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27 March 2012


The management of USAR is a problem in every sense of the word.

Rugby Magazine has a story up about the USAR relationship with Bill Tatham. Tatham is in a contract with USAR where he purchased rights to 7's rugby. RM is reporting this is going to be a big announcement tomorrow.

One thing for sure, USAR has their fingers crossed this doesn't blowup on them. The IRB will come down hard on the union if they or their partners are messing with the IRB or their competitions.

This could make KoogaGate look inexpensive by comparison.

"If that the does not sum up the problem, then consider how some 10,000 turned out for last years's (then) College Premier Division final and the participants didn't make any money."

The fact that BYU or Cal didn't get a dime for filling RTS is a joke. USA Rugby should show the accounting for that. The CPD was/is to my knowledge the only competition that has made/makes money and they don't compensate the organizations that are responsible and/or participant? How does that work?

How about USAR draping Rio Tinto in Emirates Airlines banners. That was the most exposer Emirates received. Do you think USAR shared some of that sponsorship fee with the CPD teams?

Yea...it was good for them with all those Emirates flights into Salt Lake International Airport...:-)

Here is the start of the announcements people are looking for with Grand Prix Rugby.

"Grand Prix Rugby Inks Deal With Home Depot Center, Broadcast Partner To Be Announced Soon." via Rugby America

Maybe the Broadcast partner thing is what Rugby Mag was talking about for tomorrow. Exciting if it pans out. But you're right, if it backfires on them it could be bad.


Grand Prix "rugby sevens world championship"...world championship!!!

No the IRB won't have any problem with this concept! What a freaking laugh.

USAR could lose their IRB grants over this screw up. Clearly the IRB will be saying what other country is this poorly led. Tier two's get their funding from the IRB world cups, eh world championships. Melville and Roberts think they are going to take that grant money while selling to a promoter the rights to a world championship based in the USA. What a band of fools this is running USAR.

MattD, thanks for this link. Oh my.

I'm still waiting to buy tickets to Mile High Stadium to watch All Blacks vs Wallabies Bledisloe match...

They better not schedule GP7's in Carson on the same day!

Someone was complaining about Rugby Mag not putting college highlights on their website and I said there's no way they'd even be able to do that... Apparently the boys were listening.

Army vs Kutztown Highlights

Well done RM.

Sometimes it just takes a little push.

On a related note, has Alex Goff ever gotten excited by anything in his life? That is some sleepy commentary.

I feel like I'm in the miniseries "V" where the Aliens are running the show with the explicit cooperation of a group of traitorous humans who won't fight against the Aliens because of the power, prestige, money or whatever scraps the Aliens give to them. When will we have the Revolution? When will the insurgency rise up and fight against these people who are screwing up a sport we love in OUR nation?

Nice to see RM post some match video but the college conferences could be doing a much better job at reporting match results on their own websites along with player stats and match video. The new RSL site is a great design example but no video yet. RM will never be able to cover the country with their small staff. The college conferences have the money from CIPP to improve match reporting.

Also good to see Servevi and Elite Rugby Camps expanding their youth and elite programs. College confernces could be working with these groups to bring elite rugby education into their region to improve player and coach quality.

All this can be done without waiting for USAR.

Sevens-what are you talking about with "the college conferences have the money from CIPP?" All colleges and college players still have to pay CIPP at this point.

As a result of recent restructurings, portion of the dues paid to USAR will be allocated to the conferences/SBROs/GUs to be spent regionally at the direction of regional officials.

That's funny, because I am the commissioner of a college conference and I haven't seen any of our teams' and players' CIPP dues allocated to our conference. Not sure where you are getting this info, but it is wrong.

@Army Rugger

I felt the same way as you awhile back, that the revolution was needed. Now I think it gets clearer the longer that Melville (CEO), Roberts (Chair) and Latham (Vice Chair) stay in power that their rugby reputations will personally implode. Freeing US rugby from the destruction of their collective administrative terms.

True the lawsuit didn't get them, their losing record hasn't gotten them, their lack of sponsorships, transparency and poor financial management hasn't resulted in their ousting. However, the IRB is going to backhand slap these bitches over selling a competition they had no rights to sell.

No revolution required, sit back and enjoy, this ride is just getting fun. BTW, Melville is screwed because Latham and Roberts will first attempt to save their own worthless asses.

Sevens, where did you go? I want to know how I go about claiming my confrences portion of its CIPP dues back.

Also, while we're on the topic, the idea that USAR has the right to sell any "exclusive" rights to rugby competition of any kind in this country is laughable. If I wanted to start up a pro 7s competition in the United States, and Tatham tried to block me on the basis of his "exclusive" agreement with USAR, I can say with 100% confidence that he would lose that battle in court (and then would probably sue USAR). Antitrust laws are pretty clear on preventing this kind of stuff.


Sevens doesn't know what he is talking about. The CIPP funds go to USA Rugby. Dues payed by the teams, which traditionally went to a LAU or TU, now go to the conference. At least that is how it works for the conference I am involved with at this time.

Yeah, I know, I just wanted to hear him say he didn't know what he was talking about.

@Huh? - And people say that USA Rugby doesn't know how to raise money from outside sources. Selling something that doesn't exist...USA Rugby ftw!

So if the teams in a college conference decided they didn't want to go to the USAR national championships because the vast majority don't go anyway. Then why would they pay CIPP dues?

