Most of the Eagle squad that traveled to the New Zealand 7s earlier this month had not paid USA Rugby dues, which normally precludes teams and players from leaving the country.
Additionally, 15s coach Peter Thorburn, women’s coach Kathy Flores, and most of the Board to include chair Kevin Roberts were among dozens of national-level personnel who had not registered by the start of February, according to a review of the union’s online database. The findings were sent by a Division
3 1 coach to Gainline.us, which confirmed their accuracy.
“As you may know, this is our absolute busiest time of the year. However, because we feel it is important to set a good example, we are making sure that we all appear on the public-facing roster as soon as possible,” a USA Rugby representative said earlier this week.
The CIPP (Club and Individual Participation Program) discovery is embarrassing because it suggests there are two standards, one for everyday players who make up the union’s primary source of revenues, and another for “high performance” elites.
Deficient self-policing could also rekindle the firestorm that ensued after last fall’s announcement that USA Rugby would penalize territories which failed to ensure the eligibility of national playoff competitors. Many local officials strongly asserted that the growing Boulder, Colorado, office was newly offloading administrative chores, without providing any help to volunteers in the field.
The revised guidelines, which call for sanctions including “fines, suspension, forfeiture of matches and/or loss of seeds for future competitions,” were issued under the direction of interim chief executive Steve Griffiths, and have not yet been tested.
Earlier in 2006, USA Rugby trumpeted the hiring of a staffer, John Broker, who is dedicated to managing the union’s national teams. The Boulder office subsequently
added said it would add a specialist for women’s teams.
Of the eight head coaches at the Under-17, Under-19, All-American, Under-23, and Eagle levels, only U19 mentors “Salty” Thompson and Bryn Chivers had registered.
Just 1 of 22 Boulder staffers, physiotherapist David Williams, had signed up. It is not clear whether national-office employees are considered to be subject to CIPP.