Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

If stupidity got us into this mess,
then why can't it get us out?

William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers

Friday, April 29, 2011

Count Cheerleading?

That's what Sean Gregory suggests in a Time article. As we know, gender quotas often result in dumping male sports, rather than increasing female opportunities. Read more here.

The NCAA, however, currently does not recognize competitive cheerleading as a sport. So under Title IX, White is not counted as a female athlete. That's shortsighted. Schools seeking to pass the Title IX proportionality test will sometimes resort to roster management because football teams are so bloated. Some have over 100 players, so budget-strapped athletic departments need to find a similar number of spots on women's teams. Those 10 dudes who practice with the women's hoops team surely help. So instead of resorting to such trickery, why not offer a genuine athletic opportunity to 30 or so young women on a competitive-cheering team?

Quote of the Day

It might be a bad thing, not to know what's going
on in the world. I can't say I really approve of it.

Sharon Olds

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

I am glad that I paid so little attention to good
advice; had I abided by it I might have been
saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Public Relations Nightmare at UD

As the media digs into the University of Delaware men's track mess, the university might be close to crying "Uncle!"

Read a short article and listen to a soundbite here. Not sure what "mediation" means here, but let's hope the university offers an opportunity for reinstatement of the program.

Last week, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights announced it would investigate the cut.

But now team Captain Corey Wall tells WDEL's Rick Jensen Show that UD wants to use mediation to reach a settlement.

Quote of the Day

I'm not afraid of flying, I'm afraid of crashing.

Neil Simon

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hoops, hoops, and more hoops...

From TISCA to Coaches

From Coaches to UIL


Mainstream Media on Roster Management

Both ESPN (above) and the New York Times are focusing on the "roster management" issue today. Read more here.

Yet football, the pride of many universities and a draw for alumni, rarely faces cuts. The average Division I football team went from 95 players 30 years ago to 111 players in 2009-10.

“Football is the elephant in the whole thing,” Mr. Crouthamel said. “That’s the monster.”

Advocates for men’s teams say roster management hurts their cause as well, because colleges tend to eliminate men’s sports rather than increase women’s sports to reach parity. Officials have also cut the size of men’s teams, compromising their competitiveness.

“I think roster management is almost a cuss word,” said Tommy Bell, the athletic director at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. He wants to restore a men’s track team, he said, but to do so, he must trim men’s spots elsewhere. “I hate doing it,” he said.

Thanks for the heads up, DJ!

Delaware Track OCR Investigation

This story is getting verrrrry interesting.

To have the Office of Civil Rights looking into a Title IX complaint in which men are being discriminated against is unusual.

Of course, we know it should have happened a long time ago, right?

While this can hardly be considered a trend, at least it's a baby step in the right direction. Title IX reformers aren't against providing opportunities for women. We are just trying to protect male athletes from losing opportunities in sports like gymnastics, swimming, track, and wrestling.

More inside scoop from the Save UD movement:

Article by Shannon wasn't the key to forcing the school to unblock their protest site. Someone at the UD Review was the driving force behind that.

Also, here's an exclusive (at least for the moment) new comic that hasn't yet made it onto their site:

Keep fighting the good fight, Delaware Track!!

Quote of the Day

Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think
it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of
hard work punctuated by brief moments in which
we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.

Michael Duane Johnson

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kasic Talks Roster Caps & Civil Rights

Roster "management" strategies work in two ways - toward one goal.

Male sports' rosters are capped, meaning that outstanding walk-ons are told "Thanks, but no thanks. Check with intramurals."

Women's rosters are inflated, meaning that some athletes listed on a roster may have little or no experience and may not actually practice/compete.

Both methods help athletic departments achieve gender equity - at least on paper.

Ah, the beauty of proportionality...

Read more from Allison Kasic of the Independent Women's Forum here.

This article presents a good example of roster management at work at Boise State, complete with a great definition of the practice: "Roster management entails promoting walk-on opportunities in women's sports and limiting men's rosters to the minimum necessary to compete for championships."

Kasic has also posted on the fight to save Delaware's men's track program. Read more here.

Seems the government may actually investigate a claim of gender discrimination against - get this - men!

