Board of Advisors – 5/23/2019 Meeting Minutes

The RSAA Board of Advisors had its first meeting on May 23rd -- here are the notes from that meeting.

By RSAA Staff
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Agenda Items

Welcome and Introductions – Meeting convened at 11:45 AM. After quick introductions from the RSAA Staff, Theron James conducted a warm up exercise titled Impromptu Networking, tasking attendees to answer the questions “What big challenge do you bring to this meeting?” and “What do you hope to get from and give to this group?”

State of Scholastic – Michael Sherman walked advisors through a presentation titled State of Scholastic Esports, sharing the RSAA’s current view of the world, including League of Legends player demographics, College League of Legends growth, and an overview of existing partnerships.

Following, J.T. Vandenbree walked through a retrospective of 2019 Season changes, and shared an initial point of view on 2020 focus areas, including team roster size, championship structure, changes to scholarship distribution, and support for further varsity programs.

Purpose to Practice – As this is the first meeting of the board, the majority of time was prioritized towards establishing a framework for how the board wanted to operate and what they felt was the most pressing areas of focus. Derek Jurovich facilitated an exercise titled Purpose to Practice, designed to help a group give voice to — and shape — the important high-level elements of successful group work before it starts to do the work.


The exercise was originally scheduled to take 90 minutes, but consumed the better part of three hours, in what was an engaging and constructive conversation. Takeaways included:

  • Directive to meet quarterly instead of biannually for at least the first year
  • Directive to elect a non-Riot Board of Advisors Chairperson
  • Directive to define a Board of Advisors mission statement and near-term priorities by the end of 2019
  • Directive to establish communication channels for Advisors and RSAA Staff
  • Need to establish subcommittees focused on priority topics
  • Explore potential board expansion

Notes from the exercise will be further digested and shared back to the Advisors in preparation for the summer meeting.

Diversity and Inclusion Audit – Prior to the meeting, Advisors were shared a Diversity and Inclusion audit of the College League of Legends season and club program conducted by Dr. Morgan Romine of AnyKey. The audit analyzed the programs practices and the community experience on campus and evaluated Riot against a rubric designed by Dr. Romine. She was in attendance and took questions from the RSAA Staff and Advisors regarding the audit, and discussed growth areas for 2020.

NCAA Update – Kurt Melcher presented an update to the group showcasing the process the NCAA underwent to review esports and highlighted their findings. Additionally he fielded questions on the NCAA’s most recent decisions surrounding esports and proposed takeaways to the Advisors.

Action Items

  • RSAA Staff to propose a summer meeting date.
  • RSAA Staff to propose a voting framework to elect a Chairperson of the Board.
  • RSAA Staff to establish communication channels for Advisors and RSAA Staff.

Closing Thoughts

As the inaugural meeting of the RSAA Board of Advisors, we prioritized sharing participant goals, identifying opportunity spaces, and establishing foundational working norms. The meeting was originally scheduled for three hours, but when all was said and done, we had met for more than six hours. There was a high degree of confidence we had the right people in the room, and that we were all here to work. I believe the results of this meeting will pay dividends for years to come.

Michael Sherman, Head of College, RSAA


Board of Advisors

  • Mark Deppe – UC Irvine
  • A.J. Dimick – University of Utah
  • Erin Harvego – Big Ten Network
  • Carolayne Henry – Mountain West Conference
  • Kurt Melcher – Intersport, Robert Morris University
  • Dr. T.L. Taylor – AnyKey, MIT

RSAA Staff

  • Matt Birris
  • Michael Sherman
  • J.T. Vandenbree
  • Caroline Montano


  • Theron James – Riot Games
  • Derek Jurovich – Riot Games
  • Dr. Morgan Romine – AnyKey
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