[eDebate] reversal of course

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Wed Mar 8 10:09:16 CST 2006

My apologies to everyone for jumping the gun.  Well, I slept on it, and I also talked to some of my team.  It's clear to me that while many (and quite possibly, most) people would like to return to Morgantown next year, we do not have the virtually unanimous support for hosting that I would like to see (the fact that Jimbo, who is not a terribly contentious guy, took the time to write as much as he did needs to be taken seriously).  So, because:


  1.. It's unfair to force people who want to attend JV/Novice Nationals to go to a place they don't really want to go to; 
  2.. It would be really unfair to my students to have to host again with the pressure of needing to improve our performance; 
  3.. Given those two things, there are many better things I can do with the time and money we spent on the tournament this year (taking my students to extra tournaments, spending additional time preparing for CEDA Nationals, etc., pretending to be a scholar in political science, etc.); 
  4.. Given the clear preference for 7+ rounds and the necessity of going to Saturday-Monday to accommodate that, and given that my only option for doing so may not be available even next week,

we will withdraw our offer to host a Novice/JV Nationals in 2007.  We'll let someone else have a shot at it, we'll be there to compete, and we'll reevaluate in a year or two whether we would like to host it again.  Meanwhile, we'll do what we originally intended to do this year; we'll take a year off from hosting a tournament and focus on the development of our students.


I do, however, want to offer two concluding thoughts:

1.  There has been a good deal of talk the last couple of days about this being a national tournament.  One thing I think that means is that the tournament needs to have a tab room that is run by someone with no teams in the tournament.  Having a consortium of coaches with teams in the tournament tab the tournament does not solve.  I think that's important, though we will of course attend no matter what.  My advice, though, for whoever hosts, would be to beg Gary Larson to let you hire him.


2.  Being a national tournament also means that we in the East need to be a little more open to social interaction with those from other regions at the tournament.  I think Ken DeLaughder's comments (and similar backchannel comments I got from another Midwest coach) need to be taken seriously.



Best wishes to all,

Neil Berch

West Virginia University
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