« Student access to Eagles restricted | Main | On US collegiate training »

15 May 2009


The All-American program has a long history of player placement using two formulas.

WB (wet blanket)
SA (selector association)
OA (over acheiver)
HLF (hands like feet)

I struggle to recall whether Salty Thompson's ever been to SFGG. Considering the high school team I played on produced two all-Americans and an Eagle pool player, maybe he should have.

Does anybody in American rugby give a shit that two, BYU like, Utah U19 clubs, stuffed with older than high school age overseas boys are playing for the national championship?

Maybe a few Utah fans, but no one else I'm telling you.

Ark State at Cape Town, BYu, KSA-Town, Highland, United...yawn

Not impressed knows not of what he speaks, though he is free to yawn at the championships if he wants to. No one on any U19 club is older than the rules allow. What is "older than high-school age"? If they're 18 before September, they're eligible. All the competing players are the same age! I know Highland has some imported players in the backs, but where are the imports at United? They're all american citizens except for one SA who's been here for years. If you have specific information about United players that are somehow "ringers", I'd love to hear about it.
There is a difference between Americans of Polynesian ancestry and "imports." In one way or another, we're all "imports", unless you're a Native American (and I find that few of them play rugby).


Are you sure there isn't a Kiwi or two on the United side? Perhaps a BYU student as well?

Regardless, unless the BYU student played in a match of consequence for the college, current eligibility rules say he's good to go. Likewise the other out-of-high-school kids and foreigners. USA Rugby rules say that the roster can include up to five internationals and anyone who meets the age requirement. http://www.usarugby.org/default.asp. Let the Utah arms-race begin!

More to the point, if multi-school clubs want to be considered legitimate High School sides, the clubs need to be self governed or the various unions need to over-rule USA Rugby and disallow the non-HS players. Until then only the Catholic School League will be allowed the distinction 'High School Rugby'.

And Flynn, not that it mattered, but Salty was sighted at this year's age grade trials on TI earlier this year.

The multi-school deal is great and there is nothing wrong with it, but it is U-19 rugby. It is not High School rugby. You can have both, but the current policies hinders the efforts of those who intend to legitimize the sport. High School Rugby is struggling to define its niche in sport, U-19 calling itself High School is confounding. Par for the course I guess.

How many mulligans do these clowns need per side to make par?

"And from a cursory review of the spreadsheet, I didn't notice all that many age-grade players here either."

That's probably true overall, but SFGG has had some recent age-grade Eagles playing for their Super League side -- Kevin Erskine and David Taimalu both played quite a bit for them this year, with Erskine starting and scoring two tries in today's win over the Dallas Harlequins.

Stop comparing Ktown to the Ark St's and BYU's of the country. They have 3 foreigners. 2 brothers and Barnard and they were all friends back in SA. they have no more foreigners than any other top school. 3 on the entire roster is nothing. STOP undermining the efforts of Doc Jones and the Ktown program. They are whats's right with college rugby and a model program for smaller ncaaD3 schools.

Have any of you seen all the lacrosse on ESPNU and Fox College Sports (FCS) channel? There are the NCAA championship games on ESPNU from Foxboro Stadium in New England, and the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA - non varsity association) championship games from Dick's Sporting Goods Park Stadium in Denvery CO. There are also HS games broadcast on Fox College Sports channel. AWESOME!

Flynn ad Dan,

Congrats on the win today for SFGG, but lets be a little careful in how we call attention to the Club being overlooked in recent years.

The selectors are certainly pick wh they want, but it is not like the SFGG talent has been any different than other players out there.....

We get it Flynn. SFGG is a great club, and you are the biggest rugby geek since Screech rode the pines for the Bayside High 3rd IV.

"You guys are getting tiresome"-

I've never said that I thought the club was overlooked, in fact, I think it gets plenty of press here and elsewhere, and its players have had plenty of opportunities. Don't put Flynn's words in my mouth. I don't agree with Flynn on that point, and probably quite a few others.

I don't come onto this blog to argue, I just try to add my thoughts to the subject Kurt is posting about. Which, if you look back at my original comment above, you'll realize is exactly what I did.

