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25 January 2010

Comments

Kurt,

Throw the worthless Territorial Unions into this college kid embezzlement scheme. In the Pacific Coast the students are required to pay an extra $20 per head to this extortion. For what you ask? Nothing, zero. Not even that not needed third party insurance USAR requires college kids to purchase to keep the cost low for the senior adult game.

TU's provide nothing back to college kids. And don't tell me a reduced fee to participate in the college NASA for 25 reps worthy of ripping off thousands of kids in the PCRFU.

Although there is a reason to have a national governing body, all be it run by better professionals with a better understanding of American sport, there is no good reason on earth for a territorial rugby union other than further taxing the membership.

No services come from the PCRFU. It is an indulgent layer of administration that exist to allow some joker to call himself president of something.

High school rugby has figured it out and cut these dues wasting fools out of the food chain. College rugby needs to do the same.

This is a racket which begins with USAR. It is USAR which rips off these college students with fees for no services. They then allow their kissing cousins, the TU's, to further require pay to play. For what reason? The work is being done on the college campuses not in Frank Merrill's vet office. Maybe the LAU's deserves some membership dues money, but not the TU's.

Who are these people? How have we let this go on for so long? Leave the money in the HS's and colleges. If USAR and the TU's want some funds, tell them to get off there ass and build a product they can take to market. The taxing of young people to pay for high priced salaries and indulgent TU presidents is over.

Presumably, the venues which host collegiate matches are protected by the CIPP insurance program. But is this even necessary for a collegiate program backed by a university or college?

If campuses are indeed protected by their own insurance policy's, there is no need for USA Rugby and CIPP.

The USCRA may have trouble getting status from the IRB, but do they care?

TU's Suck,
I hear much of what you say and think that USAR should look at many revisions from within and at the top. However, I also read your swipe at Frank Merrill and want to make sure you understand that Frank has been one of the hardest working, modest servants of our game that has ever come down the road. He has helped grass-roots rugby for years and of all the people you could have criticized, Frank Merrill is one that you should praise. His list of acomplishments and selfless acts is far too long for me to list here but I would be happy to educate you sometime if you are interested.

Frank Merrill. Frank Merrill. Frank Merrill.

I don't think there is another TU President across the country who has done so little with so much, unless you care to credit him for serving as a match commissioner (who cares if he has a few beers), or want to give him credit for circling the Stanford Field a half dozen times each match looking to be in a hurry to get somewhere (nice blazer).

Frank has been in a hurry to do nothing for so long he has killed off this once proud territory.

The Pacific Coast does nothing for it's players, college or otherwise. Thanks for nothing Frank.

Old Grizz - you write like the bitter seahawk that you are.

Old Grizz speaks for many, many, many in the Pacific Coast.

While the mens game is floundering in burnt out rec parks, Collegiate rugby has use of facilities that rival professional outfits. A lack of quality referees and coaches exist, but that will improve as the mens game declines.

USAR has absolutely nothing to offer anymore and has hindered the growth of rugby IMHO. I sure hope this regime is long gone before they can establish their multi-million dollar strategic annuity plan for fleecing American Olympic 7's.

Jerry's Kids is right, I am bitter because Merrill has been presiding over, and therefore responsible for, an ongoing - complete failure of the Pacific Coast Rugby Union.

Grizzly Shield ? Grizzly Tour ? Hell how about a Grizzly coach that players can respect ? We have been paying dues to an organization that is run by a complete poser. Frank has been the TU head dude (dud) for a long time. Thanks for your service Frank, now please resign. Nigel will still let you be his boy.

sounds like someone has an axe to grind. Care to detail what the union isnt getting and what it should be getting? I always figured Pacific was one of the better TUs in the country.

Matt Sherman is this week's guest on www.ruggamatrixusa.com it is a good listen.

I know the plug is shameless, but i am plugging anyway.

Go on,

The PCRFU is considered one of the better TU's because it has many of the best teams in the nations at each level of competition. HS's are good, colleges are good, D1 comp is good, Super League team is good, womens rugby is good, ref's are good. The area has good rugby men and women and championship teams.

However, this has nothing to do with the administration of the PCRFU which has been among the worst administrations in the country for decades.

