The busiest and most exciting time for the NCAA men’s volleyball committee is here.
The three-person committee will determine the six-team NCAA Tournament field on Sunday and oversee the upcoming NCAA Tournament at Ohio State.
Check out Off the Block’s interview with committee chair Janine Oman from earlier this week as the committee prepares for Selection Sunday.
Vinnie Lopes, Off the Block editor: We are a couple days away from Selection Sunday. What is this time like for you as the committee chair and the rest of the committee members?
Janine Oman, NCAA men’s volleyball committee chair: It’s a busy time. We’re watching a lot of volleyball. We have a lot of calls that we are trading back and forth. We’re working through scenarios as we are looking at teams, results and how different scenarios may play out. It’s a lot of fun, though. We are always excited at this time of year to serve on this committee because this is really where a lot of your work comes in.
VL: You’re a veteran of this committee. You’ve been on it for multiple years. However, this is your first year as the committee chair. What has been the biggest difference for you between this year and past years as the new chair?
JO: I think the difference is that you are really more in the details of the actual championship as well as running the actual championship. When serving as a committee member, and not the chair, you’re a little bit more high level as to the championship. As a chair, you are working with the host institution and getting into the details specific to that particular championship. This year it’s a little bit unique in that while I’m the committee chair, I am also at Ohio State who is hosting it.
VL: I know we can’t talk about any of the specific teams. However, I did want to ask you about the criteria used to select the NCAA Tournament field. In the past, some committees have placed additional weight on certain criteria aspects. Is the committee this year placing additional emphasis on any of the criteria categories?
JO: We don’t really place any predetermined emphasis on any particular piece of criteria. As we are working through our selections some of those criteria may emerge, but going into it in any year we really don’t have any predetermined emphasis on any of those pieces of criteria.
VL: The volleyball community is very passionate. You and the rest of your committee members take your job very serious. What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions that the volleyball community may have about the selection committee?
JO: I think most people place a lot of emphasis and think our only job is to select teams [for the NCAA Tournament] and seed the teams. Really, serving on a sports committee is very broad. It’s anything and everything that involves men’s volleyball at a NCAA level. So that is running a championship. That is selecting the teams. That is looking at potential playing rules changes that are coming to us from different groups that are sent forth to our committee. It is recommending [NCAA Tournament] sites for future championships. Our work is really all year long. It’s anything and everything that impacts collegiate men’s volleyball.
VL: Ohio State is hosting the NCAA Tournament, and you talked about it earlier how you are involved in all the details, but I want to ask from a broader perspective. How excited are you to have the opportunity for Ohio State to host it this year?
JO: Our goal at Ohio State is hosting lots of championships. Our philosophy is to support all the many sports that we have here. Our goal is to be able to provide the teams that we support here an opportunity to play at home. We are fortunate here in Columbus that we have a really good partner in the Columbus Sports Commission that works with us to provide a high quality championship experience. We appreciate our staff who do a remarkable job hosting championships. We always like the opportunity to be able to showcase who we are in Columbus and Ohio State in particular. We are always excited to do that, and it really gives our fans an opportunity to come out and support the teams that are here.