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27 February 2008

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these union officials crack me up, " canceled because of insufficient interest."

or maybe because you blokes couldn't lead a toilet break.

wtf, are we paying dues for.

Kurt, you douche, what does college all stars have to do with the National Guard sponsorship?
This event has been mishandled by NERFU officials for years - i dont think USAR officials have been involved since its an LAU/TU event.

If anyone wants the whole story, feel free to email me at chip@nerfu.org.

Better yet, if anyone knows anyone that has the time to organize the program, about a dozen or so volunteers to run regional teams and a tournament, and a hundred or so players with interest, send them my way!!!

Chip, that is what voulenteering for a position like this entails. these things arent easy and take an awful lot of perseverence and patience. Somehow every other terretory manages to put teams in and they have HUGE areas to cover New England is essentially the Boston area. Did you think that this was going to get done by someone else?

If the first rule of reading journalism is not to believe all that you read, then reading Kurt's drivel is a fit for an atheist. Post after post has nothing to say, but everything to imply. Grow some nads Kurt! If you think that Cal's victories over OMBAC and UBC were fantastic and an achievement, fucking say it! Think the refs in No Cal deserve some praise, do it directly. You are the most un-rugby like journalist writing about the sport I have ever seen. Maybe you need a masters swimming blog. Stroke on Kurt...Stroke on.

Excuses-

Read the article again. The Northeast Territory will still be putting a collegiate select side team in the ITTs (assuming a venue is ever announced and the competition actually takes place). What was cancelled was a single LAU competition in NERFU that was fairly unique, from what I understand. It was put together for the players to showcase their skills, but the players didn't want to participate.

If there is one thing that shouldn't be questioned, it is Chip's dedication to collegiate rugby. He has done more for the game at the collegiate level in New England and beyond than the majority of us rugby volunteers.

4000 college students that don't have access to rep rugby is a mistake, no matter how the bandaid is applied.

Why do we pay dues to LAU's and TU's? They are not capable of providing services to the membership. These funds should be invested in other aspects of our game where a return on investment is possible. Take the referees for example, pay these individuals more and help them improve this service to the game. Invest in fields and clubhouses. Invest in coaching.

The same could be said of USA Rugby. They are using college and high schools dues money to run senior club rugby, a increasingly huge headquarters payroll and the Eagles. Just stop and think for a minute, let club rugby and the Eagles fund themselves. Cut that Boulder payroll in half. Then use the savings as a true investment in our local rugby. Trust the clubs to spend their own money on investments which will take us forward. If we know anything after 30 years as a rugby union, it's that these lame local, regional and national rugby administrations can't take us forward. Why not give the people on the ground a chance? Less rugby administration and more club investment is the way forward. Millions invested in local rugby overnight.

OK, I'll bite. What is the size of the USA Rugby staff? How many total employees and what are their titles and jobs? What is the overall payroll dollar number, of salary and benefits?

Kurt, why don't you look into providing this information. Maybe we have too many staffers, at too high of a price tag and maybe not. We should look at the data.

Several of the previous comments are very negative and personal towards individuals who are from their perspective trying to do what they feel is in the best interest of the game. The lack of respect and common courtesy towards an individual is not in keeping with the tradition of rugby as a sport or with sport in general for that matter. The use of abusive, confrontational verbage along with vulgarity is inappropriate in any public discussion and in particular when it can negatively affect the public's perception of the game of rugby. It is especially unwelcome when comments attack an individual and not his/her ideas.

If a potential participant feels the burden of common decency and respect is too great when commenting on our game, I would suggest that it would be in our mutual best interest if you moved on to another sport where your behavior might be acceptable.

As one who spent two decades in the trenches trying to provide opportunity and a level playing field whenever possible, I have been subject to the usual passions, frustrations, and disappointments while trying to do so. Learning to restrain my inclination to lash out at the individuals I felt were "bad" for the game was when I began to realize what defined rugby to the traditional rugby community. As in many other sports the physical side is only half or less of the total "game". The mental side while playing and after the match is is where the greaer benefit to oneself is realized i.e. self-control under difficult circumstances, respect towards those with whoom you disagree and physically confront, not using the sport as an excuse for anti-social behavior, respect for the underlying values of the sport of rugby, etc.

I hope these comments are received with the same respect in which they are offered. Mr Oeler's blog provides an excellent platform for civilized and reflective discussion on substantive issues regarding US rugby as well as his and others commentary on rugby news. Mr Oeler's praise, criticisms are generally in good taste and well crafted. Whether one agrees are disagrees with Mr Oeler or other participants we all should respect each other's viewpoint - a basic tenet upon with our democractic society is based. The lack of civility and good taste during discussion only diminishes rugby and in turn ourselves.