There isn't one aspect of the PCRFU administrative work which connects to the success of these teams. Not one union run program, not one union tabled idea, not one leadership moment, nothing.

From the days of Dan Hickey through current President Frank Merrill, the PCRFU has been poorly run, providing no services and a lack of leadership. The PCRFU has always been a private platform for the rugby politics of a few.

Northern California rugby is strong, throw in the strong teams and athletes from Utah and you have a TU which is always going to win championships.

This is disconnected with administrative success. Union commerce, out-reach, development, facilities, programs and services are nowhere. $20 per head in dues to create a fund where the Union president gets to have a HS camp at his second home in Quincy CA is a sham.

The PCRFU president recently fought against the HS state-based organization because he wanted all those dues for his private club. Thankfully, the HS's rejected the PCRFU president and selected self-rule and self-control of their budgets.

The colleges need to do the same. The $20 per head fee for nothing in return, should be retained at the team level to off-set the players travel and participation expense. This money should not be used to fund the presidents private club. Using dues money from cash strapped college students to fund the rep rugby of the few is wrong on every level.

These TU rep programs should be paid for by sponsorship and event income from a TU which is forward thinking enough to build rugby as a product, or by the rep participates themselves until such time as a forward thinking administration comes along.

All the rugby events in the PCRFU of any success are managed by the schools, clubs or national union. The PCRFU has no role.

Long time insiders like the current PCRFU administration haven't been able to build business success in decades of calling themselves officers of the territory. Their only plan is to tax the players and teams to create their little war chest of rep money.

Now that there is no more senior TU rep rugby at the NASC level and the HS's have gone state-based, the PCRFU should be thanked for its efforts over the years and disbanded for lack of function or purpose.

As upset as we should all be at USAR for their poor management of the sport, the TU system is outdated and flawed beyond repair.


What's more, while all the above statements by "your answer" are factually correct, the PCFRU president selects his croonies for representative coaching positions.

Such a laughing matter that the best players would rather not play than to suffer through a Merrill-lead Grizzly experience. Those that have chosen to show up admittedly did not know any better, and regret the decision after the fact.

Dear Go On - do you need more ?

Your comments have no merit without your name. Sign or STFU.

Ya know, I read the drivel you idiots spew all over this blog from time to time (out of a morbid curiosity), and I gotta say, 99% of the people who write here are losers who don't know the first thing about how a sports organization is run.

You all argue that USAR does NOTHING for the poooooor College and HS kids in the country that fork over their dues. So, I decided to do a little research to find out how bad these kids really have it (comparatively speaking).

First, let’s look at what we are dealing with. USAR is a NATIONAL GOVERNING BODY. They are not the NFL, or MLB, they are a NGB, which is just as big a part of the American sports fabric as the NBA, etc. (Putting to rest the argument that foreigners don’t know American sports.)

What do they provide? We the members get official competition venues & tournaments. They provide 3rd party liability insurance for us so we don't get sued when a ball hits a fan in the head. We also have the opp to play for the Eagles. We have access to Coaching and referee clinics. We get a publication (of sorts) from time to time, and we get some discounts with their partners.

As the majority of the dues come from College age kids, let’s compare with other NGB's to see how bad they have it.

USAR: All of the above... for $30. That’s right... $30. Not $100, or $500.... the way you all talk, it sounds as if these kids are in the poor house because of USAR Dues! Most spend more at the bar in 1 hour!

USTA: $42/year (that is the adult price. They don't even have a College price!). All the benefits above? Check. Any extra benefits? Not really. (A discount at Sandals Resort. Great.)

USA Hockey: $30/ year, Flat rate for all Ice Hockey Players. All the above benefits? Check. Their insurance program is much better, but they also have 500,000+ members to help pay for it. Any extra benefits? A free website for your club... otherwise.. nothing substantial.

US Lacrosse: $50/ year, again, no college age category. Above benefits? Yup. Again, the insurance option is much better, but they also have many more members to pay for it. Any extra benefits? Nope.

US Rowing:$45/year (age 26 & under). All the same benefits? Yup. Extra bennies? They also have limited accident insurance, which is a step above USAR. Other than that... nope.

US Ultimate: $30/year for College age player. Above benefits? Yes. Injury insurance? Nope. Extra benefits? Yes, the ability to vote on board elections... which would be nice at USAR.

