Executive Director Bill Casto Addresses 2010 Basketball National Championships

Executive Director Bill Casto Addresses 2010 Basketball National Championships

Dear USCAA Members,

            The 2010 USCAA Basketball National Championships were conducted March 2-6 at the Penn State Fayette campus in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. In total, the 2010 USCAA Basketball Championships included: 30 teams, 44 games, and over 500 student athletes, coaches and administrators. The estimated economic impact on the Uniontown, PA community greatly exceeds a quarter of a million dollars. This year, the USCAA staff and tournament host, Penn State Fayette, worked in unison to provide a first class championship experience to all of the institutions and student athletes in attendance. We would like to personally thank each participating school for helping make this a landmark event in the continual evolution of our association’s premiere event. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Vince Capozzi, Tournament Director, the Penn State-Fayette athletic support staff, and the members of the surrounding Uniontown community that helped conduct this year’s Championship Tournament.

            At the conclusion of the 2009 Basketball Championships, the tournament staff set specific goals for improving this year’s tournament. We feel strongly that the areas we sought to improve upon were some of the best aspects of this year’s event. First and foremost, it was imperative to have the tournament at one central location. Several improvements to the auxiliary gym helped make this goal a reality. The lighting of the auxiliary gym was enhanced, as well as the overall quality and cleanliness. A fully functional operations table was present so that the table workers could keep live stats. Seating was added, and a lift was included to provide video for the coaches following each game.  In summary, each of the amenities that were present at the Main Arena were given to those athletes playing in the secondary site.

          We were able to secure a partnership with YouCastr in order to broadcast a live stream of all of semi-final, third place, and championship games. The broadcasts were beneficial to our member institutions’ supporters who could not travel to the tournament, as well as to the Association with revenues exceeding $1,000.00.  The most significant logistical improvement, however, was the addition of assistant tournament directors for each of the three tournaments (Men’s DI, Men’s DII, and Women’s). We would like to thank Andy Kirschner (Men’s Division I), Matthew Simms (Men’s Division II), and Melissa Beucher (Women’s) for their contributions as assistant tournament directors. Each of these individuals was responsible for coordinating all staff persons and event logistics for their respective tournaments, under the direction of our tournament director, Vince Capozzi.  Special thanks is also due to broadcast coordinator Keisha Pexton, video coordinator Lee Janaro, and sports information directors Jim Heath, Anthony Macapugay and Noah Becker.  We owe considerable appreciation to the Apprentice School, St. Joseph’s College, Penn State Beaver, Penn State Fayette, and Frostburg State University for allowing these people to be with us.

           At the conclusion of this year’s tournament, the National Office and Penn State Fayette conducted a tournament survey to evaluate the results of the various components of this year’s event. Each participating member institution was sent a post-championship survey and was asked to respond to a series of questions, rating each item on a one to five scale (1=unsatisfactory; 5=excellent). As a standard, the USCAA decided that any line item receiving below a 3.5 (between met expectations and exceeded expectations) would be an area that we will work hardest to improve upon for next year. The following is a list of categories that scored high (above 3.5) on this year’s feedback: game operations, stat distribution, USCAA Tournament website, USCAA pre-tournament communications, video distribution, lodging, and tournament facilities.

            While we were encouraged at the positive feedback from the membership, the tournament staff has come up with a new list of action items to improve on for next year’s tournament. First and foremost, we will be looking to improve the way the tournament banquet is conducted. We have already started the brainstorming sessions for how this will be done, knowing that our main objective will be to center the event around our annual All-American and scholar athletes. Second, we will be making changes to the format of the skills competition. Cutting down on the amount of time and improving the quality of the event is a must for next year’s tournament. We also will be revising some of the rules in the dunk competition to ensure athlete safety. Lastly, we would also like to continue to work on the quality of the hospitality room. While this year noted an improvement, we hope to continue to develop the logistical and quality considerations of the rooms.

            The national office was pleased with the overall quality of this year’s event. Having the three tournaments conducted concurrently adds a unique quality to our Basketball Championships that is unmatched by many associations of our size.  We believe strongly that this event can develop into a dynamic revenue source for the association as it progresses.  Our next step into making this our marquee event is to solicit a title sponsor for the tournament. This process has already begun, and we feel confident that something will surface in the near future.

The USCAA staff and Board of Directors is appreciative of all those who had a hand in making the 2010 Basketball National Championships a success.  It is because of our involved member institutions and communities that we create lasting experiences for our student athletes.  We continue to encourage member feedback and your attendance at our annual National Convention.  This year’s Convention is June 5-8 at the Marriott in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Registration forms are online at www.theuscaa.com.  You can learn more by clicking on the “National Convention” link.  I look forward to seeing each of you there.



Bill Casto

Executive Director, USCAA