October Status Updates

USCTNCAA

Below are a rollup of the several updates in October we published on USAT Coaches United.

UPDATE 10/26/15

West Point Tournament - NCAA Liaison – Next Steps

The tournament was well attended, although not large, and exceptionally well run and organized. Grand Master Ji Ho CHOI was in attendance and was very pleased with the organization, attendance, and the NCAA format events. During meetings with Grand Master CHOI; he offered his full support with our efforts to achieve NCAA recognition, and recognizes USCT as Governing Body for NCAA application. He also informed us that he will recommend WTF recognition of USCT as Collegiate Representative Governing Body to NCAA upon submission of application.

During the tournament we presented the current status of our application to many of the coaches in attendance and offered the opportunity for them to ask questions that would be passed on the NCAA today. These are the replies to those questions and to those asked today on the USAT Coaches forum. It is interesting but maybe not unexpected that many of the coaches have the same question and concerns!

If a University decides to keep a sports club can we have a separate practice for tea members that compete at NCAA level?

ANSWER: YES

If a University has both a club and an NCAA program can both teams practice together if there are not enough club team members to have a good practice?

ANSWER: YES you may have joint team practices – Practice policy is a question for each team, coach and university.

Is there a rule that says that a club team coach cannot coach NCAA team as well?

ANSWER: NO, Coaching policy is an individual policy issue for each club, team or university. NCAA has no policy about employment of coaches beyond ethics and enforcing any league rules.

Can an international athlete compete on an NCAA team?

ANSWER: YES

Can an international Athlete receive a scholarship to attend school and compete on an NCAA team

ANSWER: YES

Can a Taekwondo Club exist and be taught by the Coach / Master tha coaches the NCAA team (As in the above question)

ANSWER: YES

How hard would it be to add event such as team demo, demo and breaking.

ANSWER: It would be a monumental undertaking to add additional sport components after your initial application was approved. It would also jeopardize any initial application if you were to add components after it had been accepted. ADVICE is to add all components for which there is already Governing Body support and standardized rules. If there is no standardized rules of play being used by a governing body today it should be left out or it will weaken your application and could potentially cost you years in supporting documentation, demonstration and costs.

THIS IS THE DEFINING QUESTION AND SEPARATES ELITE SPORT TKD FROM NCAA PLAY

Can NCAA athletes have sponsorships of any kind if they are pursuing Olympic qualification (for example form USOC, or USOC sponsors)

ANSWER: NO, no NCAA athlete can receive any sponsorship of any kind at any time even out of season, even if it is a donation. For example, a go fund me page would almost certainly violate NCAA amateurism rules, you could not set up a fund raiser at a local Pot Belly where a portion of proceeds from sales go toward your cause, you cannot have a company donate to you even if they receive NO service of any kind in trade or return. Basically USOC guidelines violate NCAA rules and there is no appeal. An NCAA athlete that wants to pursue Olympics must self-fund through personal family and friends. THE ONE EXEMPTION IS: During the NCAA season, September – June; let’s say there was a superstar who drew national attention and there was a clothing manufacturer that wanted to associate themselves with the athlete’s school because the super star athlete went to the school…. So this clothing company “Over Armour” signs a contract with the University of Not Maryland to support their athletic department. As a result, the University of Not Maryland decides to send Super Star Athlete to all the G events all over the world to represent the school…. No harm no foul… AS LONG AS THE EVENTS DID NOT START BEFORE JUNE 1 and DID NOT FINISH AFTER THE LAST DAY OF FINALS IN SEPTEMBER.

I intend to make significant progress on our SOP this week now that I am on the mend.

Next steps:

Invite League memberships and Leagues to nominate Advisory Board members.

Request Letters of support from Coaches and League Presidents for making TKD an NCAA sport and offering support contacting Athletic Directors of their respective universities.

Conduct Background Checks on Prospective Advisory Board Members.

Complete SOP Draft for review by Advisory Board.

Open At Large Members Page and Invite At Large membership.

Open nominations / applications for Committee Chair positions;

Judicial, Coach, Player, Referee.

Delegate final SOP draft revisions to committee chairs - & final Draft review by advisory Board and Board approval

UPDATE 10/19/15

My apologies for the delay in publishing the documentation as promised. I have become ill and simply fallen behind.

However, we have had excellent initial meetings with Midwest Collegiate Taekwondo Conference and more extensive conversations with Master Nick Messersmith. Master Messersmith has been an outstanding supporter and has excellent ideas and experience in University Taekwondo, clubs, student requirements and concerns, etc. This last weekend we held a conference call with the MCTC Board. The conversation was and excellent exchange of ideas, questions and answers concerning the NCAA application, rules, and procedures and how the application will affect collegiate TKD. The most important answer is that there will be NO negative affect. The sport will continue to be maximally inclusive and we have negotiated agreements with NCAA which will allow all schools and clubs to continue competing as usual with very few exceptions. At this point there are no schools that meet any limiting criteria so I will not go into the complex formula of: division placement, number of Varsity sports on campus, the position of those sports, which re considered primary and which are non-primary and where TKD sits among those that would create a limiting factor. However, this will be discussed in the SOP manual that is due for publication. Please understand that this is the major work I have fallen behind on but will try to catch up on as I also try to catch up on our OTC project.

