Scuttlebutt News Center:
(June 15, 2005) In a follow-up to our story (Dominence Without Recognition) regarding Bryan Lake and Jennifer Warnock winning A Division at the 2005 College Coed Dinghy Champs but getting left off the All-American team, we polled the opinions of several past collegiate competitors.**
* Brad Read (86 College Sailor of the Year): The Inter-Collegiate Sailing National Championships are the premier events on the Collegiate Calendar. Dominating the Coed A Division at the Nationals is more than enough to warrant All American Skipper and All American Crew Status for the winners. Period. Same goes for Coed B Division, Women's A and Women's B. The Winners of the Sloops and Single-handed Championships should also receive All American Status. Those teams who rise to the top of those events are to be considered the cream of the crop for that Collegiate Season.
* Gary Jobson (72, 73 College Sailor of the Year): On the flip side, there have been sailors who have made All-American but did not get a chance to sail in the Nationals. Participating for a full year should certainly be encouraged.
* Peter Isler (76 College Sailor of the Year) Back when I was in college... the Dinghy Nationals was "the" regatta of the year... and I would have assumed that even today... an A division victory at that event (to say nothing about the third in a row!) would ensure selection of the skipper to the All-American team... and the crew to the list of All Am crews. Their omission in the 2005 All American rosters does not seem right to me... regardless of how many regattas they sailed during the year. This is akin to a minor leaguer getting called up for the Playoffs and the World Series - pitching 3 shutouts in the WS - and not being named MVP because he didn't play enough all season. The Dinghy Nationals is "the big show.
* Terry Hutchinson (89, 90 College Sailor of the Year): Three times winning A division is a pretty good effort that should be rewarded with at least an All-American recognition. I can appreciate the selection process looking for all around performance but would suspect in the case of a team in Hawaii that travel and time would be tough
. there are exceptions and sounds like Bryan is one of them.
* Ken Legler (77 All-American, Tufts University coach, former member of All-American selection committee): This is not a new issue. Bruce Mahoney won Singlehandeds for Texas but didn't make All-American. I never liked the idea of someone stepping in and taking an All-America honor from someone who performed well all year, perhaps with less talent. As a committee member I voted against (my own guy) Mark Mendleblatt as College Sailor of the Year because he just didn't have the quantity that Tyler Moore had. Though it is possible to make All-American in only one season (fall or spring), it is not possible in one or two outstanding events.
* Gary Bodie (former USNA coach and All-American selection committee member): I think this year's committee followed the criteria as stated. My personal opinion is that the winner of A division should be "automatic," even if they only sail two events in one semester. If so, the criteria should be changed. Of course, the counter argument is that if you make the A Division winner, B div winner, winning skippers on the winning team, winning skippers on team racing team and the winners of Singlehanded and Sloops all "automatic," and there are no repeats, you have filled nine of the eighteen spots with automatics.
* Rick Merriman (Three-time All-American) Winning A division is a big deal but being an All-American usually entails having won A or B division in some other big Intersectional and in other classes such as the Sloops or the Singlehandeds. It would be like a football player sitting out the season and only playing in the championship game and having a great game. He would not be an AA.
* Jim Brady (85 All-American): I was surprised to hear that the winner of A division at the North America championships was not selected. I understand the selection committees desire to encourage participation in other college sailing events - but, in my view - winning the biggest event of the year merits inclusion as "All-American team" - as recognition of being one of the top sailors in college sailing during that given year. He clearly beat the best at the most important event.
* Bill Hardesty (98 College Sailor of the Year): It is pretty awesome that Bryan Lake and Jen Warnock can come out and win A-Division without much practice. That proves to me that he is better than the other sailors and should make the All-American team. I see the team as being the best college sailors from that year. If these two are the best sailors college sailing has to offer then can someone explain why they were not recognized?
* Chris Larson (88 College Sailor of the Year) The College All-American and Sailor of the Year selections are based on a panel qualifying each person's results throughout the collegiate year. It sure seems as if Bryan is on his game, but it must have been a tough decision for the panel.
* Mike Pinckney (University of Irvine coach, 84 All-American, 83, 85 Honorable Mention): The system will always have flaws, just like college football. Yes, Lake/Warnock should be AA's. With the standards set by the criteria a correct, but inexcusable decision was made, thus the human factor should over ride. The system did not expect a situation like this, hopefully it never hapens again. Just wait till college football starts!
* Skip Whyte (former All-American and collegiate coach): Winning A division at the Nationals is a big achievement, (but) it might send a bad precedent if top sailors were encouraged to ignore the regular season knowing that they could jump in at the last moment, displace their own team members who had carried the team all season, and grab all of the glory. My personal sentiment is to support the decision of the selection committee.
** It should be noted that Bryan Lake was included on the Honorable Mention list
Information regarding college sailing can be found at www.collegesailing.org