Second job. Michael Smith of Sports Business Daily put together an interesting story on the commitment that is required for members of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
Seat on selection committee a hoops junkie’s dream (Sports Business Daily)
Incoming members prepare their TVs for extended duty (Sports Business Daily)
These committee members are not widely known to the public, and people typically don’t consider that they all have demanding “real” jobs (mostly athletics directors and conference commissioners). Yet, they still make time – lots of it − over the entire season to make sure that the best teams are selected for the tournament.
Committee chair Gene Smith, the AD at Ohio State, said the demands sometimes call for tough choices.
“For me as an AD, I’ve got 36 sports and I try to have a presence at many of them,” Smith told the Sports Business Daily. “I end up missing a lot of those events because I’ve got to be back home watching games. There’s a lot of studying to be done. Some Saturdays, I’ll watch bits and pieces of anywhere from 12 to 20 games.”
For what it’s worth, the NCAA depends on people like Smith to give generously of their time. The basketball committee assignment is an extreme one, but many other committees take up a lot of time and effort.
What got into John Feinstein last week? He started out talking about the suspension of Radford coach Brad Greenberg, slipped into a news conference with Division I Men’s Basketball Committee chair Gene Smith and finally settled in for a diatribe against the annual NCAA basketball mock-selection exercise.
The NCAA’s version of justice is puzzling (John Feinstein, Washington Post)
This had all the makings of somebody who was stumped for a column idea and threw everything into a verbal blender.
“Of course the NCAA likes to claim that ‘transparency’ is important,’” Feinstein wrote as he entered the mock-selection part of his trilogy. “That’s why, after many reporters wondered for years what actually goes on in the selection process, some genius in Indianapolis came up with the idea a few years back to invite ‘selected’ media members to participate in a mock selection of the tournament field.
“This was a classic NCAA move. Rather than allow a member of the media into the room when the selections were actually being made, they allowed the media to come out and pretend to be committee members.”
This led, invariably, to a plea that reporters should be able to sit in on the actual selections.
The right for a private organization to conduct deliberative processes out of public view is legitimate. Reporters can be so myopic in this regard, never considering that their own employers place strict limits on their own transparency (as is their right). Can you remember the last time the Washington Post permitted New York Times to sit in on its editorial planning meetings? In Feinstein’s world, readers would be entitled to hear the debate among the various editors for what stories get the most play.
Well-reasoned criticism is one thing. What Feinstein was offering was something else.