State) – There is a concern with when conferences will run their championships. If not everyone is on the same weekend, it could cause training advantages/disadvantages.
Mark Bedic – conferences choose who conference champions are. They are free to use whatever criteria they wish.
At this point Dave O’Neil spoke about promotions of the championship again and encouraged everyone to financially support row2k as they are our biggest promoters.
Kevin Sauer asked for someone to explain the arguments for/against AQ’s
Thomas Soifres – They give small schools that are underfunded a chance to participate at the highest level. AD’s understand conference championships and will be more willing to increase financial support of the programs if they know there is a chance at an NCAA bid. It may also allow some club sports to elevate to varsity status. It would change the size and support of existing programs.
Dave O’Neil – Does not like the mish-mash of conferences as schools will be able to make rowing conferences. The championship should be comprised of the fastest 16 schools in the country. Initially, when there were at – large 4’s and 8’s the reason was to grow the sport. The thought was that some smaller, less funded schools would have one boat fast enough to go and then the AD’s would support the program more when they saw there was a chance for a place at the NCAA’s. He does not believe this happened.
Joe Wilhelm (Northeastern) – Has gone back and forth between being for and against AQ’s for the last year. Believed that the championship should have the top 16 crews and was not sure how the AQ’s would grow the sport. His conference (colonial league) had their first conference championship this year and NU won. Since then, the AD has shown new interest in the sport and has gone as far to say he would like to make women’s rowing one of the premier sports at NU, including an increase in the funding. Joe does not feel this would have happened if not for the conference championship and the talk of future AQ opportunities. His AD is also interested in SEARS Cup points which fall on an NCAA bid.
Andy Teitelbaum – If we open regional regatta’s are AQ’s less important?
Kevin Sauer – can we do something in between AQ and straight selection? The rule says up to 50 can be AQ – not that it has to be 50%.
Mark Bedic – Does not feel that the sports management committee would go for anything less as it is what most sports do.
Rudy Wieler (Buffalo) – Out of eligible conferences, 3 were not represented which consists of 23 of the 87 schools. 12 schools at the championship came from just 3 conferences. The past 5 – 7 years have shown similar participation. Maybe we are missing the boat thinking that it should all be about the fastest schools. Maybe it should be more about a more equal representation from across the country. No other NCAA Championship is as elite as ours. With AQ’s, you are still going to get the top 12 or so schools there – it is the other spots that you may see differences every year.
Robbie Tennenbaum closed the meeting at approximately 2:45PM.
Submitted by Kris Sanford on Monday, June 1, 2009.