This will be interesting to watch. I've seen examples of men's teams unsuccessfully sue schools to try and get their programs reinstated, but this is the first time that I can remember the government investigating a school on Title IX grounds on behalf of a men's team. If nothing else, the investigation should produce more information about the process that led to the school's decision to cut the programs -- a decision that obviously wasn't publicly debated,as it caught those involved completely off-guard. Stay tuned.

On the subject of UD track, the university denies it intentionally blocked the track team's Save UD site. Read more here.

Wall told The Review Thursday that several people had informed him they could not access the site. He said he confirmed it by testing several locations on campus and by accessing his site logs, which showed there had been no visitors from the university network since April 4.

Tests by The Review also confirmed the site was not accessible from campus. A reporter sitting in Kirkbride Hall Thursday afternoon tried, but failed, to access the site. But moments later, the reporter successfully accessed it using a proxy server, a third-party website designed to help users bypass content filters.

"I was very upset today," Wall said Thursday night. "I just don't think the university has a right to do that. They can block explicit material like porn [...] but a blog, voicing an opinion they feel is against them? To me that violates freedom of speech."

Contacted by The Review Friday morning, university spokesman David Brond said the site was blocked April 3 by an automatic process meant to keep spammers and hackers off of the university network.

"The IP address the website is part of tried to contact 11,000 people on this campus," Brond said. "Immediately, automatically our server said, ‘It must be a hacker.' It didn't even know it was"

Brond became aware of the site Friday when he received a Google News Alert about a post on the site regarding the federal investigation. When he visited it, he saw another post accusing the university of blocking the site.

He viewed the site and instructed IT personnel to manually override the block.

"It was never a conscious decision to block this," Brond said, adding that several IP addresses are automatically blocked every week.

Although the site is now accessible on campus, Wall said he remains skeptical of Brond's explanation.

"I'm not going to take the university's word for that," he said. "It's definitely possible, but I'm not convinced."

Gotta love the trend. Investigative journalism being used to shine a little light on the subject. If Josh Shannon hadn't done a little research for this story, do you think they'd have acted so quickly? At all?

It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you, right?

The First Amendment isn't what it used to be...

Edited 4/26:

Artist asked that I remove cartoon that was here. No problem.

Quote of the Day

Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

Nadine Gordimer

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

I've always made a total effort, even when the odds
seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying;
I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win.

Arnold Daniel Palmer

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quote of the Day

I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won't
deceive you except in matters of this sort.

Spiro Theodore Agnew

Friday, April 22, 2011

Memory Lapse?

Soooooooooo...our leadership's being asked to survey our TISCA membership on the automatic relay take-off judging rules, right?

The UIL wants to make sure we're all on board with dumping a lousy protocol and moving forward.

Funny thing is, I don't ever remember being asked my opinion on adding the systems and protocols in the first place.

Do you? If we coaches were in on the decision, let me know the who, what, when, and where. I totally missed it.

If they didn't check in with us a few years ago - but went ahead with the changes anyway - why does our vote matter so danged much now?

I haven't been "in the loop" for a while and feel like I've missed something important here. Help me out.

p.s. While my memory might be pretty bad, it's still better than this guy's.

Quote of the Day

There is an eloquence in true enthusiasm.

Edgar Allan Poe

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Team Joseph Meet & Workouts

Time to share some pics John Dissinger was good enough to send. Find some familiar faces by clicking on pics to enlarge.

From the April 9 Team Joseph Meet at Summer Creek HS:

From Team Joseph workouts around the US:


Arkansas - Little Rock

Penn State

Ouachita Baptist

Florida International


The only requirements to join these teams in supporting Team Joseph?

Contact John ( for caps and send him your pics!

Democracy Inaction

El Presidente Richard Davenport of MSU-Mankato doesn't care what students at his university say. He's dumping men's swimming, even though students voted earlier this month to pay extra to keep the sport. Read more here.

On April 12 Minnesota State Mankato students, in an advisory referendum, voted 1,796 to 1,287 in favor of raising student fees by 75 cents per credit – approximately $20 per student per year – to keep the four sports programs viable for three years.

Don't think for a second that Title IX wasn't a factor here.

The only sport saved - women's tennis - has a roster of ten (10). Put them in the "plus" column.