On Thursday this last week I met with Dr. C.J. Park of NCTA who is also the head coach of George Mason University. Our conversation was very productive and resulted in a tentative agreement and working arrangement with NCTA. In addition, Dr. Park agreed to become the permanent NCTA representative / Liaison of NCTA on USCT’s Board upon final approval of NCTA.

PLEASE NOTE>>> THIS PREVIOUS PARAGRAPH WAS NOT CLEAR AND HAS CAUSED CONFUSION. DR. PARK IS NOT A USCT BOARD MEMBER. THIS WAS RELATED TO PRIOR DISCUSSION WITH DR.AHN WHERE IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT EACH LEAGUE WOULD DEISGNIATE A MEMBER TO BE A PERMINANT BOARD MEMEBR IN THE FUTURE. THIS WAS NOT CLEAR BY SAYING “upon final approval of NCTA” My apologies for the poor communication.

Our next goal is to continue to reach out to leagues as quickly as possible including ECTC and the Mid Atlantic Taekwondo League. This will bring more than 80% of all actively participating University Club team on board with a single approach and non-political development of Taekwondo in the USA. The most important result of this all is the unconditional support of our athletes, beginning in high school, and providing a path for athlete development and participation through their university years.

After the Pan Am University Championship at West Point I will post an update including the questions asked at the west point meeting, the answers provided by NCAA and I will post an invitation to the first of several webinars that are designed to bring these discussion to the entire taekwondo community.

Thank you for your patience and continued support!

UPDATE 10/14/15

There will be a full status update and presentation of current application status and opportunity to ask questions regarding the NCAA application process t the upcoming US Military Academy West Point Pan Am Collegiate Tournament on October 24th. All coaches and officials are welcome to bring a university team and attend the meeting!

UPDATE 10/12/15

Very positive “meeting” with NCTA Board re: cooperation on NCAA application. Follow-up meeting scheduled for 12/15/15

USCT has been assigned a staff liaison at NCAA. The roll of the Staff liaison is to provide individual support to a recognized national organization coordinating or applying for sport Division status with NCAA.

Town Hall style meeting to be held at USMC West Point during event. Coaches, officials, institution representatives welcome.

Conference call scheduled with Midwest Collegiate Taekwondo Conference.

Goal II is to make substantive contact with PAC West, NCTC and ACAT ASAP.

Goal to provide Draft SOP manual by the end of this coming weekend. Due to our goal of making this a united effort and not providing for alternate applications an NDA will be required of those who wish to review and comment on the application. Those who sign the NDA will also be give the ability to propose additions, actions, changes, best practices, and other important add-ons to the application; rules and SOP manual.

This year before Nationals there was a significant discussion in the USAT Coaches United group regarding the potential for Taekwondo to become a NCAA sanctioned sport. A small group of discussion participants took up the challenge to help Taekwondo in the United States fill a key gap in its ability to:

Retain students,
Provide an environment where high school districts are able to consider Taekwondo as a Letter Sport,
Elevate the sport and level of competition in the USA, and
Provide young women and men, preparing for college, a path forward in their training that does not create a conflict between Taekwondo and education.

As such the committee to make Taekwondo a NCAA recognized sport was formed and held its first in person meeting at US Nationals in Texas this year.

Attending in person and or by phone or proxy were:

Greg Bew (US Military Academy at West Point)
Arlene Limas (AAU - Powerkix Martial Arts)
Stephen Decker (Five Rings Martial Arts)
Amanda Rosbarsky (Missoula Taekwondo Center)
Sherman Nelson (USAT)
SirGregory Salonis (Storm)
Chris Hershberger (NexGen Taekwondo)
Philip Herring (WCMA)

Based upon this meeting the committee agreed to its core purpose and a plan of action.

The Committee is now a fully functioning corporation, US Collegiate Taekwondo (USCT), and has applied for 501 c 3 not for profit status with the IRS; as such USCT is operating as a not for profit enterprise.

As of this announcement, we have made significant progress and are pleased to announce the success achieved toward our goals.

The NCAA division of Sport Diversity and Emerging Sports has recognized the USCT and is actively working with us to develop the application which we hope to complete before the end of 2015. Initially, the application will be under title 9 and the emerging sports program. This allows us to fast track the application.

Should we gain the support expected in the University community, we will reach NCAA Championship status within 18 months of the initial application approval.

PATU and WTF have recognized USCT and are supportive of our goals and objectives.

Thanks to the tireless work and dedication of Greg Bew; The first WTF and PATU sanctioned NCAA format tournament will be held October 23rd – 25th in conjunction with the Pan American Taekwondo University Championships at West Point in the Christl Arena. The quality of this event is outstanding and unique in that each medalist of the individual black belt events will be given “wild card” status for next year’s Pan Am Championship!

In working toward a goal of engaging with graduating high school students; high school students, who will be 17 prior to December 31st of this year with a Kukkiwon black belt, are invited to attend, compete, and meet with universities that support Taekwondo athletes on and off campus!

We welcome your input and suggestions and would like to invite your students, of all levels, to participate in the individual events and team poomse. We are also pleased to invite everyone to attend the Invitational NCAA format team matches on Friday evening!