I recently returned from my summer meeting as a member of the NCAA Division I softball committee. This meeting was my final responsibility (other than reviewing championship manuals) of my four-year term on the 10-member committee.
During those few days in July, we spent time reviewing the 2012 championship including the input from the softball coaches association and ESPN. Our group reviewed the factors of the RPI and how those adjustments would have affected this year’s teams. While we spent a lot of time with this review, we acknowledge that the RPI will just get the team on the board. Our committee spends hours breaking down each team’s entire body of work to see which teams should get into the championships or become one of the 16 seeded teams.
Spending the past four years as a member of a sport committee has been a tremendous experience. It’s a great chance to work with your peers and the NCAA staff in running a championship . The spring includes bi-weekly ranking conference calls, a weekend of selecting and seeding the 64 team championship, representing the committee as a site rep at a regional or Super regional and culminating with about eight days in Oklahoma City (OKC) at the College World Series (CWS).
At Fairfield, we have had the experience of hosting NCAA events, and through that you really appreciate all of the people, particularly your local volunteers who give so much of their time to make the championship successful. The experience of getting to know the volunteers from OKC and seeing the pride they have in the CWS was one of the highlights for me. While the time away from the office was often a challenge to balance both roles, I am tremendously appreciative of this opportunity.
Earlier this summer, my term on the NCAA’s Recruiting/Personnel Cabinet also came to an end. During my time on this Cabinet, we spent time researching, reviewing and developing legislation for the membership on Recruiting and personnel issues, particularly those that deal with the ever changing role of technology. My participation was certainly useful in staying engaged with the NCAA’s governance process. In the end, I think we all like the competition and the interaction with student-athletes which is what makes participation on a sport committee so rewarding.
While the summer goes really quick, it does bring about an exciting time with all the fall teams coming back to get ready for their seasons. Go Stags!
Blog Note: Alison Sexton is in her 16th year as a member of the Fairfield Department of Athletics. She is the Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator.