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I think that is too bad. We can all quibble with some minor complaints, but at the end of the day they were largely minor. Under her stewardship, we have a league with a fairly homogenous membership of like minded schools. The league has stayed geographically compact, every school takes academics seriously, and the growth has been intelligent (picking Lowell over NJIT, waiting for NJIT to get its shit together, not leaping at these small private move ups).

There are some pie in the sky things that maybe fans could wish happens, but with the levels of institutional support that athletics get at our schools, I think she did a great job positioning AE for success. Looking nationwide, there are few conferences that you look at and say "yeah, that conference makes sense." AE is one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The university presidents are the ones who pick the commissioner, correct?

If so, we're all agreed that Woodward gets -1,000,000 votes, right?
 

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The university presidents are the ones who pick the commissioner, correct?

If so, we're all agreed that Woodward gets -1,000,000 votes, right?
I wouldn’t worry about that. Woodward doesn’t know athletics exist so I’m sure he will never find out about it. Granted his AD will tell him…oh wait he never hired an AD.
 

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I wonder if this was something she was planning long term or recent events factored into her decision a bit. Dealing with rape at UVM, Hatford leaving the conference, and the AE baseball snafu all at once couldn't have been fun. For all the positives she's done, I can't say I was a fan at all how she continued to publicize Anthony Lamb on her social media after knowing what happened. That's inexcusable imo.

I also think she was more concerned about promoting particular social causes at the expense of the reputation of the conference. While it was very admirable she put so many resources devoted to "ending racism" (though evidently rape or sexual assault was never addressed in these initiatives), ask SB baseball players if they wish she spent some of that time instead devoted to securing a backup baseball site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think that is too bad. We can all quibble with some minor complaints, but at the end of the day they were largely minor. Under her stewardship, we have a league with a fairly homogenous membership of like minded schools. The league has stayed geographically compact, every school takes academics seriously, and the growth has been intelligent (picking Lowell over NJIT, waiting for NJIT to get its shit together, not leaping at these small private move ups).

There are some pie in the sky things that maybe fans could wish happens, but with the levels of institutional support that athletics get at our schools, I think she did a great job positioning AE for success. Looking nationwide, there are few conferences that you look at and say "yeah, that conference makes sense." AE is one of them.
This is a good take. Leagues like the AE should have one big picture goal: stability. And you achieve that by getting to a place where, as you put it, you have membership that "makes sense." While all of the AE institutions have goal and focus differences in some way, be it academically or athletically, they're like-minded in a general sense in terms of their profile and footprint. Save for Hartford putting a knife in its own back, our little portion of the landscape feels very settled.

Did she do anything someone else couldn't have done? Maybe, maybe not. Doesn't change the end result. The AE did well in her tenure. Hopefully the next Commish continues that trend.
 

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I wonder if this was something she was planning long term or recent events factored into her decision a bit. Dealing with rape at UVM, Hatford leaving the conference, and the AE baseball snafu all at once couldn't have been fun. For all the positives she's done, I can't say I was a fan at all how she continued to publicize Anthony Lamb on her social media after knowing what happened. That's inexcusable imo.

I also think she was more concerned about promoting particular social causes at the expense of the reputation of the conference. While it was very admirable she put so many resources devoted to "ending racism" (though evidently rape or sexual assault was never addressed in these initiatives), ask SB baseball players if they wish she spent some of that time instead devoted to securing a backup baseball site.
I don't think the recent stuff is factored in. As I understand it, one she was pretty checked out in the last year (went on vacation in the middle of basketball season for 2 weeks), and she spent a lot of her time in the last years getting her doctorate from Harvard. Given she's had taken more of a front and center role in being publicly visible with all the woke initiatives and was getting more positive PR on herself, so I think you could see she had aspirations on something bigger and beyond the AE. So, she's off for something new. Good for her.

As for her tenure and how the AE managed in that time frame, stable, fine, which is all it needs to be. But, that's more just facilitating what school presidents and ADs want than it is "I've come to transform this conference." That only happens if the aforementioned let it happen. I agree with your critiques fully, though. Those were things she could control and chose not to.
 

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Wow, I wasn't expecting to see this when I logged in this afternoon. Pretty much agree with the positives and negatives on here. I feel like she did a good job leading the conference through the major realignment that happened, though most of that took place at leagues above the AEast. Could someone else have done the same? Maybe? Probably? But all I know is the conference stayed together and actually got to a place where I felt it was very stable, especially when compared to other conferences at this level.

I would like to be the first person to nominate her replacement: the star Division-I Villanova scholarship soccer player and High School legend, the honorable Gregory Woodward!
 

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Just had another thought...someone had mentioned if possibly the current events at Vermont, Hartford, baseball shitshow, etc had maybe led her to this. As catpower mentioned, I don't think it does. However, on the flip side of this, might those issues hanging over the conference's head prevent some who may have been interested from even looking into the vacancy? I doubt it, but who knows. The issues at Vermont don't directly impact the conference leadership so don't think that would be a big deal to someone interested and qualified for the position. Losing a member, on the other hand, could potentially give someone pause as they may wonder about the stability of the conference. The baseball issue actually is a conference leadership problem and the new commish can certainly take care of that.

Anyway...interesting to be looking for a new conference leader.
 
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I'm not sure these issues are that unusual.

Yes, what is going on at UVM suuuuuuuucks. But pick a conference, and you've got something similar. Sexual assault issues aren't unique to UVM or America East. Penn State, Michigan State, LSU, Baylor, Ohio State, I could keep going. Just googling "College sports sexual assault scandal" gets like six schools on the front page. It's a nationwide issue, and honestly there but for the grace of God go we all. I can't say with certainty Maine would have handled these issues better than UVM did. Or any school inside or outside of America East. No commissioner can waive his or her magic wand and make sexual assault disappear from its conference membership.

Hartford dropping down isn't some sign of systemic rot in the conference. There's been plenty said about the process UH went through that shows that this was a pretty local decision by UH leadership. Plus, UH was an outlier among the conference as a smaller private. Not that anyone wants UH to go, but it does kind of reinforce the model as a conference of midsized public research institutions that are rowing in the same direction.

And, to comment on some above mentions of the "woke" (God I hate that categorization of anything Republicans disagree with, but I digress) initiatives- I think you'd see that pretty much every conference made some statements in support of Black Lives Matter, or Equality, or what have you. And, places where it was discouraged, athletes made statements critical of their administrations (Tennessee-Martin, for example). Frankly, the fact that AE managed to coordinate its statements among members, and engage its athletes deeply on the subject, is going to be looked at as a sign of good leadership in the Presidents' offices of the member schools. This is the Northeast.
 

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A few things on Amy H......

1. She has definitely left her mark on the conference.....both in securing membership and branding (academics and equality).

2. I think that we can find someone better in terms of strengthening specific conference sports and championships.....that was obviously not her strong suit.

3. She'll never have to make another trip to Orono, Maine!


I think that the next Commish should examine football sponsorship and adding 3 more members to get to 12.
 

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And, to comment on some above mentions of the "woke" (God I hate that categorization of anything Republicans disagree with, but I digress) initiatives- I think you'd see that pretty much every conference made some statements in support of Black Lives Matter, or Equality, or what have you. And, places where it was discouraged, athletes made statements critical of their administrations (Tennessee-Martin, for example). Frankly, the fact that AE managed to coordinate its statements among members, and engage its athletes deeply on the subject, is going to be looked at as a sign of good leadership in the Presidents' offices of the member schools. This is the Northeast.
You're right, but when you have Raytheon celebrating pride month, many of these things have just lost the plot. Companies Are Using Pride Month to Rainbow-Wash Bombs and Tasers

Statements and PSAs don't equal an actual commitment to the ideas, now it's just goodwill PR to say "well, they can't say we didn't say it." Anyone could easily argue that if you're for racial justice, payment or letting athletes profit from their likeness is a meaningful policy that can help black student-athletes...Huchthausen wrote an op-ed against it in The Hill (opinions aside, this is a highly read publication): Reforms to NCAA student-athlete model could take the glass slipper away from the Cinderellas

Also, in the release, it says she's leaving for a startup to become the "Chief Impact and Culture Officer" which falls completely in line with what she's about and what that Vice article is about:

 

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I'm not sure these issues are that unusual.

