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College crew: MC men’s crew team faces adversity

February 22, 2013

With a history steeped in Dad Vail championships and being able claim the first sport at Marietta College, the men’s rowing program is adding to its lore this year....

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Mar-11-14 12:17 PM

I just came back (well, a while ago, now) from the Hall of Fame induction weekend.

One of my crew mates was inducted; we had 3 from our class year represented there.

Our freshman time in DV finals was 5 seconds slower than the Varsity time. That was probably because we lowered our stroke to 20 and were singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" because we were too far out front and didn't want to seem not part of the race.

It got closer in succeeding years, but in every case we worked our butts off. Coaches make a difference, but I'm here to tell you (maybe it's different today?) that the team makes the steam.

I came to MC to row. That may not be the case today.

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Mar-17-13 5:01 PM

It's ironic that progeny of Ralph would be a key figure in the rebellion in the current men's rowing team. If rowers were as critical of their coach's experience in 1960 as they are today, there never would have been 'a history steeped in Dad Vail championships'.

The athlete's on the men's rowing team put the college in an impossible situation. If the college were to act on the student's complaints or the coach changed his coaching philosophy to accomodate the atheletes, it would send a clear message that the inmates were being permitted to run the asylum. It's regrettable that the men's team permitted themselves to be so swayed by a number of extremely self-centered and immature individuals, but now they have to put that aside and move forward.

I believe that Larry Hiser has the best interests of Marietta College Athletics at heart, but it's painfully obvious that he is ignorant of what it means to be competitive in rowing at the Dad Vail level.

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Feb-27-13 12:13 PM

Yet another cover up, no one wants to see what damage phil has done to other programs, he needs to crawl back into whatever hole he came from and take Kelly and larry with him.

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Feb-26-13 10:08 PM

As a recent Alum: Kelly Harris looks like a good coach on paper, bringing a team that wasn't even recognized as a competitive program to 5th in the nation (for a d3 team). But regardless, the men and women compete at different level. MENS ROWING IS NOT NCAA SANCTIONED. WOMENS ROWING IS. Thats not offensive, it is just the truth. The men compete against every team in the nation. The women compete against every team in the nation, that falls under D3. Also Marietres, when was the last time a womens program went to IRA? oh wait only lightweight women can go to IRA because NCAA doesn't recognize lightweight women rowing. Last I checked the womens team had few and far women that fall under the lightweight standard. But back to the truth of the matter. Hiser need to be fired because he is a awful AD, not only for the crew programs but many other sports on campus have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to hiring new coaches. And even more to the point, Schmell needs to be fired!

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Feb-26-13 9:04 PM

I noticed my links didn't work, google key words "decorated Schmel resigns" or "UMW may suspend crew program this year". Pretty soon, after this program is destroyed Phillip will move on to his next victim.

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Feb-26-13 4:33 PM

Marietres, why put it on everyone else? If its simply a "quick search" why don't you provide some examples of the boats he has led to the IRA grand finals. :)

Methinks you are trying to deflect the situation to the group of young men, instead of the underlying problem regarding the staff and administration? ;)

P.S.- Barkley, whoever you may be, are my hero for pulling out that quote at such a perfect instance.

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Feb-26-13 2:49 PM

I'm not trying to attack anyone or be loud, I'm just very disgusted with the facts, and the poor decision that caused the upset of a prestigious program that is a staple of Marietta College and Marietta as a town. Also Phil's claim to fame is 9 medals, in my rowing days, I routinely received more than 9 medals in any given season. I even beg the question 9 medals in what? Congratulations for sending a pair to the IRA, he has the ability to send already talented crews to championship regattas to be spanked. I don't know how any one with working knowledge of the sport can even consider this guy competent enough to capture a victory on the high school level.

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Feb-26-13 1:08 PM

A quick search showed that the coach has taken crews to IRAs and grand finals in the past? The louder comments get, the less they are heard overall. If this is how it has been there, maybe that has been the underlying problem.

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Feb-26-13 12:07 PM

What has happened here is completely disappointing. Phil Schmehl, Kelly Harris and Larry Hiser have disgraced the Marietta name, and its crest, to a point of no return. I do not see alumni taking this program seriously for quite a long time. In fact, for those of you who were looking for a new boathouse in the near future, you can kiss that dream goodbye. The administration has disappointed the donors so much that they are withdrawing there pledges amounting to over 1 million dollars. The actions of 3 insignificant, replaceable cronies has cost the college millions in potential funding. Not to mention the confirmation of the misuse of the Men's Rowing Endowment.