As you can see... when comparing apples to apples... USAR is about the same as every other NGB. You all make them sound like they are part of a grand conspiracy to steal every penny out of your poor pockets. I think you've been watching too much Glen Beck.

Sure, we could use better insurance, but once USAR has the number of members needed to pay for such luxuries, it’s just not possible.

Get real, and do something productive with your time. Compare apples to apples.

You don't need to be a member of US Lacrosse or USA Hockey to play the sport in college. That's why there's no "college" category. If you want to play rugby in college, YOU HAVE TO PAY USA RUGBY IN ORDER TO DO SO.

Pseudonym,

You are calling an "official competition tournament and venue" a value for dues? It is PAID for by the hosts and all of the participants. I am betting those governing bodies pay for the events. Also college hockey and lacrosse dont need governing bodies because they have the NCAA and varsity status.

Also, NO college team needs the liability insurance because the school covers it. Same goes for all the high school teams that are affiliated with the high schools.

So right there the two biggest benefits go right out the window. Your argument is just overall kind of silly. It really isnt comparing apples and apples since usa hockey and lax dont govern every level of the sport. USAR does.

uscra or something else will provide an NCAA type body to provide direct benefits. Thats what college needs. Not to fund the national teams. Now go back pushing paper for boulder or just being plan ignorant if you arent actually a USAR employee.

Pseudonym,

We have heard that argument for too long. Rugby dues are cheaper than other sport dues therefore we should have no complaints. Bullshit.

First off, we don't get competitions venues and tournaments because of USAR or the Territories, we get them because we the members/teams create them, not the dues collection agencies.

Additionally, most HS and college teams don't need this third party insurance which we already have and are now required to purchase again, to keep the cost low for the senior clubs, who do need the insurance. What a waste of funds. If you purchase the same insurance twice with your money, maybe you are the one in need of a Glen Becking.

We get no such publications or discounts that come anywhere close to a value based dues proposition.

We pay separately and additionally for coaching clinics, refs and any services which could be described as real.

The facts are we, US rugby, can do better. The TU dues are as mentioned a total crock. These dues should end yesterday.

The USAR dues are fine, but we should receive real services, management and leadership for this sum of money. These college kids you disrespect are funding USAR to the tune of over $1m per year and allow USAR to bring in another seven figure sum from the National Guard in sponsorship. Its not your flabby ass they want to enlist. The USAR dues proposition isn't agreeable any longer. This is why the USCRA is in conversation.

You are most likely an administrator to write what you have about the poooooor college and HS kids. Laugh all you want, but there is 10% unemployment, which is far higher in many states. Your disinterest in teams sending off $2500 to USAR for nothing in return and another $1000 to the TU for zero in return is coming to an end.

This money is already staying in the HS game and soon it will be staying in the college game.

The blame will not be the amount of dues that were charged, it will be the lack of any real management or services and an attitude from the rugby administrators that they didn't need to provide anything for the right to receive dues.

Dues aren't going anywhere Pseudonym, they will still be paid, and maybe even at a higher amount. They just won't be paid to a bunch of underachievers like the current tax collectors.

We'll see if you're still making fun of the poooooor HS and college kids when they both have solid organization made up of educators and parents and you jokers are still playing in a public park in front of 20 fans, with some foreign tool telling you to fall in love with rugby. Hopefully Rugby Mag will still write about your games every two months because nobody else will.

Comparing apples to apples, most forms of rugby administration in the US sucks. It is poorly managed by less than successful individuals, with poor rugby track records.

Lets pay dues to the LAU's and expect something from them. Lets pay dues to the NGB and expect something from them.

Kill the TU's yesterday. Drive out of administration anybody that doesn't understand they work to serve the membership.


Pacific sounds very familiar to a lot of other unions. Remember when marfu lost 100k to embezellment? Any of our intrepid newsmen at ARN or Rugbymag going to follow up on that? We could use an update.

marfu also holds the college playoffs every year at some horrendous men's club location with no stands, no scoreboard, no nothing. Why not hold it on a college campus and charge a gate and actually help the winners pay for airfare or something? Rugby politics of course. Got to give the men's clubs a little bs recruiting opportunity or something. Its so so dumb. Having Navy vs PSU at a recreation park. Embarassing.

