Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This is an embarrassment to the profession

Sometimes enough is enough, and today I've had ENOUGH!

One of the best parts of our role as a sports information director, in my humble opinion, is to promote the amazing student-athletes who cross our path and do what we can to get them all the recognition possible. One of the best ways to do this is the weekly conference and national player of the week awards.

However, glitches are occurring which could derail a deserving student-athlete from getting the accolades they are due.

To let you know where I am coming from on this, I am on the committee which votes and selects the NAIA national players of the week. Each week, I along with several others compare the conference winners from a number of sports to try to determine who was the best in the NAIA that week.

Let me just say, it is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. Depending on the season and the sport, it can a while to make my vote, in large part, because all we have to go on are the statistics and results submitted to us.

This is the NAIA. ESPN doesn't show our highlights 24/7. All we are left with are the statistics submitted and whatever research we do on our own.

What makes it even more difficult is when people do not fill out the forms correctly and accurately.

The worst offenses occur in the soccer awards, especially for the defensive player of the week. Primarily, this award goes to a goalkeeper, so naturally, the stats the form asks to be filled out are those for a goalkeeper. Simple stats such shots on goal, saves, minutes played and goals allowed.

That is it.

However, what gets submitted drives the selection committee mad ... well, at least this member of the committee. I won't and can't speak for everyone else.

How is it that goalkeeper faces 16 shots on goal, makes 12 saves and allows only one goal? If there's a shot on goal, there are only two possible endings: a save or a goal.

There were several nominations this week where the goalkeeper made numerous saves when having face ZERO shots on goal as well as a few goalkeepers who made saves and allowed a goal without even playing a minute.

How do you take a nomination seriously if the form isn't completely filled out and/or correct?

Sadly, this is not a new issue. This has been going on for years now, but in this FIRST week of national player of the week honors of the year, a high number of nominations were inaccurately submitted.

I realize no one is perfect. I, myself, am very flawed and have my shortcomings. But there are some things we as SIDs need not treat lightly and make sure we have all the information correct.

When I see a form which is missing basic information, I'm embarrassed. I am embarrassed for my profession, the school which submitted the nomination and the conference that selected the player.

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