If you dislike me so much, just skip my posts. I won't sweat it.

"The selectors are certainly pick wh they want, but it is not like the SFGG talent has been any different than other players out there....."

At the U19 level, SFGG has done some excellent work. Considering the discussions we've had on this board on the underage program and their selection, it's worth bringing up. Especially when the fruits of SFGG's efforts are doing great things in Super League.

"We get it Flynn. SFGG is a great club, and you are the biggest rugby geek since Screech rode the pines for the Bayside High 3rd IV."

Well I'm sure everyone at SFGG is very happy you've said they're a great club. As for the second part, you are posting under an assumed name at a blog. About American rugby. And you dropped in a Saved by the Bell reference. So yeah, pot, kettle, so on..

The administration of US rugby is 100% foreign in the key positions.

Our policies are foreign based.

What business plans we have (not many) are foreign centric.

Except for for a Catholic high school and university in Northern California, our winners are most often teams with foreign ringers.

Rugby hasn't cracked the largest, best sports market in the world at any level under this leadership and some are wondering why.

OK. SFGG is a good club and Flynn is Flynn. The post about lacrosse raised my interest and I googled Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) and checked out their website - www.mcla.us - with a skeptical eye. I have to say I was impressed. MCLA is the national organization of non-NCAA college lacrosse with 213 teams in 10 conferences. This is the type of organization that needs to be created by college rugby to move the college game forward. USA Rugby can or will not do as good of a job as an organization like this is doing for lacrosse.

Their magazine looks professional too - www.mclamag.com

Speaking of magazines, I received my Rugby Magazine last week and have really enjoyed it (and not just because I was in it). Just when I was ready to cancel my subscription because it had more or less turned into Tiger Beat for rugby, they come out with an edition that addresses most of the current day issues of our sport.

Admit it or not, 100% Wrong's post has a distinct and unfortunate thread of truth.

Flynn for President/CEO of USA Rugby! Think about it, his name sounds "foreign" enough to maybe slide under the IRB radar. Plus he has to be better than the current alternative. As an added bonus, he is in the "hotbed" of USA rugby, (San Francisco/CAL) Hey, while we're at it we can move the HQ to SanFran. And its close enough to the other "hotbed" (is that like the other white meat?) of SoCal.
Hey Flynn, once we vote you in can you give me a fat salary to sit on my butt? I promise I will limit my golf and actually show up to a couple of jamboree rugby events and a luxury box at the 7s...

Flynn for President/CEO of USA Rugby! Think about it, his name sounds "foreign" enough to maybe slide under the IRB radar. Plus he has to be better than the current alternative. As an added bonus, he is in the "hotbed" of USA rugby, (San Francisco/CAL) Hey, while we're at it we can move the HQ to SanFran. And its close enough to the other "hotbed" (is that like the other white meat?) of SoCal.
Hey Flynn, once we vote you in can you give me a fat salary to sit on my butt? I promise I will limit my golf and actually show up to a couple of jamboree rugby events and a luxury box at the 7s...

The only people who can throw these bums out (today) is the congress.

Are there not a half dozen individuals on the USAR congress with the courage to stand?

This is the list of people we need exposed as traders.

The fight is on two fronts.

Continuing to work within our local areas to do the best we can, and second, to run this administration out of town.

This administration needs to be replaced by a willing group, passionate and skilled about US rugby. Who knows maybe even seat a few Americans in key positions. Now that might be thinking too big from where we are, but dare to dream we must.

Why would congress throw these bums out?
Congress is largely made up of the same type of people that makes up the Board. Some are aspiring to be the next Latham.

I see that Dan Payne is leaving his administration position at USA Rugby - keeps his Eagles coaching position - and is taking a paid position as Director of Rugby at Life to coach the super league team and build an undergrad team. Wonder if this is the start of a flee from the Boulder office of all the competent people. Hmm?