The TU system doesnt work for where rugby is trying to go. Before it was certainly necessary and almost every person who has volunteered to serve and work for their union should be applauded but it's time we get a move on to something that suits 2010 american rugby.

Old Grizz- not happy with "a Merrill -lead grizzly experience"? step up or step aside.

Please no one step up. We need to reduce the amount of administration down to the essentials and roles of management.

We need stronger team administration not more centralized administration.

Eliminate all this other stuff.

Get rid of wasteful layers of administration.

The TU's are a wasteful layer of administration.

Interesting comment from the MARFU posters, this is the same all over I guess.

Thanks to all the men and women who have given of their time and energies. Rugby administration is a good thing which has been spoiled by dues collectors who haven't provided a service. Its not the people, except from those thieves in MARFU, its the system which needs to be updated.

'Your Answer', your answer about HS not needing insurance is wrong: most HS aged kids playing rugby in this country are doing so for clubs (and pretty much all youth programs are club). These young players need insurance. Whether or not the insurance needs to come through USAR, that's the question.

Go On-

You are not entirely correct. The College men's championship has only been held at a Men's club location: 2001 (Roanoke), 2006 (James River), 2008 (James River), 2009 (South Jersey). Having played at all those locations, I can say they are above average for a men's club but I agree that the championships should be held on Campus. Your point regarding having stands & charging a gate is up to the host university. I don't think that many of the schools in the MARFU have the type of pull with their respective school to line that sort of thing up. Remember we are dealing with club teams that have to vie with club lacrosse and ultimate frisbee for playing fields and for that organization to ask for access to a stadium or for funding for temporary stands so they can host a tournament is a stretch.

I agree with everything which has been said here concerning dismantling the Territorial administrative system. It's out dated and unneeded.

However, how is this going to happen? Do you people have your head in the sand? The TU's aren't going to disband themselves. USAR is going to do it because they don't care that the membership is double taxed for the same non-services.

Congress is comprised of TU rep's, they aren't going to disband themselves.

We are right back to where we start with every issue discussed. The members of USAR have no say or authority.

You can type "step up", all you want, but their is no way to do so. The fix was called in several years ago when Kevin Roberts and Nigel Melville were appointed to their respective position of CEO and Chairmen. By the way, want to know who the chairman of the nominations committee which selects the Board of Directors, the same Frank Merrill you all are having fun with here. Not much chance the Board is going to get rid of him. As mentioned the fix is in.

No one knows how anyone gets on the Board. Congress is also a non-voting appointment. The LAU boards elect the TU directors. People who play rugby don't vote for anything. The only voting that goes on is after these people get seated, they can vote to keep each other after they enter the club.

The point is, the membership of USAR no longer has any say or voting power over anything that happens in US rugby. Unless the IRB comes in again and creates a still different governance model, we never will.

I have read everything which has been written about the new college organization the USCRA. I have my doubts in their leaders, but I think the best reason to support it is because its the only way to get a vote or say in anything. We should just leave this administration to itself. Meanwhile we can do what we can't do under the current USAR administration and that's have a say in how things could change for the better.

This is really what the HS state-based orgs are doing. They just left USAR to dis-functional self.

The choices are as follows.

1) Do nothing, never have a vote or say, and hope the next four years of this USAR administration is better than their first four. While praying the TU's enjoy a quick and pain free dismantling.

2) Force change in the current administrative model by ceasing the payment of dues. Cut off the CIPP money supply and force change in the current administrative structure.

3) Create new administrative bodies, new legal organizations leaving the old ones to USAR and the senior clubs. Let them have those IRB grants and the responsibility to run the Eagles. Create brand new organizations based on the objectives of membership based best practice.

There is no "stepping up" option. Status-quo is a selection of choice number one.

Pete M

You are EXACTLY right.

Our budgets do not allow for expenditures like that. We don't expect it and that's the problem.

Rugby has always been about the players, from rules to venues to policies.

I would argue that rugby in the USA has the worst venues and events of any sport in America.

When we try to step up shouts from coaches and players are that the kids can't afford it. I understand that but until we play a vast majority of matches in actual vunes we are spinning our wheels.

