Speech and Debate team members to the NFL (National Forensic League) has caused some embarrassment to Head Speech Coach David McKenzie, but hasn’t jeopardized the local program.
In a press release from PHS Principal Jim Condon sent to media on May 31, the violation was outlined. Condon said, “The violation stemmed from an improper data entry related to service points made on behalf of McKenzie.” Recording of service points for students, either currently on the team or those longer on the team, “requires individual entries made by the speech coach, per individual students, per individual date, per individual activity”. Condon said, “Service points are awarded for non-competition speaking opportunities including but not limited to such this as theatrical performances, broadcasting, public speaking or serving as a public address announcer at various events.”
Condon said, “In an attempt or save time, Mr. McKenzie created two fictitious speech tournaments which required far less time dedicated to data entry.” He added, “It should be pointed out that the points recorded by Mr. McKenzie, although miscategorized, were reflective of actual points earned by students.” Condon added, “This violation provided no competitive advantage to the PHS Speech team.”
Service points can be awarded to NFL members not currently on the speech team since NFL membership is a life-time membership available to high school students.
According to Condon, McKenzie self reported the violation of the National Forensics League guidelines to the NFL officials.
Scott Wunn, executive director of NFL, said on Thursday that they are excited about McKenzie’s pending induction into the National Speech Hall of fame. Wunn said, “PHS Speech and Debate is in good standing with records and points with NFL.” “The PHS program is active.” McKenzie will officially be inducted in the National Speech Hall of Fame during the NFL national tournament in June.
McKenzie is compensated by a stipend of $9,028 for his role as PHS Head Speech Coach. He also serves as the District Chair for the IHSFA (Indiana High School Forensic Associatio).
McKenzie is already a member of the Indiana Speech and Debate Coaches Hall of Fame and the recipient of the National Speech Coach of the Year award (2007).
Carol Anders Correspondent