Annual Membership Meeting

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 Jason Steele, Secretary (East) Head Coach of Worcester Polytechnic Institute Steve Kish, Treasurer/Vice President (Mid-Atlantic) Head Coach of Bucknell University Kevin Harris (South) Head Coach of the University of Tulsa Bill Zack (West) Assistant Coach, University of California at Los Angeles Kevin Sauer (South) Head Coach of the University of Virginia Mike Hughes (Mid-Atlantic) Head Coach to the Naval Academy

Missing:  Eleanor McElvaine (West) Head Coach of University of Washington Becky Robinson (DII/DIII At-Large) Head Coach of Ithaca College

Committee Updates:

Legislative Committee:  Bill Zack, Chair of the Legislative Review Committee reminded the membership of recent legislation which clarified that coaches are not permitted out of season contact with athletes during the week prior to final exams. He also updated the membership in regards to the possible increase of scholarships, and briefly mentioned the recent Big East proposal involving AQs. He indicated that further discussion of these issues would follow later in the meeting.

Membership Committee:  Kevin Harris, Chair of the Membership Committee updated current totals which current stands at 233 members. This number includes 105 Head Coaches, 113 Assistant Coaches, 4 SWAs, and 11 GAs. He also announced the recent decision of the CRCA Board of Directors to change the annual membership application deadline to January 1st of each year.

Awards Committee:  Andy Teitelbaum provided the Award Committee’s update in place of Chairperson Becky Robinson who was unable to attend the meeting. He began by recognizing last year’s Coaches of the Year. DI – Lori Dauphany of Princeton University. DII – Paul Mokha of Barry University. DIII – Justin Moore of Williams College. He indicated that Pocock will continue to sponsor these awards and that an example of the plaque was on display at the Pocock table in the vendors area. He also announced that 2007 awards will incorporate an electronic submission system (likely web-based), as well as the Board’s recent decisions to expand the criteria of Academic All-America to include all NCAA Championship boats, and the addition of Lightweight Awards in both the All America and Academic All America categories. On behalf of the Polling Committee Andy announced that there will be no changes to weekly polling in 2007. He concluded by announcing that 5 Director positions will become open in 2007 and encouraged all coaches to consider serving the CRCA in this capacity.

Hall of Fame Committee:  Joe Willhelm, Chair of the Coaching Hall of Fame Committee, updated the membership on the creation of this program of recognition. He indicated that the Coaching Hall of Fame will potentially reside in Mystic, CT, but other locations may be scouted. The program is to begin in 2007 with the induction of 1-4 new members. The criteria and nomination information will be forwarded to the membership early in the new year.

Coaching Education Committee:  Sandra Chu, Chair of the Coaching Education Committee announced that the first CRCA educational workshops will be held in Madison, WI between June 5-7, 2007. She indicated that additional information will be sent to the membership in the new year, and encouraged all members to save these dates.

Lightweight Committee:  Cecile Tucker, Co-Chair of the Lightweight Committee announced that this group would be meeting on Saturday to discuss lightweight issues such as weigh-in procedures and recommendations on selection of lightweight athletes. She concluded by thanking the BOD for its inclusion of Lightweights into the awards process.

Website:  Jason Steele provided an update on the progress of the CRCA website. He indicated the website would be functional by the start of the new year.

NCAA discussion:  Mark Bedics began the discussion with an update of hotel reservation procedures for the upcoming 2007 Championship. The NCAA has become aware of concerns with reservation procedures and is soliciting feedback from the CRCA. Oak Ridge, TN presents several unique challenges in that no full-service hotels are within immediate proximity to the race venue. Mark indicated that current plans called for institutions to make there own arrangements as was the case for DII and DI institution in 2006. CRCA members were encouraged to discuss this issue with Mark at a later time if the had appropriate feedback or concerns.   Mark announced that the NCAA web-based results reporting system will be up and running in time for the spring racing season. He apologized for problems with the system in 2006 and is confident all issues have been addressed.   Tom Bold, Chair of the NCAA Rowing Committee was then introduced to update the membership on general issues being handled by his committee. He distributed an informational handout which included names of all members of the various rowing committees. Tom updated the membership that the NCAA was discussing the possibility of holding the Championship on Thursday – Saturday instead of Friday – Sunday. He also discussed a potential change to the selection procedure by creating an internal national ranking earlier in the season to aid the selection committee in deciding Championship participants. Lastly, he explained that the NCAA was advocating for the use of GPS devices in racing shells at the Championship, but that the issue was deferred to USRowing for review. At this time the general membership meeting concluded and Divisional meetings were convened. DI and DII remained for a combined discussion lead by Tom Bold and Tina Krah of the NCAA, while Mark Bedics convened a separate DIII meeting to discuss appropriate issues.

DI and DII:  Tom Bold lead the discussion with an explanation of the two current legislative issues facing Women’s Rowing; Championship expansion and Automatic Qualifier. He provided a clear explanation of all issues by recounting information shared with the CRCA Board of Directors during their 11/29/06 meeting. A review of this discussion can be found on pages 1 and 2 of the 11/29/06 Board of Directors minutes. Tom opened the meeting to receive questions from the membership. Several good questions and concerns were raised. An unanswered concern was raise which foreshadowed an impact on the growth of the sport by changing rowing to an Team Sport. The concern was that athletic department budgets may not be able to sponsor a full Team but might sponsor Women’s Rowing for the chance to compete for the At-Large bid.  Discussion on the need for the new CRCA website and an update on 2007 Championship venue development concluded the DI and DII meeting.

DIII:  Mark Bedics began the DIII discussion with an update on some of the issues from the 2006 Championship. He announced that the daily athlete per-diem was being reviewed for a possible increase and that the procedure for Hotel reservations was under review. General consensus from 2006 was that the block reservation for DIII schools was not favored. Discussion of this topic yielded no consensus and Mark indicated that in 2007 DIII schools would likely make their own reservations, similar to DII and DI institutions.  There were no further pressing issues for Mark to address and as such he opened discussion to the group.  Strong discourse followed in regards to the recent announcement of the selection committee to use an at-large bid to assure regional representation at the Championship. The strong consensus of this group of DIII coaches was in opposition of the committees decision. Strong arguments against this change came from many who criticized the move as an undermining of the Championship, and ultimately unfair to a potentially disenfranchised school. Strong criticism also stemmed from the lack of communication of the reasoning behind the decision. Further, coaches felt there had been no opportunity for input and that committee members had made the decision with no guidance from their constituents. There were no committee members present at the meeting to answer questions about this issue and after all opinions had been expressed Mark moved the conversation to other issues.  The last issue to be discussed was the potential changes being discussed in regards to DIII recruiting procedures. There were no substantive concerns with this issue. Mark Bedics concluded the DIII meeting.