How do you gauruntee a match will never be televised? Play at a park with no TV cable hookups.

How do we ensure fans and parents never come to games? No stands, no announcers, no boundries, no programs, players changing in the parking lot... the list goes on.

How do we make sure players always pay their own way? Never charge gates or critiscize when they do.

We hold ourselves to the absolute lowest sporting standard in America.

Pete M and anon, I guess you are forgetting that PSU hosted half the entire USA Rugby d1 playoffs (men and women) in 2007. Thats 16 teams and they charged a gate and it was a pretty well run event. Navy just hosted a national guard game of the week in their football stadium last spring and hosted 2 MARFU league matches on its lax/sprint football field. To say that those 2 schools, Kutztown, or anyone else cant do better than an ABSOLUTE CRAP men's club is beyond ignorant. All of those teams play on nicer fields than the men's clubs. Dont comment on things you dont really know about.

The TU mucky mucks will be throwing anything they can on the walls hoping something sticks.

There is no justification for TU dues from college students other than to fund a layer of administration not needed.

College,

You clearly didn't read my post. I was responding to a previous post about the MARFU Collegiate Playoffs, not the USAR playoff structure. I know about Navy playing at the stadium and I know they've played at Anne Arundel Community College Stadium in the past when hosting Army-Navy. If you read my post, you would have read that I agree that the college playoffs should be an "on-campus" event. I stated that I didn't think "many" of the schools in the MARFU would get any real support from said school. I didn't really feel the need to mention what few schools might actually get real support (the three that you mentioned were the ones I had in mind). To your point about a college club being able to run an event better then a men's club, I ABOLUTELY made no mention of who could do a better job as that was not the point of my post. So don't comment on something you either haven't read and/or can't comprehend.

Then i dont understand your post's point. You're saying college teams cant get access to good venues except for the top 3. well there's 3 right there that havent been used for a long time. The men's club venues are not above average.

PSU, Rutgers, Navy, Kutztown are all better right off the bat and yet none of them will probably be hosting it this year. All of them are capable of charging a gate. All of them can attract an actual crowd other than families and the men's club team. I just dont understand why that isnt happening.

College-

3 quick things:

1. My point is that pining away for a school (any school) to host the playoffs b/c any school can charge a gate and make $ is asinine. A vast majority of college clubs in the MARFU don't have the leadership or relationship with the school to carry out the plan laid out by "go on" Further I also pointed out that what he said about a mens club hosting "every year" was untruthful.

2. Are you capable of reading and understanding something? I stated that those venues are above average for "mens" clubs.

3. The reason that 4 out of 14 years a mens club has hosted the MARFU championship is that the bid they submitted to MARFU was either better then the other bids or they were the only bids submitted. Prior to 2008 the tournament was awarded to one of the three LAUs in the MARFU on a rotational basis (EPRU 2005, VRU 2006, PRU 2007) so it was only open to clubs (on all levels) in those LAUs. Now it is open to all clubs across the MARFU.

Just wondering, who thinks USAR hiring this "dedicated staffer" for college rugby is going to make any significant difference in USAR's management and support of college rugby?

This seems like a move to look like they are doing something, so they can continue to collect dues. There are hundreds of teams at several levels, men and women. How is USAR hiring some young professional going to solve the issue?

From USAR currently failing, to them raising to the challenge, because they hire one new employee????

You can argue all you want, but College frisbee may surpass Rugby if this regime controls College Rugby. Let them dismantle the senior game and fudge up the National program. Get them the heck away from College campuses immediately!

Any long time servant of the game, in America, would welcome an organized, innovative council that would promote the Collegiate game. I'm sure that logic would prevail and establish a Spring season with scheduled home matches in April.

Fire USAR.

I don't understand the hate for TU Administrators? What, exactly, do you think we (yes, I'm one of them) get out of it? Money? No. Women? No. Free meals? Yeah, I get about 7-8 burritos/year in exchange for my service.

Fact is, 90% of our budget finances our rep sides. And with the death of the NASCs, it is the senior men who are taxed for no return. I know there is also a bizarre contempt for senior rugby among many commenters here, but we are the ones who provide the money that makes our collegiate all-star teams possible.

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