Several of the previous comments are very negative and personal towards individuals who are from their perspective trying to do what they feel is in the best interest of the game. The lack of respect and common courtesy towards an individual is not in keeping with the tradition of rugby as a sport or with sport in general for that matter. The use of abusive, confrontational verbage along with vulgarity is inappropriate in any public discussion and in particular when it can negatively affect the public's perception of the game of rugby. It is especially unwelcome when comments attack an individual and not his/her ideas.

If a potential participant feels the burden of common decency and respect is too great when commenting on our game, I would suggest that it would be in our mutual best interest if you moved on to another sport where your behavior might be acceptable.

As one who spent two decades in the trenches trying to provide opportunity and a level playing field whenever possible, I have been subject to the usual passions, frustrations, and disappointments while trying to do so. Learning to restrain my inclination to lash out at the individuals I felt were "bad" for the game was when I began to realize what defined rugby to the traditional rugby community. As in many other sports the physical side is only half or less of the total "game". The mental side while playing and after the match is is where the greaer benefit to oneself is realized i.e. self-control under difficult circumstances, respect towards those with whoom you disagree and physically confront, not using the sport as an excuse for anti-social behavior, respect for the underlying values of the sport of rugby, etc.

I hope these comments are received with the same respect in which they are offered. Mr Oeler's blog provides an excellent platform for civilized and reflective discussion on substantive issues regarding US rugby as well as his and others commentary on rugby news. Mr Oeler's praise, criticisms are generally in good taste and well crafted. Whether one agrees are disagrees with Mr Oeler or other participants we all should respect each other's viewpoint - a basic tenet upon with our democractic society is based. The lack of civility and good taste during discussion only diminishes rugby and in turn ourselves.

Several of the previous comments are very negative and personal towards individuals who are from their perspective trying to do what they feel is in the best interest of the game. The lack of respect and common courtesy towards an individual is not in keeping with the tradition of rugby as a sport or with sport in general for that matter. The use of abusive, confrontational verbage along with vulgarity is inappropriate in any public discussion and in particular when it can negatively affect the public's perception of the game of rugby. It is especially unwelcome when comments attack an individual and not his/her ideas.

If a potential participant feels the burden of common decency and respect is too great when commenting on our game, I would suggest that it would be in our mutual best interest if you moved on to another sport where your behavior might be acceptable.

As one who spent two decades in the trenches trying to provide opportunity and a level playing field whenever possible, I have been subject to the usual passions, frustrations, and disappointments while trying to do so. Learning to restrain my inclination to lash out at the individuals I felt were "bad" for the game was when I began to realize what defined rugby to the traditional rugby community. As in many other sports the physical side is only half or less of the total "game". The mental side while playing and after the match is is where the greaer benefit to oneself is realized i.e. self-control under difficult circumstances, respect towards those with whoom you disagree and physically confront, not using the sport as an excuse for anti-social behavior, respect for the underlying values of the sport of rugby, etc.

I hope these comments are received with the same respect in which they are offered. Mr Oeler's blog provides an excellent platform for civilized and reflective discussion on substantive issues regarding US rugby as well as his and others commentary on rugby news. Mr Oeler's praise, criticisms are generally in good taste and well crafted. Whether one agrees are disagrees with Mr Oeler or other participants we all should respect each other's viewpoint - a basic tenet upon with our democractic society is based. The lack of civility and good taste during discussion only diminishes rugby and in turn ourselves.

If you look on the usarugby website they have about 15 full time employees....this is probably less than your local gas station, so I wouldn't go around making bullshit complaints that they have too many staffers and too high of a payroll. And as for millions of dollars....If you take the roughly 65,000 active rugby players, multiplied by the $20 for CIPP, that gives us about 1.3 million....to fund every aspect of rugby in the USA. Thats fucking pennies compared to every other league in existence. Shit, for 1.3 million you can't even get a sticker on a NASCAR vehicle. I know we are all impatient here to see great strides happen within rugby, but keep the big picture in mind guys and girls....it has to be crawl, walk, run for this sport. This absurd assumption that rugby is massive, and has such a huge income level is a complete and utter pipe dream.USA Rugby needs to focus on growing the sport at the grassroots level, at high school and college for the impact to trickle UP and I think they are finally doing that now that Melville is in charge.

No need to yell or lie.

There is over 35 USA Rugby employees and once we get the na4 and national team staff's together it will be over 40. Clearly, for such a small business we have way too many employees.

Think bigger in rugby terms and smaller in terms of staffing. Let the grass roots keep more of their money for investing in local rugby. Our model is staffing and dues heavy. We need to be realistic concerning the services we are receiving from this payroll. We know that a couple of these individuals make well over 100 grand, as they should. If the average salary and benefits is 50 grand (benefits cost is about 1/3 of an employees salary), this is a two million dollar payroll, on a one million dollar business.

