CRCA Membership Meeting Minutes
Present: Andrew Teitelbaum, President (Central) Head Coach of Ohio State University. Joe Wilhelm (East) Head Coach of Northeastern University Mark Rothstein (Central) Head Coach of the University of Michigan Sandra Chu (DII/DIII At-Large) Head Coach of William Smith College Eleanor McElvaine (West) Head Coach of University of Washington Aimee Baker (West) Head Coach of Stanford University Becky Robinson (DII/DIII At-Large) Head Coach of Ithaca College Jason Steele, Secretary (East) Head Coach of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Missing: Steve Kisch, Treasurer/Vice President (Mid-Atlantic) Head Coach of Bucknell University Kevin Harris (South) Head Coach of the University of Tulsa Mike Hughes (Mid-Atlantic) Head Coach to the Naval Academy Kevin Sauer (South) Head Coach of the University of Virginia
USRowing: Andy Teitelbaum began the meeting with and introduction of Helen Dowling from USRowing. Helen solicited support from the CRCA membership in USRowing’s attempt to strengthen the pool of referees within the United States. She discussed USRowing hope that a new generation of referees could be developed from pool of graduating college rowers. There are currently only 480 referees in the United States and this number must be expanded given the expansion of our sport. She provided brochures about becoming a referee to the membership and thanked them for their support.
NCAA Championship Expansion: Andy updated the membership that during discussions between the NCAA, he, and Kevin Sauer, Chairperson of the CRCA Championship Committee, the NCAA indicated they would look at expansion of the DI Championship to 16 Teams and 2 At-Large bids. He indicated that the CRCA Board of Directors supports this proposal and would draft a letter officially supporting this expansion. The expansion is to be reviewed by the NCAA during June, and if approved would be implemented during the spring of 2009.
Fourth Coach Position: Andy voiced concerns regarding the implementation of the current “restricted” 4th coaching position. He indicated that all coaches that have been queried are unhappy with this decision, and the CRCA is hoping to move towards making this an unrestricted position. To do this it will be important for a conference to bring the legislation forward. Dave O’Neill from the University of California indicated that PAC-10 coaches would discuss reform in this area with the PAC-10 administrators.
Coaching Education Initiative: In an effort to expand coaching educational opportunities the CRCA Coaching Education Committee is attempting to develop an independent CRCA Coaches conference, to be held in June of 2007. This is not intended to undermine the USRowing conference, held during the winter, but rather to augment the educational opportunities available to coaches. Andy supported this concept as he felt it provided a unique benefit to CRCA members. The membership was asked to consider locations, topics to be covered, as well as key-note speakers; and to direct these suggestions to the CRCA Board. The University of Wisconsin at Madison was suggested as a location, but further exploration of these topics will take place over this summer. Bill Zack from the University of Los Angeles asked if the CRCA Annual Meeting would continue to be held at the USRowing Conference. Andy Teitelbaum indicated that it would continue to be held at this conference.
Raising the Weight of Coxswains: Eleanor McElvaine facilitated the discussion on raising the coxswain weight. The impression from the discussion was that many coaches do not focus on the weight of the coxswain. The consensus of the room was that most coaches would prefer a competent heavy coxswain over a less competent at-weight coxswain. However, were there other issues at play that are disregarded by coaches? Are coxswains feeling pressure to make weight by their teammates? Are their other issues that have not been considered? A straw-poll revealed a relatively even split between V8 coxswains that were at-weight or over-weight. The matter was tabled with some consensus that whatever weight was set, there would always be people attempting to loose weight.
NCAA Selection: John Jentz of the NCAA was introduced to answer questions regarding the DI Championship selection procedures. There were several constituents who were not satisfied with the selection process and/or results. The CRCA expressed sincere thanks for the efforts of the selection committee but hoped to learn more about the process in an effort to foster communication between the NCAA and its membership. John Jentz indicated that as the field has expanded and the audience has become larger, it has become more necessary to be restrictive with the dissemination of information regarding selection. He indicated however, that an appropriate avenue for those with questions has always been to call the regional liaison. He strongly recommended that the membership utilize this liaison if individual questions develop. In response to a question about priority within the eight criteria for selection, John indicated that although there is an emphasis on head to head competition, though there is no official hierarchy to the criteria. John Jentz then presented the question to the membership: Should the NCAA re-visit the criteria or the “scorecard” used to determine participants at the Championship? This was left for future discussion. The discussion then turned to a description of how the selection process works. John Jentz indicated that regional committees discussed and ranked schools within their regions as preparation for a national conference call to determine the top schools. The top school from each region is selected to the Championship as an automatic qualifier. Then, results are used to determine the remaining schools. The criteria are used on a situational basis for those decisions that are not obvious. John indicated that if this process was not serving the championship well, coaches should discuss this with their administrators and provide guidance on how to make improvements. The membership was reminded that the eight selection criteria can be found in the NCAA Championship Handbook.
The NCAA Results Website: Marc Bedics from the NCAA apologized on behalf of the NCAA for the complications with the NCAA results website, experienced during this spring. He indicated that the Information Technology department would revisit this site, and would have it perfected before schools were again asked to submit results to it.
Andy Teitelbaum then moved to adjourn the meeting asking the membership for final points of discussion. Some suggestions regarding the logistics of the Championship were mentioned but there were no major issues discussed. Andy adjourned the meeting at 2:22 P.M.