The three sports dumped - men's tennis (9), women's bowling (15), and men's swimming (20) - means they lost a net of five (5) female athletes while dropping twenty-nine (29) men.

A department-wide gain of twenty-four (24) women doesn't sound like much, does it?

Wait! There's more!!

There's a reason they didn't dump the entire swimming program, folks.

While their bowling team of fifteen women sounds like a lot to lose, their women's swim/dive team has thirty-six (36) on the roster.

Now do you see why only the men's swimming program was on the chopping block?

Quote of the Day

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

You cannot invade the mainland United States.
There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.

Isoroku Takano, a.k.a. Yamamoto

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Following Up

A follow-up article on the relay take-off judging controversy has been posted by Mark Dent. Read it here.

TISCA president Penny DiPomazio said TISCA proposed to the UIL that it use video backup for the state meet and also that it return to having dual verification for disqualifications. That would mean at least one human official would have to call an early exchange in addition to the timing equipment. She said that TISCA wanted the timing equipment to "save" rather than punish a swimmer.

If you missed the original article, view it here.

Just because a swimmer touches the pad, that doesn't mean it will register. Jason Warne, aquatics product manager at Daktronics, said a degree of pressure is necessary.

"I would refer to it as more of a press - not a punch, a solid, firm press," Warne said. "If you just come in and touch it, a touch is not a press."

Speaking of dent, Susan B. Anthony Dollar-sized hail has been reported in the DFW area this evening.

Quote of the Day

The battles that count aren't the ones for
gold medals. The struggles within yourself -
the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us -
that's where it's at.

James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens

Monday, April 18, 2011

Catchin' Up

A few commenters on the TISCA & Meet Committees posted some good stuff. Bear, bare, and/or Bayer with me as I wade through some. Coach O commented on this and another post.

Coach O - When Warren left B.C., it just wasn't the same anymore. He sure was a great guy to work for. He expected coaches to take care of business and gave us total support. If we needed something, he made it happen. Not long after he left, a bunch of other coaches left, too. He's been at Dickinson since. Beau coached there for a while after playing for UT. and is now at Baylor. Not sure what Blaise is up to. Was watching a game last fall and an Aggie was going the length of the field for a touchdown but a Bear didn't give up on the play, ran him down, and knocked him out of bounds. It was Brody. Couldn't believe it. Big kid now!

Just found this article from 2009 with more.

You being a regular reader puts me up to two danged dozen! Liked the pun. I think I've heard it somewhere before, though. Oh yeah: The timers can't see the strobe! Back up, Button!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled post:

Readers would like referees at championship meets to select their meet committee early, include coaches & an athletes, and make sure everyone's well aware of who committee members are. That doesn't guarantee a referee will call the committee, but at least it won't be a mystery...

Coach O asked about coaches and our knowledge of the system/rules. Question made me ask "Why should coaches join TISCA?"

How about this:

Join TISCA now for the low, low price of just $34.99! Membership allows you to vote for District, Region, and State Coaches of the Year! You'll also be eligible to attend the TISCA clinic (for a small additional fee) in September!

Wait! There's more!

Become a TISCA member by October 1st and you'll also receive this handy 2011-12 NFHS rule book! What are you waiting for? Sign up now!!!

Just a thought, that rule book idea...

Maybe TJ will cut us a deal.

Many of us remember being told that, if there was a DQ (via dual confirmation), the system could be used to overrule and "save" the relay.

Somewhere along the line we got away from that. I looked over TISCA meeting minutes for the past 3+ years and could only find two (2) mentions of the issue. Both were in last fall's minutes.

In TISCA board meeting minutes (Friday, September 9, 2010, 7:01 - 9:03 p.m.) under Other Business:

6. Carl Auel spoke about the relay touch pads in the case of a human error; i.e. an elbow or the back instead of a hand touch.

In the TISCA general meeting minutes (Saturday, September 10, 2010, 8:34 - 10:14 a.m.) under Other Business:

Kevin Murphy asked the question about relay take-offs. Clarify the ruling and asked about possibly using a video.

Couldn't find anything more there.

Remember the warning we got before the state meet? No? Read it here.

However, it is recommended that if the equipment is used, the protocol described in Appendix B be used for the sake of consistency.