"Flynn for President/CEO of USA Rugby! Think about it, his name sounds "foreign" enough to maybe slide under the IRB radar. Plus he has to be better than the current alternative. As an added bonus, he is in the "hotbed" of USA rugby, (San Francisco/CAL) Hey, while we're at it we can move the HQ to SanFran. And its close enough to the other "hotbed" (is that like the other white meat?) of SoCal. "

Apologies for all this - I just finished exams and am a little..uh...joyful, I suppose..

I'm not in the hotbed of USA rugby. I'm in London, studying for my degree. I'm just a San Francisco native who was taught to play rugby by the coaches at the great ol' club of SFGG. I love the club to this day and I'd sell a kidney to see them win RSL. I was at the club (my first year as a senior player, in fact) for 2004 and being both a Red Sox fan and an SFGG player I saw up close twice in six months the feeling of being on the total edge of victory...

If USA Rugby wants to make me chairman I'd be happy, but quite seriously I'd run for Congress in a second if I could get myself to meetings. It's clear we need some changes and I'd be more than willing to give up my time for it. I've spent my whole rugby life around US Eagles - even at my UK club, Blackheath, which produced Dennis Storer - and I'll never be an Eagle-quality player but I'd like to be an Eagle-quality administrator and help our game grow.

Consider the recruiting class doubled with the Payne addition and getting some Life players capped in the short future.

I hope you are sitting on thumb while reading this. Good, that is the first test of being a high ranking member if USA Rugby.
If you work on your twitter finger and maintain a nonsense vanity blog, you are a shoe-in. Don't forget to keep your thumb-in while you shale hands with the IRB, that is part of the secret handshake. You turn 3/4 and pinky lock with thumb-in. Shhh... I didn't tell you...

I am told that Dan is already calling kids from existing college rugby programs and trying to get them to transfer to Life for his undergrad team. You know the "If you want to maximize your chance of becoming an Eagle, you should consider transferring to Life University." speech. It will be interesting to see if he takes any SDSU kids with him to Life. Remember how Jack Clark stole Scully from UCLA to transfer to Cal after Billups coaching Scully on the All-American tour to New Zealand? Wonder if Dan will be super aggressive on this front.

When and how is the Congress elected?

This is going to kill college rugby. It goes against everything Dan said about how to take college rugby to the next level!! Kurt. you said your new thing was h.s./college rugby. tackle this please. Anyone who thinks this is good for collegiate rugby is fro Life or doesnt understand American sports. Erugby and ARN better get on this too. Congrats to Dan for getting paid. Thats awesome and something all of our great coaches deserve. But I hope he can do his job without damaging the very thing he thought was the key to taking American rugby to the next level. If Life University makes it to the finals vs Cal or BYU you can bet whatever is left of your 401k that ESPN will drop rugby FOREVER

Billups didn't go on the AA tour to NZ and therefore didn't coach Scully.

Kids only transfer to better colleges.

No kid going to a good college will transfer to Life. On the other hand the best HS players in the country don't often go to the best colleges. I think Life will find lots of rugby good players, but not transfers from good colleges.

Billups was an assistant coach on the NZ tour. See 5th paragraph - http://www.rugbyrugby.com/news/by_country/usa/story_29708230520.php

The best HS teams in the country are private schools, and Life is hardly an established university. They over only a handful of degrees. No engineering, no liberal arts college, no education college, no real science program and have joke degrees in topics like Exercise Science and Life Coaching (not kidding). Dan is not going to get kids from Xavier, Jesuit, Christian Bros, etc to go to Life. He will get some guys that are average students that are coming up through the Eagle age grade system that are not at a good college rugby program. He will also get imports that can get a free education and play rugby full time under the watchful eyes of an Eagle assistant coach. Sounds like a good formula for putting together a solid rugby undergrad team quickly, but it sounds more like a rugby academy than a college rugby program.

Billups withdrew from the tour. He was not there.

Can't believe some of you bloggers that believe everything that someone in USA Rugby/erugbynews/ARN write ?

Not very solid sources of information mate.

Who cares about ESPN. Rugby's future lies better in the lap of another television organization.

Until College Rugby has a commissioner, direction and policies which are American, they will never be taken seriously.
Dan Payne obviously identified some things amiss in Boulder and cut his losses before his image was tarnished.