Yes, what is going on at UVM suuuuuuuucks. But pick a conference, and you've got something similar. Sexual assault issues aren't unique to UVM or America East. Penn State, Michigan State, LSU, Baylor, Ohio State, I could keep going. Just googling "College sports sexual assault scandal" gets like six schools on the front page. It's a nationwide issue, and honestly there but for the grace of God go we all. I can't say with certainty Maine would have handled these issues better than UVM did. Or any school inside or outside of America East. No commissioner can waive his or her magic wand and make sexual assault disappear from its conference membership.
I understand these comparisons aren't exactly fair but nonetheless they're the ones you used. A quick google search found the Big 10 commish at the time of Penn State removed Paterno's name from the championship trophy. (link: WebCite query result). And the Big 12 commish during Baylor's investigation was calling on the university president to release related documents (https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaa...ylor-investigation-information-172024699.html).

Compare this to Huchthausen who knew about the allegations re Anthony Lamb, and continued to promote him for months on the conference's social media accounts. What about a statement or acknowledgement of what happened? Maybe she wasn't allowed to comment for legal reasons. I don't know. But this is the same leader who was turning the conference into a mouthpiece for ending anti-asian and racist speech. Don't get me wrong - I'm all in favor of these social causes. But I also feel like if you're in a leadership position and you're so committed to social justice reform, there's way more you could've done other than nothing (or promoting the abuser!). There's a difference between what the conference was "committed to doing" and their actions and that still really rubs me the wrong way.

I'm not saying this as a Binghamton fan but what happened at UVM was arguably worse. And Nero forced them to sit out the tournament while there were also grumblings he wanted them out of the conference.
 

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So I guess a good question to ask now is what would you expect from the new commissioner?

I would like:
1) Working with schools to find a way to get less non-D1 teams on basketball schedules. If you have to find conferences to have challenges with during the OOC portion of the season, then do so. That’s one solution to the problem, I don’t know the perfect solution, though. I just know that if I still lived in Baltimore and was a UMBC season ticket holder, I’d be pissed if I saw another 4 non-D1 teams on my schedule again; like, “what am I paying for?”
2) Better support of baseball. This past tournament debacle aside, AE baseball has potential for its future, despite northeast weather issues. Now that MiLB realigned and eliminated rookie ball, that’s resulting in more players going to college, so the talent is going to trickle down. Players who would otherwise choose CUSA teams will be looking at leagues at our level, and I think the AE should take advantage. In addition, the league has three schools (two of which have baseball) in markets that lost MiLB teams, and even though the Vermont Lake Monsters joined a college summer league, the future of baseball in Binghamton and Lowell is in our league, and can provide locals that product. Binghamton got a huge gift in that department (rumored to be from a Yankee executive), and UMass Lowell already plays in the Spinners’s stadium. I think the rest of the conference can be encouraged to either provide more resources for baseball (Maine has a pretty decent program) or drop it.
3) Continued support for soccer’s two-semester model. There are a number of non-college advantages of a college soccer season going to a full school year, mostly allowing the unofficial Division 4 leagues (USL2 and NPSL) to have a full season since they won’t be just college summer leagues, which can open up certain structures in US Soccer. However the NCAA was sold on allowing the vote for the idea not only because of better weather in the NCAA Tournament, but the current high number of injuries and missed class time. The vote to change the season was initially scheduled for last April to take affect in the 2022-2023 school year, but that vote was put off for obvious reasons. This past season saw a spring tournament which may or may not influence votes, but surprisingly, there was opposition to the proposal; the AE was not one of those leagues, thankfully, and I hope the new commissioner sees the advantages and continues its support when it does go to vote in April 2022.
4) Football. It was mentioned above, and I said it two years ago when UConn left the AAC, I said it eight years ago when UMass left MAC, I stand by it, and I’ll say it again. If the four AE football programs can leave the CAA Football league (I know it’s separate from the CAA), take URI with it, and convince UConn and UMass to stop being stubborn on having FBS football, the AE Football league can be strong, and be geographically compact enough to have reasonable travel budget. I seriously don’t see any downside to it.
5) Both men’s and women’s lacrosse are in a good spot as top mid majors, but I would like to see at least two conference games per season on national TV, like ESPNU. Other than that, there isn’t much more I can suggest.