Yeah, for the sake of consistency...

We know some early take-offs in relays don't get called. Human error works both ways, right? Still, wouldn't we rather have one go uncalled - instead of having a relay incorrectly DQ'ed due to a pad malfunction?

This meeting recap from Anonymous:

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…
The Tisca Board voted to approve two recommendations to put forward to the UIL.
1. return to dual confirmation of relay exchange DQ's by humans in the -.01 to -.09 range.
2. Video review of any DQ's called by the "machine" in the -.01 to -.09 range.

The UIL, then came in to "suggest" that "we move forward" with video review, as an addition to Appendix B, "suggested" protocol for automatic relay exchange equipment.
The video equipment would be the same equipment used at the NCAA Division I Meet at UT. 100 frames per second. The NCAA rule book only recommends 25 frames per second and a very inexpensive way to set it up for review.
The video review does not need to be cost-prohibitive.

HOWEVER, the UIL proposal was very costly, as the high-level video equipment would have to be rented. Due to the cost ($8000-$10,000) it was determined by the UIL, that a large number of swimming HS's, 300 or so, should contact (by letter) the UIL, to show the UIL that this was an issue important to MANY schools, not just to a couple of schools that complained.
In addition, TISCA was tasked with getting this done in only 60 days.

It was pointed out that only about 120 schools, of the near 500 that swim in Texas, ever have representatives at the Texas State Meet. Never-the-less, the UIL feels the need to have more schools weigh-in on the need for changes to the current protocol, in order to justify the expenditure.

Politics, instead of justice and focus on the kids. A University of Texas employee, speaking on behalf of the UIL, did admit that touchpads fail and RTOP's can fail, and that there is, likely a need for an adjustment to the protocol being used and that there is room for the UIL State of Texas HS swimming to move forward to video review without breaking the NFHS rules.

We will see. No admission was made by the UIL that they made any specific mistakes at the 2011 Texas State HS Meet.
Remember, Daktronics time data acquired in an open records request, showed unequivocally, that the touchpad failed in lane 6, the Southlake Carroll Girl's 400 free relay. The entire DQ should have been thrown out. Video was not necessary to overturn the DQ, just competence by the Meet Referee and an actual review by a "real" Meet Committee.

Now, how do we go about getting over 300 schools to send letters to the UIL, saying they want video review of relay exchanges at the 2012 Texas State Swim Meet? Some of them have never even seen an RTOP, or sent a swimmer to the Texas State Meet. Many of them are uneffected and may never be effected by this problem.

That should be quite a trick. Oh, might that be the "trick" by the UIL to side-step the issue and avoid any future changes?
Stay tuned...the "fat lady has not yet started to sing and Red Auerbach has yet to light his cigar"
The TISCA General Membership Meeting in Sept 2011 should be interesting, if this does not get ironed out before then.

What? It now falls on TISCA to prove to the UIL that we should avoid using a suggested protocol that's flawed?!?! Why make the coaches spend more time jumping through hoops on this subject? We've got important Texting, Facebooking, Tweeting, and Blogging to do!

In related news, the Flat Earth Society is open to discussing the theory of - get this - a spherical planet! If revolutionaries can find at least three hundred astronomy teachers to weigh in on the side of a round Earth, they'll consider entertaining the possibility. If overwhelming support for the radical orbists isn't seen within sixty days, they'll continue on with business as usual.

Quote of the Day

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts.
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...
Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

Shledon Allan "Shel" Silverstein

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

Upside-down trees swingin' free,
Busses float and buildings dangle:
Now and then it's nice to see
The world - from a different angle.

Sheldon Allan "Shel" Silverstein

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quote of the Day

Success seems to be connected with action.
Successful people keep moving. They
make mistakes, but they don't quit.

Conrad Nicholson Hilton

Friday, April 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

The only way to deal with an unfree world
is to become so absolutely free that your
very existence is an act of rebellion.

Albert Camus

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

Believe that you can whip the enemy,
and you have won half the battle.

General James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TISCA & Meet Committees

We're counting on our TISCA leadership to come down strongly on the side of our athletes and demand changes to protect them from potential machine malfunctions.

They may also want to remind coaches at the fall TISCA clinic about Rule 4, Section 1, Article 1.