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Feb-26-13 11:58 AM

The issue at hand is not who was targeted in the article. If I remember correctly, not once were any of the administration called incompetent or incapable. The facts were presented in a thoughtful manner and those who believe the article is one sided are simply ignorant. Additionally, not one statement in the article undermines the Women's program or the coach for that matter. Lets all look at the article to determine that not only is Phil Schmehl unqualified for his position (he should be coaching a women's 4+,also known as the misfit 4). If you are confused at this point, that is what I call a shot at the women's program. A truthful assessment of the competition that the women compete at compared to the men is justified and completely accurate. DIII Women's rowing is not comparable to Varsity Men's rowing (IRA). When was the last time you beat a DI team? When was the last time you beat DII team? In fact, when was the last time you didn't get spanked in the finals of NCAA? Muff Said

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Feb-25-13 10:47 PM

One side has resorted to a lot of disparaging comments on a lot of different groups, even against their teammates and women's sports. Not a good sign. Team may be in a good position just moving forward with the high road. Good luck to all teams this Spring!

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Feb-25-13 8:56 PM

Article should be titled "Crew team faces idiocy with 6 sheep remaining." It is obvious there is an ulterior motive here to sabotage and/or disband the rowing program at Marietta. When the baseball team was in need of a qualified coach they hired a solid candidate. The rowing program deserves no less. Time for restructuring/eliminating some of the administration. Hiser's own ignorant quote regarding hiring Schmehl reflects desire to have a PR person as opposed to a coach of ability. Additionally, when I read the comments of Mary Poppins, Rowingfan and cplmsy, I recall the following movie quote: What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Feb-25-13 12:15 PM

Well MaryPoppins, nice analogy comparing diseased mental patients to a group of young, intellectual men with high goals for the future.

Haha it must the be the "patients" fault when the "doctor" breaks the backs of several rowers, teaches flat-out wrong technique, and has no ability to coach or lead on any level in sports or in life.

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Feb-25-13 11:50 AM

I don't think "patients" should seek care from a Dr. with no degree, who continually puts his pride before the safety and integrity of his patients.

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Feb-25-13 11:04 AM

Who is running the program?

Should the patients run the asylum.

It's a shame, but if the men do not want to perform for what ever reason, row with what's left.

Case closed.

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Feb-22-13 1:38 PM

As a member of this winning crew in 2012 I realize that I under performed this past fall. But one of the reasons we won last year was the work done outside of practice. We were no longer granted 24 hour access to the our erg room and forbidden to use the weights in the boat house outside of practice. Medals aren't won just during practice but by the extra effort given by the team. We were thought of as liabilities, yet we had done nothing wrong to deserve it.

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Feb-22-13 11:51 AM

As a Dad Vail champion, I know what it takes to win. You're right "rowing fan" a Vail champion boat should be more competitive even coached by a twinkie. With three debilitating injuries (bulging/herniated discs)to guys from that boat within the first 2 weeks, due to his lack of knowledge and safety in lifting. The men left because they weren't given the opportunity to succeed. The coach offered no component to success, whether on the water or off. Any day of the week stop by Phil's office to see 5 "how to guides" scattered over his desk. But lets not pretend to understand the whole situation, we only have available what Larry and Phil declined to comment on and what these young men had to say.

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Feb-22-13 11:44 AM

I am afraid it is rather obvious that it is time for a new AD at Marietta.

Talking about giving kids the runaround...sending them to see the VP of finance who takes their complaint to the VP of Student Life. Jeez talking about a bunch of staff chumps covering their butts.

I wonder if 26 student athletes transferring out of the college to Purdue would get the Prez's attention.

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Feb-22-13 9:47 AM

The problem here seems to be that there's a lot of mentioning of being part of a storied tradition--from the rowers, on the team website, in the coach's bio page. With the exception of 2006, Marietta hasn't won the Dad Vail since the 1960s, nearly half a century ago. This isn't a criticism of the program, but a commentary on you don't get to be good because people before you were good. You have to do the work every year. A Dad Vail freshman gold medal crew should be able to have more speed on the Varsity level, even if they weren't coached at all. Sounds like there's some sense of entitlement that some young men would be well served by losing.

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Feb-22-13 8:32 AM

There are gross inaccuracies in the article, which is understandable considering it is a student newspaper. The guys are still hurting because they are lost. The tough thing is that they will not realize what they are giving up until it is too late. Best of luck to Marietta Rowing... Men's and Women's.

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Feb-22-13 7:34 AM

Do not expect the AD to care about this program.

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