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10 October 2013


Was it Congress that destroyed RSL, or was it just simple economic reality that the clubs recognized until their weren't enough of them left.

What if?

We would have a better rugby union. A higher level of domestic play. A far better club standard. We would have domestic representative rugby. Our national team would be receiving better candidates. The Eagles would be progressing as opposed to declining.

The best reason would be the lasting investment in US rugby.

The plan used has wasted every dollar on failed competitions with little developmental value spread over too few individuals. The plans were stupid, they failed in real time and they left no legacy and provided zero investment value.

The College Premier League did not wither after one season, it was renamed as D1A.

D1A has lost teams though, some due to cost control, some because they did not like getting humped by 70-100 points, and some due to the advent of the Varsity Cup (and the associated promise of income).

No promise of income in the VC as I understand it, only the hope of growing something. Modeled after the highly successful CRC. With a BYU final which paid the bills, a new contract with United World Sports and an agreement to air the final on NBC the "associated promise" is looking better than the annual screwing by the Boulder nitwits.

Meanwhile you are correct Hugh, the D1A comp continues on. The final between a non-accredited trade school and a small private catholic school played in front of about 150 fans.

Wasn't it Scott Johnson who referred to USAr as sexy fingers. In that, everything USAr touches they f*ck up.

We should be glad this crew at USAr hasn't done more damage than they have. Lets be happy they just destroyed opportunities on the IRB grants.

Some numb-nuts, chutney ferret of a referee corrected me the other day by saying that it wasn't Cipp dues that were used to pay for Nigel's wage.

He said the IRB picked up the tab for that. The smug faced turd, soon lost his smile when I said, that it was good rugby money pissed down the drain, either way.

What if the $10M that Hewlett-Packard was willing to give Caravelli & USAR in sponsorship of the USA 7s MNT, didn't get shot down by Kevin Roberts?

What if Nigel Melville actually knew something about fund-raising and did not rely on CIPP dues to run a non-profit organization?

What if AIG decided to sponsor USAR and USAR decided to sell their insurance business to their sponsor (instead of it's competitors)?

What if a local union took the initiative to insure themselves and fund IRB-approved ref & coach certification programs? What if they published a "how-to" so that other local unions, college conferences, SBROs, etc could do the same?

What if the IRB millions designated for "pro rugby" had been devoted to introducing as many 8-13 year old American kids to rugby as possible?

What if Nigel and Kevin quit interfering with every pro rugby effort that is trying to get off the ground in the US?

What if the local unions told USAR to stuff it and decided amongst themselves to drive the representative rugby bus?

What if USAR decided that National Teams (all of them) needed to win more than they lost?

What if, What if, What if...Nice Article, KO. Thanks for the thoughts!

@newest member - Valid points, but really no need to insult either Life or St Mary's. They are programs and schools that contain hardworking staff and students, both athletic and academic.

@Pikey - Your post becomes completely irrelevant when you use abusive and homophobic terms like that.

IDK if what Life's academic standards are but I really dont care. The bottom line is Dan Payne is running a top notch program that is helping to raise the level of play in collegiate rugby. A level that seems to scare the establishment.

Raising the level of play at the college level can only be good for the game, the national team and the union.

And no I do not have any association with Life. But I do have respect for them.

Good points from Raise the Bar.

It also does make me wonder why people are still determined to run down Life in these discussions, and make sneering references to "trade schools".

In an economic environment where people coming out of college with generic degrees and struggling to find jobs, there's a real upside to attending a school that will give you an opportunity to earn a specialist qualification.

i think a lot of teams (at traditionally big name schools) just find it hard to compete with the likes of Life.

Life is a joke of a school. Good rugby team, coached well, but a joke of a school. It isn't hard to understand why they beat the other colleges. They have scholarships with no admission criteria. Be impressed if you want.

The problem that some of us have with the likes of Life University is the academic standards while playing rugby. This challenge is certainly diminished when the course load and class content is nowhere near other established University programs. Those of us who completed a BS/BA program at an established University take pride in that achievement. When the University of Phoenix starts a multi-campus onl-line rugby team will you provide them the same support? This is an apples and oranges comparison, both are in the same food group but how they grow and what they become are different.
I respect Life as a rugby program but they shouldn't be categorized as a University program.

Utterly ludicrous.

Your degree from an established university is also a lot more valuable than the "education" that some "General Studies" football player gets at Alabama, and no one seems to get bent out of shape over the fact that they are consistently ranked higher than schools where athletes really are students too.

Life is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Sallie Mae will happily authorize loans for Life students, and the NAIA seems to have accepted them as well. That's good enough for me.

What's more, it is a university which prepares students for a very nice, middle-class career. Granted, I think you'd do just as well if you went to a Santero for your health care needs instead of a chiropractor, but I don't write the laws.

You're right, though: Life has certain very real advantages in rugby that most programs lack. As a result, you simply can't be as good as them. You probably also can't be as good as Arkansas State, with their South African connection and in-state tuition; as Cal, with their admissions help, athletic department support, and prestigious brand name; as BYU with their global reach and relatively mature and abstemious student body; or as Davenport, Lindenwood, Wheeling Jesuit, etc, with their scholarships.

Oh well. Life (ahem) isn't fair. Life University grads might have a national title under their belts, but they can't compete with Emory or Georgia Tech grads for a job at McKinsey or Google. Life (sorry) goes on, and we must all bear our own crosses.

@ Alumnus

You said it better than I.

You folks whinging about Life now are most likely the same folks that whinged about Cal in the 90s. Quit your whinging and start raising money for your college club. If you cannot raise the dough necessary to pay for their travel expenses, to pay for a coaching staff, and to fund scholarships, you have absolutely zero room to whinge about the advantages of any other program because you have failed to provide your alma mater's rugby program with the money or influence to gain the similar advantages. A decade ago you guys were crying to the heavens about Cal and the Service Academies. Now you complain about accreditation standards of Life and Davenport or the overseas' connections of Kutztown and Arkansas St. In a few years, you'll be complaining about the national and international parochial school connections of Wheeling Jesuit, Notre Dame (both Uni and Col), and St Edward's, because they'll be bringing in ringers from everywhere to trounce your college club. Shut the pieholes and get to work, or else your college club continues to take drubbings from a college team.

Seriously, this is the only rugby nation that complains that there is no high level competition, then complains when certain colleges support high level competition. Suck it up. Life is accredited, Lindenwood, Davenport and Arkansas St. are just 5 steps ahead of your 'superior' university that would rather rugby didn't exist on campus. Can you say, 'University of Delaware?' Great school. They love rugby there.

Money is the key - any university can be made to love rugby once you have raised a large enough sum of money and invested in the school's endowment fund.

Deano, exactly. I'd say Notre Dame made some progress in that direction with their new field.

Chutney Ferret and Whinging...? I take it that there are quite a few new to the shore of North America making comments on this thread. Note to our recent arrivals: Please try to use our lingo as to not stick out like a sore...thumb.

I don't know about the "whinging" bit...plenty of Americans in this sport love to try to sound like English or Australian people.

There are definitely a lot of rugby (and soccer) people who say things like "Belmont Shore are..." or "Wales have..."

Born & bred stateside. Fourth Generation. My "funny talk" is a drawl.

Whinge more accurately describes what I communicated than whine.

SUAP--Got it. Never heard "Whinge" before and that is having lived with a Brit for 35+ years.

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