I don’t have any answers for the social issues, but from a sports perspective, those are my top asks as a fan.
 

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I understand these comparisons aren't exactly fair but nonetheless they're the ones you used. A quick google search found the Big 10 commish at the time of Penn State removed Paterno's name from the championship trophy. (link: WebCite query result). And the Big 12 commish during Baylor's investigation was calling on the university president to release related documents (https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaa...ylor-investigation-information-172024699.html).

Compare this to Huchthausen who knew about the allegations re Anthony Lamb, and continued to promote him for months on the conference's social media accounts. What about a statement or acknowledgement of what happened? Maybe she wasn't allowed to comment for legal reasons. I don't know. But this is the same leader who was turning the conference into a mouthpiece for ending anti-asian and racist speech. Don't get me wrong - I'm all in favor of these social causes. But I also feel like if you're in a leadership position and you're so committed to social justice reform, there's way more you could've done other than nothing (or promoting the abuser!). There's a difference between what the conference was "committed to doing" and their actions and that still really rubs me the wrong way.

I'm not saying this as a Binghamton fan but what happened at UVM was arguably worse. And Nero forced them to sit out the tournament while there were also grumblings he wanted them out of the conference.
Bingo! No one is saying that what is alleged to have happened at Vermont (a men’s basketball team out of control with a rape problem... or maybe a rape problem with a basketball team), but what they are saying is that she could have told the conference “hey, look, these are allegations, no one is saying convict Anthony Lamb or condemn him publicly. But these are awful allegations, so let’s just take a step back and not continue promote him long after he’s graduated since his ALLEGED VICTIM who has alleged the rape led her to serious suicidal ideation is STILL ONE OF OUR STUDENT ATHLETES.” That seems like a no brainer — you stay out of it and keep the conference from promoting an alleged rapist...

Also, if what’s alleged at Vermont did happen, it’s light years worse than what happened at Binghamton. It isn’t remotely close — nothing that happened at Binghamton will scar people for life. Rape will.
 

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I'm not sure these issues are that unusual.

Yes, what is going on at UVM suuuuuuuucks. But pick a conference, and you've got something similar. Sexual assault issues aren't unique to UVM or America East. Penn State, Michigan State, LSU, Baylor, Ohio State, I could keep going. Just googling "College sports sexual assault scandal" gets like six schools on the front page. It's a nationwide issue, and honestly there but for the grace of God go we all. I can't say with certainty Maine would have handled these issues better than UVM did. Or any school inside or outside of America East. No commissioner can waive his or her magic wand and make sexual assault disappear from its conference membership.

Hartford dropping down isn't some sign of systemic rot in the conference. There's been plenty said about the process UH went through that shows that this was a pretty local decision by UH leadership. Plus, UH was an outlier among the conference as a smaller private. Not that anyone wants UH to go, but it does kind of reinforce the model as a conference of midsized public research institutions that are rowing in the same direction.

