Posts Tagged ‘John Doleva’

Hall Of Fame Fan Voting Remains On Hold

NEW ORLEANS – Hopes by the Hall of Fame to take the revolutionary step of including fan voting to help decide enshrinement have been delayed at least one more year as officials continue to struggle to find a partner for the project.

“It really all comes down to a sponsor issue, about finding the right sponsor to help us execute that,” said John Doleva, the president of the basketball museum in Springfield, Mass. “We’ve had discussions and nothing has transpired yet, so we’re going to go through the process that we’ve had over the past several years. With the changes that Mr. (Jerry) Colangelo (Hall chairman) has done to be more inclusive is great. We’d love to engage the fans. We think it is a sellable opportunity, but it’s an opportunity we have not yet been able to find the right partner.”

The Hall has been working to refine the plan that would give the election results the same weight as the current format of needing 18 of a possible 24 votes for enshrinement. The proposed format would increase the number of chances to 25, a popular decision in some circles because it encourages fan involvement and a concerning turn in others because it adds an element of popularity contest that can create problems, as witnessed by All-Star balloting some years.

Either way, the Hall has no intention to move forward without a sponsor to help in marketing.

“We work to try to do it every year,” Doleva said. “We think about the opportunity for fans to go to a website, whether it’s the Hall of Fame website or a sponsor’s website, and being able to vote for this list of 10 finalists and have an impact. It’s not just an opinion poll. It’s the top three people would get an additional to help them maybe get into the Hall of Fame. We’re actually talking about the fan having an opportunity to impact who goes in. We continue to market that.”

Doleva remains hopeful the format could be introduced for voting on the Class of 2015. In the meantime, balloting will move forward for the current set of finalists from the North American and Women’s committees, with the winners to be announced at the Final Four in Arlington, Tex., in April.

Fan Voting For Hall Of Fame Postponed

Plans to introduce fan voting as part of the Hall of Fame election have been abandoned for this year. Officials say they expect to implement the idea for the Class of 2014.

“We absolutely hope to do it in the future,” said John Doleva, the CEO and president of the Springfield, Mass., basketball museum. “It’s a big priority for the Hall of Fame and for chairman [JerryColangelo. It was just a little more complicated than we thought in terms of execution and getting ready and getting ramped up.”

Officials lined up a media partner, ESPN, to promote the concept. But the Hall did not have important sponsorships in place, prompting the decision to postpone.

“We would love to find a corporation to get behind this and support it through their media and help them sell product,” Doleva said. “It’s one of those things when you think about it, they’d be able to impact the vote and to get chatter going back and forth about the finalists and ‘Should this person be in? Should that person be in?’ I think there’s a lot of value there. We’re hoping to, in 2014, definitely do that.”

Under the working plan, the anonymous voters selected by the Hall — basketball officials, former players and/or coaches, athletic directors, media — would still decide the finalists. Mass participation would begin once that list is revealed at All-Star weekend in February, with fans part of the second layer of balloting that decides enshrinement later that summer. The top three finishers would get one additional vote toward the final decision, providing a 25th chance to get the 18 votes needed for induction rather than the current model of 18 from 24 electors.

That Hall proposal would give fans a strong voice, possibly the difference between election and disappointment, without the level of influence some consider would turn the process into a popularity contest along the lines of choosing the All-Star starters. The public could not have a great impact without a sizable support from basketball insiders.

Hall Of Fame Prez: Stern Big Supporter

John Doleva, president and CEO of the Hall of Fame, had this to say on the announcement that David Stern is stepping down as NBA commissioner, effective Feb. 1, 2014:

“It’s been a wonderful relationship. I think he appreciates what we do in recognizing the best of the best. I also think he appreciates the fact that we salute all aspects of the game, not just the areas related to the NBA. In his visits here, he has shown an interest in what we do in the amateur game, the women’s game and the international.

“Clearly we’ve had the support of the NBA all the way through. But specifically in my time here, the last 13 years, the NBA has been intimately involved in everything from planning to human resources to publicly supporting what we do.”

— Scott Howard-Cooper