I never expected to be writing this. To me, the specific facts of this most recent HoF debacle are so clear that it hardly seems necessary to review them, much less explain them in detail. But based on some of the commentary back and forth I have been having with Kyle Weisbrod today, I can tell that he is still a little confused. Given that fact, it seems plausible that there are others out there who might be confused as well, so maybe a little review is in order after all.
For continuity’s sake, I have decided to use Kyle’s most recent comment to my Captain Kirk post as our jumping off point. From there we’ll just have to see where the discussion takes us. I, for one, can’t wait to get started. Let the learning begin.
Note: Italicized comments are Kyle Weisbrod’s unless they appear in quotations, when they are Henry Thorne's.
Ok, I'm confused. What specific confidential information are you talking about here?
Sorry about that. I’ll try to be clearer in this post. Sometimes my enthusiasm for the discourse causes me to get ahead of myself.
You mentioned the comparison b/t you and Pat:
"KD had nine times as many negatives as Pat in the peer review. More than half (55%) of KD's peers checked the "his spirit should significantly detract from his qualifications" box. Next worst was 20%."
I'm not privy to the inner-workings of the process. So you are saying this was confidential (i.e. the respondents were told this would not be released)?. If so, sure, bad judgment.
Hmmmm. Before we get into the explanation, I couldn’t help but notice that you admit being unfamiliar with the inner workings of the process. I’m no expert, but I do try to make myself knowledgeable on a subject before I take a position in a discussion on that subject. It tends to lessen confusion and allow me to make more salient and cogent points. It’s not that I’m telling you what to do, but I’m just saying…
So, as to the process, the following is from the invitation to submit peer comments: “All feedback will be kept strictly confidential and will be available only to the committee members as part of their deliberations.”
So I guess what you admit is pretty much what I said all along. Henry showed bad judgment.
But I'm unclear on the other confidential information that Henry made public. Are you talking about your public statement? Yeah, agreed, bad judgment if it was communicated that that was for the committee's eyes only. Was that Henry's doing?
No, this was not Henry’s doing. It also was not a “public statement,” as you call it. It was information the UPA HoF requested from me to be used by the committee to evaluate my candidacy, and was also confidential information. The person who made the decision to post it has already admitted that it was inappropriate and apologized. I used the fact that it had been posted on upa.org to illustrate that the UPA HoF seems to have a sliding scale of sensitivity when it comes to being the guardians of confidential information.
Or are you talking about the anonymous cheating comment. If that's it - yeah, I'm not sure that's bad judgment. The argument that you don't deserve to get in based on "questionable spirit" alone is pretty much untenable with the huge majority of players.
Yes, that was the confidential information I was talking about, in addition to the stuff you’ve already admitted it was bad judgment to reveal.
As for the whole “huge majority of players” comment, I was not aware of that. Cool.
That has to be supported by some accusations that championships were won/lost based on unfair play to keep someone of your accomplishments out of the Hall.
That seems like a pretty big leap. We went from questionable spirit to altering the outcomes of championships through unfair play. But let’s say you’re right for the sake of argument. Are you honestly saying that the unsubstantiated anonymous accusations are reason enough to deny an otherwise worthy candidate entry in the HoF? Or do you believe that the accusations have to have some merit?
That’s a pretty serious distinction. Imagine a voter thinking, “Hey, that Dobyns was pretty awesome but he was a bit of a dick, and somebody somewhere says he cheated him out of a championship, and that’s good enough for me. Out.” I’d like to think the voters take their jobs a little more seriously than that.
Did he definitely violate anyone's confidence? That's not clear to me.
Again, all of the information is confidential. He actually has refused to violate anyone’s confidence in reference to the accusations of cheating because he believes the accusers deserve to retain their anonymity. But he nonetheless violated the terms of the agreement through which the information was obtained. I would also go so far as to say, as an elected member of the UPA Board who is rightfully expected to uphold a fairly high standard of ethical conduct, he violated the trust of the voters who put him in office.
How would it be any different than the claims of "questionable spirit?" or any of the skill attributes? The fact is that Henry didn't play against you so his vote is based on what other people said. If you didn't get in because he heard that you were a lousy thrower how would that be any different?
OK, the sotg clause, as I illustrated recently, is written in vague language that allows for multiple interpretations. It would be pointless to engage in a debate over whether or not a particular player has “questionable spirit.” There simply is no verifiable right or wrong answer. As for the skill attributes, those are a little more clearly defined in the sense that there are verifiable outcomes that can be measured. A thrower who competes at a high level, completes the majority of his passes and throws a lot of goals would reasonably be described as a good thrower.
Now, what Henry wrote was that cheating took place (not "unfair play" as you put it) and that my cheating resulted in multiple National Championships being won or lost. Now since NY never lost any National Championships, I did make the assumption that he was saying that I cheated to win. And that, too, like a goal, is a verifiable outcome.
Therefore, Kyle, it is dramatically different from claims of “questionable spirit.”
He didn't have to engage in this discussion yet he did in earnest.
And once again, I appreciate his efforts. But he made several egregious errors that I believe indicate poor judgment. I asked you point blank if you agreed, and you wrote about the process as being the culprit. No question the process is flawed, but Henry’s actions were his own, and I say, once again…
In choosing to publicly post anonymous accusations of cheating that question my integrity and the legitimacy of multiple NY championships, Henry committed an ethical lapse that reflects very poor judgment, and thereby called into question a former player, an entire team (over multiple years), any UPA observers who worked those finals with NY, and the UPA National Championship series as a whole.
And I'm trying to help you out here because I think this decision and process appears to be ridiculous. So quit being an ass.
I read what you wrote, Kyle. The way I interpreted it you were dissembling and deflecting, all in a bid to avoid admitting what to me was an obvious truth, an admission you have since made. I apologize for upsetting you, but I think calling me an ass shows “questionable spirit” on your part (it felt kind of like belligerent intimidation).
In the interest of encouraging greater transparency from the UPA and the Board it is probably counterproductive to make Henry's uncommon (for Board Members) stating of his opinion publicly in to a referendum on his Board membership. That will almost certainly make other board members less likely to be public with their opinions and that is bad for all of us.
I did not make it a referendum on his Board membership. He did. Henry chose to end a post by writing about the privilege of being given the authority to make such decisions by the voters. The decisions he referred to include the decision to use an unsubstantiated accusation of cheating to give me a sportsmanship grade of 1 out of 10, and thereby determine me unfit for the HoF. He also passionately argued that the anonymous accusers should not have to take a public hit, even as he was publicly calling my integrity into question with those same anonymous accusations. I believe it showed incredibly poor judgment. We elect people to representative office based on the hope that they will exercise good judgment, so how is it inappropriate to point it out when an elected representative fails to do that?
Finally, as a former board member, for you to suggest that rather than point these facts out I should be quiet because if I don’t other board members will be less likely to speak up is a little bit unsettling.
Wouldn’t it be great if the response instead were, “Hey, Henry made a mistake, but let’s examine what happened and how it happened, so maybe we can keep it from happening again in the future. And hey, cut the board a little slack. They’re just starting out with this whole communication thing. They may stumble at first, but they’ll get it right eventually.”
Of course, that’s the response we might get from a board that was committed to openness and transparency, and based on what I’m seeing, the UPA board is anything but that.