[eDebate] Worker Rule

dbteam dbteam
Thu Apr 20 13:12:53 CDT 2006

i've stayed out of this mostly b/c i'm lazy and partly b/c i'm not sure it's a 
battle that can be won by any side (the most recent thread shows how there's 
still not a consensus on what it means/how it'll be enforced).

but i did want to drop in ("drive by"?) and throw some loose change at the 
claim that West Georgia is one of the schools that will benefit from the rule 
change. no disrespect to Steve, who has never been anything but helpful to me 
and my program, but we at uwg don't think this is a good rule and don't 
believe it benefits us.

we enjoy winning debates. winning debates against teams from schools that we 
perceive as "more advantaged" (resource-wise, debaters-wise, coaching-wise, 
etc) is even more enjoyable. i intend no malice towards the folks at 
northwestern, emory, msu, or any other "big" school when i say that it makes 
us happy when we beat them and it wouldn't make us nearly as happy if we 
thought their natural abilities as a debate program were artificially 

uwg will likely never have a third team at the NDT. yet, we support allowing 
third teams from bigger schools. uwg lacks a comm grad school, thus no grad 
student assistant coaches. yet we support allowing schools to have as many 
coaches as they want. uwg will never have a dozen quality college debaters who 
can show up at the ndt to cut cards, go get lunch, or move tubs (i'm the dtm - 
designated tub mover). yet, we have no problem with schools that do have such 
personnel largesse drawing upon such resources.

we'd rather northwestern win the next 10 ndts than institute harrison bergeron 
style rules that attempt to level the playing field by making every program 
the same. we didn't lose the 2002 ndt semis to northwestern b/c they have 
institutional advantages that unfairly privilege their debaters over ours. we 
lost b/c we couldn't win a freakin coin flip that would have allowed us to run 
the new aff we had ready for them (*^%#@ can't win a coin flip to save our 
lives) <of course, if you ask breshears, we didn't actually lose - gata dave!)

for us at least, it's way more fun winning in a community that is "uneven." i 
don't resent what northwestern and msu and emory and wake are able to do - i 
respect the hell out their coaches for maximizing the advantages they do have.

we look forward to celebrating our future ndt championship in a world where 
every school we competed against was able to be at its best, using whatever 
institutional advantages it has available.


>===== Original Message From Steve Mancuso <mancussp at muohio.edu> =====
>The intention of the rule - which I thought had been clear - was to
>limit every school who attends the NDT to 2 (two) non-undergraduate
>workers.  These two people are the only non-undergraduates from that
>school who can write or research arguments during the tournament.
>I believe that it is an important step in the right direction for the
>tournament, even if it is not somehow perfect.  The vast majority of
>the rules that we have could be re-interpreted and nit-picked to death
>- or at least into ambiguous limbo.  I don't think we should allow the
>perfect to become the enemy of the good.
>Repealing the new rule returns us to the rule: "The number of workers
>for a school will be determined by their ability to pay."  Hmm.
>The new worker rule benefits well over 80% of the schools who attend
>the tournament.
>My rough estimate is that the rule, based on the 2006 NDT would have
>benefitted: Baylor, Binghamton, Boston College, Case Western, Catholic,
>Central Oklahoma, Concordia, Cal State Fullerton, Denver, Georgia
>State, Gonzaga, Idaho State, James Madison, Kentucky, Liberty,
>Macalaster, Mary Washington, Miami, Michigan, Missouri Kansas City,
>North Texas, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Redlands, Richmond, Rochester,
>Samford, Southern California, Texas-Dallas, Trinity, Vermont, West
>Georgia, Wichita State and Wyoming.   There may be others that should
>be on this list.
>I'm not saying that every person from every school on this list
>supports the rule.  Clearly some don't.  Just as there are people, like
>Joel Rollins, Dave Arnette and Scott Deatherage (more on him later) who
>have supported the rule even though it presumably runs against the
>self-interest of their programs.
>I'll admit that I'm in part motivated by the self-interest of my
>program - just as the primary opponents of it are trying to hold on to
>their currently granted privilege and advantage.  I do think the
>"fairness" issue is clearly on our side.
>As a director of a program that has difficulties even finding one
>assistant coach and one additional steady hired judge throughout the
>year, to hear some complain about how unfair it is that their FIFTH
>coach can't cut updates at the NDT, I'll admit, discourages me.
>Maybe we should just give in and say that the rules of the NDT should
>be whatever works best for MSU, Emory, Harvard, Wake Forest, Kansas,
>and a few others, since (wink, wink) it's really a tournament just
>about them anyhow.
>A last point, while I'm in the process of singling out many of my best
>Early on in this debate - back in November - the accusation was made
>that this proposal targeted Northwestern.  [Clearly the recent debate
>proves that this proposal cuts against more than one school.]  Many of
>you know that Scott Deatherage strongly opposed the original rule but
>supported the current version, the one we passed.  Some believe there
>was a compromise between myself and him on this.  I don't really view
>it that way.  I genuinely became convinced by the force of his
>arguments that we shouldn't place much limit on undergraduates, for
>pedagogical reasons.  I also think Scott became convinced that
>restrictions on non-undergraduates were for the overall good of the
>NDT, even at the risk of slightly hurting his own chances of winning.
>So perhaps the debate over this issue has, after all, had the real
>effect of singling him out, for the better, in my opinion.
>Steve Mancuso
>P.S.  Don't forget to cast your ballot for the topic area by May 8.
>P.P.S.  Let me know if you want to help with the 06-07 or 07-08 topics.
>eDebate mailing list
>eDebate at ndtceda.com

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