The insurance not needed?

The college director who did nothing before being fired?

Nigel Melville's leadership of college rugby?

The sponsorships being generated for college rugby by the USAR?

No really, somebody needs to answer this question. Why are colleges sending a million dollars of dues needed at home to USAR? Only to have Melville and staff waste these funds.

All good questions.

USAR sold sanctioning to GPR. This does not prevent any organisation from starting a rival pro 7s league. What the agreement does is make players and referees choose if they want to be eligible to participate in USAR/IRB competitions, including the National Team and Olympics. If you play for a team in the USA that is not part of GPR, and you earn a salary for playing with that team, then technically you give up eligibility for any USAR competition and national team.

I love the augment that you have to play for a USAR sanctioned team to be eligible for the national team. Remind who Gavin Debartolo played for before he was an Eagle? How about Chris Wyles? Tim Uszaz? The Eagles will take the best players who are eligible and if a pro competition not sanctioned by USAR had those players, you can bet your ass they'd be playing for the Eagles.

7's is already working to the detriment of 15's rugby. Every time a college conference (ACL for example) announces that it is setting up a fall sevens series - that cuts out nearly one half of the number of 15's games college players at those schools would have typically played before graduating.


You're assuming that those schools played a full 15s schedule in the fall. Not the case, and in fact most of the schools were playing less and less 15s in the fall because of player burnout from a 9 month long season. So if 7s keeps kids playing rugby in the fall and fresh and excited for 15s in the spring, is that a detriment? Where the big detriment to 15s will come for a conference like the ACRL will be if 7s becomes a spring sport. The ability to market it in that window will be so great that all anybody will want to do is play 7s because that is what will be on tv all spring.

@Gregg Williams:

If the CPD Final were in Utah and it was Arkansas State vs. Life, and USA Rugby lost money on hosting the event, would you expect ASU & Life to cover the costs? No? Then why would anyone expect USA Rugby to give out a share of the proceeds? And how do you decide to share the proceeds? Does BYU get more? Do the lower-level teams who played in the openers get a cut? How does that work? Should BYU and Cal split the money with other CPD teams? Just bitching about teams getting a cut doesn't solve all the issues that go into it.

Should Kentucky get a cut of the money from the Atlanta regional in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, since they were a huge part of the draw? Or do you realize that Kentucky can keep whatever regular season money it would make in Atlanta, but that part of the draw of Kentucky at the NCAA Tournament is that it's the *NCAA Tournament*? I highly doubt that Kentucky and Baylor would draw such a crowd for a regular season game in Atlanta.

If BYU and Cal want to host a regular season game with no title hopes on the line & with no USAR support, they can keep all the proceeds that they want. But if part of the draw is that it's a USAR title that's being played for, and USAR covers potential losses (i.e the non-draw that would occur with ASU v. Life), then why would BYU and Cal get a cut?


Those players still played for teams in unions that were part of the IRB, and USA Rugby and the other IRB unions all have exchanges for how players are transferred internationally. If you've ever played overseas, you'd know this. When I played in NZ, the NZRFU wouldn't let me play without USA Rugby clearance because the NZRFU follows the IRB's rules.

@ Huh? & CollegeFan:

From what I heard, conference funding will be similar to SBRO funding - conferences must have their ducks in a row before they receive funding. Every state that claims to have an SBRO doesn't automatically receive funding; it's only states that have legitimate operations like boards, NPO status, etc. that have received grants.

The SBRO plan calls for Youth and High School Membership fees to be dedicated to Youth and High School rugby development. I have heard that the same approach will be taken with the new college conferences and GUs. Of course, communication from USAR on financial matters has been lacking. Link to a version of the SBRO plan below.



You are wrong about the NCAA basketball tourney profit sharing. The majority of NCAA revenue comes from the broadcast deal for the tournamet and D1 participants do get a cut of the earnings of the tournament, just like CPD participants should have gotten a cut of the CPD final earnings last year.


Also you are wrong about the championship being a major draw for attendance at the Kentucky/Baylor. Kentucky averaged over 20000 in every game this season. Over 21000 watced them blow out Radford 88-40. The only low attended games were when they were played Penn St, in Connecticut, a state they had never played before.

"Anon is Wrong":

You really think Kentucky would draw 20,000 people to watch a game against Baylor in the regular season *in Atlanta*? Pass the pipe, friend.

Also, you are wildly misunderstanding how NCAA finances work. Basketball schools do not get *more* money if they claim they helped bring in a crowd (i.e. if Kentucky brings more fans to Atlanta than the region might otherwise have). If and when D1-A/CPD is prepared to assume losses for a potential Life vs. Arkansas State championship in Salt Lake that virtually nobody would show up for, *then* clubs could clamor for a cut of the loot without looking like fools.

Don't really care about the funding debate but UK can definitely pull 20k for a marquee regular season game in ATL. Anyone that lives anywhere near an SEC knows that.

I think the point with the CPD final gate money is that USAR spent money on hotel rooms for some teams and other teams would have just rather had the cash. And, the CPD was designed to govern itself but there were clearly financial CPD decisions being made outside the arranged CPD financial structure.

The CPD stopped governing itself the day in June 2010 when Jack Clark turned the reins over to USAR on a conference call with Nigel Melville, Pete Seccia, and Matt Sherman. Nigel then turned around and made Todd Bell's number one job to run the CPD.

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