Yesterday while watching matches at the Convocation Center I learned a little fact that I otherwise did not know last week. It turns out that the All-SLC picks begin with nominations from each school and that as a part of that system, each school is allowed to submit just one Freshman for possible Freshman of the Year honors. The same is true for Newcomer, Libero and Setter of the Year. I wasn't aware of this because frankly, I wouldn't have expected the Conference to use such a poor method of creating the All-SLC ballots. More on that in a minute.
The point, though, is that Lamar was not ALLOWED to submit both Wendy Krell and Jayme Bazile's names for Freshman of the Year. Thus, my rant about Bazile being more deserving during the year is really a moot point because NO ONE could vote for her after Lamar decided it wanted to submit Krell as their nominee. I feel that needed clarification. Bazile wasn't even on the ballot.
So, two things:
1) I think Lamar submitted the wrong choice. Now, Krell played a lot - and well - yesterday versus UTA and Bazile didn't really get in. Bazile had a funky leg wrap on so I don't know what was up with that. You know.. I might get a chance to talk with Justin Gibert today. We saw each other yesterday, but I didn't want to quiz him. Maybe today the opportunity to speak with him will arise.
2) Each school is allowed to submit five names for All-SLC honors and like mentioned above...one name for Freshman, Newcomer, et al. What in the world kind of system is that? Look. There is no need to have nominations for All-Conference. None. The responsibility should fall squarely on the coaches and Volleyball SID's to make their picks based on some scoring system (the one they have is reasonable) without a nomination sheet.
I assure you, the coaches know the players on the other teams and they don't need a list to go off of. As far as the SID's? It is their JOB to keep up. They are paid to do it. Ours does an incredible job of keeping up. Trust me, Debbie and Ben can defend their picks. Whether they agree with mine or yours is beside the point. I don't have a ballot and gosh knows I don't deserve one.
Here is the simple fact: It just isn't that hard to keep up with the league. There are roughly only 130-140 volleyball players in the SLC. Over the course of an entire season, it isn't hard to learn the names (and sort through the numbers and articles) of these girls. There are under 100 girls that regularly play, that is, there are under 100 regular "starters" in the league. That just isn't that many people to keep up with. It takes at most two hours a week to read every single volleyball article published around the league - maybe one hour per week.
Just give the coaches and SID's a blank piece of paper. Tell them to submit their top "x" players for conference honors (they can't vote for their own team...which is fine) and then tell them to submit their top "y" choices for Freshman, Newcomer, et al of the Year. Apply your ranking system and...boom.. All-SLC/awards.
I assumed something like this was what they did. I assumed wrong and that's my fault. But, the fact that schools can only submit a finite number of names and only one for certain awards is a poor accounting system at best. At worst, its dumb. The conference should fix this.
What if you regularly started four freshman and they all produced at high levels? You're telling me that the head coach of that team has to restrict him/herself to one nomination? The rest of the league who played against these four girls can't sort them out? Yes, the coach of the team with the four girls knows them best. Hence, why I would like to speak with Gibert. But, a coach shouldn't determine who is eligible for an award as high as Freshman of the Year. The LEAGUE should. It's a LEAGUE honor, not a team honor.
I'm sure I am in the minority on this, but hey...it's my picture over there in the right hand column and that's my two cents.