This part of the rule book lists officials and their duties.

While coaches are unable to protest judgement calls, they are able to ask the meet referee to call the meet committee at a championship meet.

"The meet committee shall make decisions on matters not specifically covered by the rules or on the misapplication of a rule during a meet."

Presspad failures occur. It's usually not a big deal, and we get it cleared up quickly.

In those cases where that doesn't happen, a meet committee should be allowed to weigh in when a coach feels he/she isn't being heard.

The coach may state his/her case to this small group of unbiased adults. They are trusted to look into the matter. Even without the use of video evidence, data from the system can be reviewed.

While the meet referee is still going to have the final say, this committee can give him/her good guidance with which to make that final decision.

Dallas Morning News

You have to be a subscriber to read the front-page online story.

There is an extra variable needed for success at the University Interscholastic League swimming state championships. Besides the training and desire that lead to perfectly choreographed swims, so much depends on the machines, the electronic timing systems.

I learned something today...

We should not call them "touchpads". I'm going to try to remember to call them "presspads".

Quote of the Day

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

While he was not dumber than an ox,
he was not any smarter either.

James Grover Thurber

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weighing In

You can post a comment or two on this crappy site and a few hundred folks might give it a look.

Have you thought about letting your voice be heard by thousands of swim fans?

Registering for Swimming World's Reaction Time membership is free.

Once you're a member, you can vent there at Swimming World - for the whole swimming world to read!

Here's a recent comment on their relay take-off judging post:

April 11, 2011 I don't understand why these articles are posted. To what end? To show that in our sport it takes several years of wrangling to finally, possibly, do the right thing?

Oy veh!

I feel for all the level-headed, hard-working, young athletes who take part in our sport, only to realize that, when it counts most, they can't expect the adults to exercise common sense and fair play.
Submitted by: mario2007

Register here.

Weigh in on automatic relay take-off judging here.

Unwind here.

By the way, there's no money in this bloggin' deal. No ads. No incentive for linking to other sites. Heck, I don't even get a free sample of TriSwim shampoo thrown my way.

Ain't complainin', though - that's how it outta be. It's wonderful to be independent!

Let's laugh a little. Learn a little. Vent a little. Whatever floats yer danged boat, alright?

Okay, that's enough ramblin' fer now. Scroll back up and git yerself registered. Let yer voice be heard.

Just lay off the cursin', will ya?

The Article & Video...'ve all been waiting for is here.

edited 10:11 p.m. - Be sure to view vid full screen.

In the aforementioned Carroll swim, Jillian Roberts is registered at a -0.09 takeoff, while a frame-by-frame look at the take-off in question would suggest that a +0.27 takeoff occurred.

Quote of the Day

Since when do we have to agree with
people to defend them from injustice?

Lillian Florence "Lily" Hellman

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

One of the striking differences between a cat
and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Final Installment

The final installment of Mashable's three-part series on logo development is here. Catch up here.

“I recently designed a logo for a company by the rather generic name of Redwave Systems. Rather than creating a mark for the business, I created a unique logotype by ‘hiding’ a wave in the logo.” A prominent example of a clever logo is the FedEx logo, which has an arrow between the E and X.


Is "WIN" still on the end wall at the Clear Lake HS pool?

Quote of the Day

It is better to have a known
enemy than a forced ally

Napoleon Bonaparte

Friday, April 08, 2011

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Quote of the Day

Men are moved by two levers only:
fear and self-interest.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Quote of the Day

I can no longer obey; I have tasted
command, and I cannot give it up.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Logo Design, Part 2

The second part of Mashable's three-part series on logo design is here. Lost? Catch up here.

While every brand obviously needs a logo that speaks to contemporary aesthetics, not all trends are good — in fact, once a trend becomes just so overused, watching it pop up again and again in new company logos can be downright painful.

How often do you see logos that mirror Harley-Davidson's? Great design, but overused, right?

NFHS Stands Pat

The NFHS did not address the automatic relay take-off judging issue at their annual rules committee meeting.

The systems are used by only a few states at their championships. I guess we've figured out why, right?

If only a handful of coaches have voiced - or do voice - their concern over the use of the NFHS "Suggested Protocol", don't expect any changes, fans.