Will we see Life vs. BYU next year, two cults fighting for the National Championship with 25 year old undergrads?

Look. Scully was a varsity water polo athlete at UCLA and made a switch to rugby. UCLA developed him and he was picked on the all-american side where he was poached by Cal. The UC schools system in California makes UC to UC transfers easy, plus Cal rugby gets administration preferences like any of the varsity sports at Cal, and took the guy. Billups conducted some pre-tour trainings and was involved in selections. Regardless if he went to NZ, Cal identified Scully and poached him from UCLA. UCLA has a long rugby history going back to the Dennis Storer days and is in a rebuilding cycle and doesn't deserve the 800 pound gorilla stealing their top players that they developed from their universities player pool.

College rugby is lost without a governing body that leads the majority of college clubs to a pathway of success. There are hundreds of collegiate clubs that are trying to replicated the Cal model, which is the most fundamentally sound and sustainable model for rugby to prosper at many universities and colleges for the long term with possible acceptance by the NCAA. This sensible collegiate model is the one that USA Rugby should be working on supporting. They should be providing coaches with the tools to sell a rugby program to a university administration, provide best practices for raising funds, establish frequent and professional coaching clinics and seminars, establish high school athlete recruiting standards and channels of communications, etc, etc, etc.

Then we have a very small minority of hybrid methods that are impossible to replicate across the country at 100s of campuses and whose sustainability is questionable. BYU and Life are examples of these hybrid methods which rely on atypical resources (i.e. access to LDS proselytized pacific islanders with rugby experience to attend your LDS university). Where do the acceptance of these hybrid models in college rugby lead to? Imagine a DeVry University rugby team that pools players from their campuses in 26 states, assembles a team for a period of time to qualify for the nationals in the TU that best suits them because they are in multiple TUs, and the result is a multi-state team with possibly 24 to 27 year old players. Sounds crazy, but it probably would meet the USA Rugby requirements and if DeVry put it together with funding it could happen. Let's be real about Life University. Life had its chiropractic accreditation revoked in 2002 for reasons that were not made public and did not get it back until 2005. The school has only been accredited for other degrees since December 2004. If you read about founder Dr. Sid Williams and his seminars and 8 Core Life Proficiencies philosophies, the place sounds like a cult (stay strong Dan!). Anyway, hardly the type of university history and pedigree that excites sponsors and broadcasters if they become the dominant team in college rugby.

If in ten years time the landscape of the top collegiate rugby sides is made up of 3 or 4 hybrid teams and Cal, everyone in the rugby community has to wonder why they went for short term gains instead of building a proper national collegiate athletic product.

Dear "Facts" - you are full of it. Billups had nothing, repeat nothing, to do with the 2008 All Americans.

He wasn't involved in selections or the tour.

"Pre tour trainings". You make me laugh.

Who cares about Billups and the all-americans. Cal still poached UCLA's star player after they developed the kid. The rich get richer.

Scully told UCLA he wasn't playing for them long before he transferred to Cal. In Fact I think Blaine transferring to Cal was a lost to the Santa Monica club team, not UCLA.

And sorry, the students are free to move around the country. They can transfer any where they like. Cal players can transfer to other schools as well.

I'm not so sure about the UCLA developed the kid bit. He's pretty raw, don't you think?

College kids have the right to transfer and do so with regular frequency, regardless of the sport.

I don't really know this story but any fight's worth wading into.

This Scully kid's from Sacramento..has anybody considered he might have just wanted to be closer to home? Bezerk to Sacramento is under a 2 hour drive.

The comments to this entry are closed.


About Comments

  • Gainline.us values readers' thoughts and wisdom. While correspondents are encouraged to use given names, aliases in combination with a valid, publicly accessible email are acceptable. Profanity will be edited and unverifiable identities unpublished. Thanks to all who write in for helping to advance our collective understanding of American rugby, as it is and could be.

Corrections & Amplifications

  • Gainline.us values accuracy and fairness. If we fall short of the goal, we promptly correct errors or oversights. Strikethroughs denote text which has been replaced. *Asterisks* denotes text added after the initial post.
My Photo