We need to change our model. It should reflect our current situation. We are using IRB grants not to further the sport, but to serve the payroll of an organization providing few clear benefits to its membership.

If people ask LAU/TU to fund these events, guess what? Your club's LAU/TU dues will go up.

All-star events are alrady a significant cost component to every LAU/TU's expenses.

Many college teams cry foul, saying that they shouldn't pay for for all-stars. Some even say all the money goes to the Senior Men. If that is indeed true, insist on published financials of your LAU/TU. Oh yeah, USARFU doesn't even do that! HAHAHA.

Perhaps a more way to create a direct incentive is for CLUBS themselves to fund their own player participation in LAU/TU events.

Would you rather pay for it yourself if you go, or pay it upfront to the LAU who then socializes the money across entire teams?

Kick in 100 bucks to a player in good standing to attend an event and represent your school. Unfortunately, many college clubs are too-short sighted.

At some clubs, all their money goes to a keg rather than the rugyb itself. I've refereed t that show up on a Saturday and play games Navy on Black, or Royal on Navy.

They say say they can't afford a 2nd kit color. Nevermind that by owning two sets of kit, the two kits will last two seasons, rather than one each. (Amazing that some collegians can't do math).

They can't fund $100 to send their best player to a camp, but they have $100 for a keg each and every weekend.

Cheyanqui,

You are correct once again. USA Rugby doesn't even open the books of our membership organization, they run the org like it is their personal private company. Its the LAU's and TU's that should be ringing Boulder and demanding that they open OUR books and accounts. Where is the money coming from and where is it spent? Shame on USA Rugby and shame on the LAU/TU's for lacking the guts for the job. They are all afraid of the big bad Kevin Roberts. We are a year on now and this guy and his board are looking weak. Little in sponsorships, results, or foundation for success going forward. We are living on IRB grants and a National Guard sponsorship hand delivered from a Utah rugby parent. Where's the Beef? Soon they will announce a new kit sponsorship that will not be as valuable as the last. We are racing backwards, waiting for the boards next power point sell on how well they are doing.

historian,
my comment wasn't directed toward USA Rugby alone. It's more a comment on the state of affairs.

Politics "is" local, the old saw goes.

At the LAU/TU level, every significant expense is voted on. This is the proper venue for clubs to express their democratic voices, and express their desires for select side events.

That being said, it's a two-way street. LAU/TUs cannot be benevolent tyrants, forcing select side events onto players and clubs. I was the sole rep from my college one year.

We wouldn't blame a coach for quitting due to lack of player interest. If a LAU feels the same, why then can't it jettison the program?

That being said, I hope that Club LAU dues are reduced accordingly!

"I was the sole rep from my college one year." What I meant to say was that I was the sole trialist from my club one year. I tried to get several of my more talented teammates to go, but they wanted to nurse their hangovers on a Sunday morning, rather than represent their school.

A couple of points to raise here.

1) It's the New England side that was shelved, for the moment. Note that this is talking about New England only, which is a sub group of the overall North East Territorial Union. The players in New England are still eligible for the NRU team, they just won't have the New England side as a stepping stone as not enough of them stepped up and expressed interest.

2) New England is a VERY large region, it is NOT "basically just Boston" for the misguided gent who made that comment. New England includes all of the states of Mass, Maine, NH, Vermont, Rhode Island, and includes most of Connecticut and a portion of New York.

It may seem as if it's as simple as posting a note in one location saying "tryouts, this location, this date, come on down". It is far from that simple, and anyone who has even a mid level elementary school education should know that.

Not to discredit importance for which this comment/blog thread was started, but wanted to inquire on separate topic. Do any of you know shortlist on new Eagles coach?

Who I'd like to see get considered:


John McKittrick
Jake White
Tom Billups

"Let the grass roots keep more of their money for investing in local rugby. Our model is staffing and dues heavy. We need to be realistic concerning the services we are receiving from this payroll. We know that a couple of these individuals make well over 100 grand, as they should. If the average salary and benefits is 50 grand (benefits cost is about 1/3 of an employees salary), this is a two million dollar payroll, on a one million dollar business."

Accountability for the union is fine and noble, but let's be honest here.

Rugby is a pretty middle class game, and talking about letting the grass roots invest more in the game is a shame. 50 players times 20 bucks is a thousand bucks, which isn't insignificant but it's nothing one good fundraiser can't equal. There's more than enough rugby clubs around who do NOTHING for the wider game that I cannot take the idea of a CIPP refund seriously.

As well, the Eagles are the most prominent rugby team in this country by a factor of a thousand, so defunding the Eagles is an absolute non-starter if you ask me. Getting more sponsorship towards the team is a must, but the idea shouldn't be replacing other avenues of funding, but augmenting them.

shame = sham.

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