And, to comment on some above mentions of the "woke" (God I hate that categorization of anything Republicans disagree with, but I digress) initiatives- I think you'd see that pretty much every conference made some statements in support of Black Lives Matter, or Equality, or what have you. And, places where it was discouraged, athletes made statements critical of their administrations (Tennessee-Martin, for example). Frankly, the fact that AE managed to coordinate its statements among members, and engage its athletes deeply on the subject, is going to be looked at as a sign of good leadership in the Presidents' offices of the member schools. This is the Northeast.
You’ll have similar awful sexual assault situations in other conferences, but the America East sadly stands out in how it never made a public statement standing by/up for survivors in the wake of it (they have been blatantly silent on things like sexual assault survivor/awareness month when making a league wide statement on every other social cause month) and in the fact they continued to promote an outed alleged rapist of a current student athlete long after said alleged rapist graduated... they’ve come off as incredibly insensitive especially considering how hard they’ve tried to cast themselves as being progressive on social issues...

Second bolded section: have they really done anything to markedly move the needle or really foster social change? Look Twitter posts and wearing T-shirts in warmups stating “end racism” or promoting being inclusive of the LGBTQ community are better than doing nothing... they aren’t much of there isn’t action behind those t shirts.

As catpower pointed out, she went out of her way to write an op Ed against student athletes being paid — which most economists and sociologists will say is a step towards racial equity. I don’t know of any real social justice initiatives she spearheaded or the league engaged in, and she certainly is no friend to sexual assault survivors (a pandemic that grotesquely and disproportionately affects black and brown women)...

To me, on social issues, she was all starch and little substance
 

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I think that the next Commish should examine football sponsorship and adding 3 more members to get to 12.
1) Working with schools to find a way to get less non-D1 teams on basketball schedules.

2) Better support of baseball.

4) Football.
Couple of thoughts from me and the obligatory plug for CCSU :)

Replacing Hartford with Central Connecticut would do 2 things for the AE immediately:

First, it would return the league to 10 teams and a 18-game basketball schedule. Having this many conference games helps reduce the need to schedule non-D-I schools to complete a non-conference schedule. CCSU has a history of success under Howie Dickenman and now Pat Sellers is positioned well to return the Blue Devils to a top mid-major program in the region. Obviously, travel for members doesn't change at all.

Secondly, adding CCSU would also give the AE another football school. Then, there are an additional 3 football schools in the region that already have affiliate football membership outside of their home conference that would be very interested in AE football:

1. Monmouth (MAAC / Big South football)
2. Rhode Island (A-10 / CAA Football)
3. Robert Morris (Horizon / Big South football)

If the AE sees any value in sponsoring football (which I'm not sure they do), I think they would be immediately eligible for the AQ since they would have had 5 members together in the CAA.

America East Football:
1. Albany
2. Central Connecticut
3. Maine
4. Monmouth
5. Rhode Island
6. Robert Morris
7. New Hampshire
8. Stony Brook

AE Football sponsorship is certainly possible and realistic, but a new commissioner can not make that happen without the support of the Presidents, specifically at UNH, Maine, Albany, and SBU. Whenever this issue is raised most fans from those schools, don't want to leave the CAA because you are basically swapping out Delaware, Towson, and JMU for CCSU, Monmouth, and RMU - an obvious downgrade. I don't disagree, but at some point budgets/travel and other considerations have to be factors. Remember, URI joined the NEC and only stayed in the CAA once UA and SBU were added. Maine plays 2 FBS games to keep the budget afloat, and Albany and SBU are not too far removed from the NEC to welcome CCSU, Monmouth, and RMU for football.

Let's be 100% clear - there is ZERO chance UConn would ever drop to FCS and I assume UMass wouldn't do it either. If that is the plan for AE Football, it will never happen. But if the Presidents want an FCS league, you are looking at bringing on schools like CCSU, Monmouth, Bryant, RMU, Howard, Delaware State, Morgan State, etc.

CCSU would also bring a lot to the table for baseball. Central just made their 7th NCAA appearance this season and did very well in the Eugene Regional (L, 13-10 at #14 Oregon; L, 6-5 in 10 innings vs. LSU). Like Lowell and Binghamton, New Britain is a former AAA city and we have access to New Britain Stadium (or Dodd Stadium) for the league tourney.

Not to mention CCSU has very strong programs in Soccer, Cross Country/Track, Softball, and Volleyball. The only strategic weakness in the CCSU athletics is lacrosse (no men's team and an awful women's program).
 
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