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17 March 2010


I think this is great news. An SEC rugby conference would be great and Big 10 would be even better. I'm sure whichever school wins the "rugby ACC" next year will get great deal more press than if they made it to the national playoffs.

The USAR, TU, LAU strangle hold on college rugby is coming to an end.

It doesn't help when you have people running college rugby at the TU and LAU level that know nothing about collegiate rugby.

But then again, we have some one at the top of USAR who knows nothing about college rugby, right?

I think a person only need to look at how gridiron gained popularity as to the path forward for rugby here in the USA; through collegiate athletics. Once the popularity at the collegiate level was established, the sport grew beyond the halls of academia. The players and fans wanted more.

Hey Pac10 - Wake up!

The existing USARFU model has your teams in multiple useless TU's and countless ineffective LAU's. Here's an idea - get together and build a league as the leaders in the rest of the country are doing. Yes we know the distances from Washington State to Arizona are vast but you lot are stuck in the same underperforming backwater you've been paddling in for decades.

Shake it up. Don't wait for Cal to make the first move - they have other options.

Lead, follow the TU/LAU leadership (oxymoron) as you are, or remain irrelevant.

I'm a supporter but I'm getting tired of waiting for you lot to wake up.

A pac-10 league is a terrible idea. Cal, UofA, and UCLA would be leaving the two most competitive leagues in the country for a significant drop in competition. Colleges need to be raising the level of competition so they can raise the standard of rugby and create a marketable product. The cpl is a great thing and will finally seperate the competitive teams from the rest. The teams not in the cpl can join whatever conference they want until they are ready to get serious and play with the big boys. However I hope they start with 24 teams as I don't think we are close to having 32 teams who can compete.

Arizona State too; they will almost certainly be joining the top flight in So Cal. Even accounting for brand recognition, I can't imagine that dropping SDSU and Cal Poly for USC, Stanford, and the Oregon/Washington schools is going to help anyone.

This is the branding that college rugby needs. Who or what association is really behind this movement?

First, I don't believe that there is going to be a Southern Cal conference in the U.S. Collegiate Rugby Championships (anybody want to have a "name the league" contest). If there are 4 conferences and 24 or 28 or 32 teams, I don't see one of the conferences being SoCal and another NorCal. More likely, it would be Pacific, West, East and South. So SoCal teams would be folded into either Pacific or West (as in Arizona, Arizona State).

Secondly, I don't think that there is an association behind this movement. I think that it is JC and the boys (disciples and fellow travelers of the prophet), trying to effectively solve their own problems without regard to the rest of colleges laboring under the ministrations of Boulder.

Whether USAR adopts (co-opts) this movement as their own premiere league is yet to be determined. My personal bet is that they will. Still, it will be like the CIA trying to control the Mujahadeen. Once these folks get a taste of controlling their own destiny, it may be hard for the Boulder crowd to get effective control of it. I view that as very healthy for the future of college rugby.

While aligning along traditional conference lines is great where possible, it doesn't have to happen with conferences where it is not feasible because of geography or disparity in level of competitiveness of teams. Hockey is a good example, where there are conferences that are not the traditional Big 10, Big East, etc. But the key is that there are conferences/leagues where winning the league matters for something other than getting your TU's spot in the national playoffs.

JC I agree completely. Andre, asu is improving but they have a ways to go to be in the top 30. I think the Pacific would most likely be the top 8 from the socal and nocal prem leagues. West would be Utah, Byu, CWU, and the rest of the west. I would combine the rest of the country to make the east. Expand as other teams raise their games.

Can't wait for this to happen.

I only mentioned ASU because they are a Pac-10 team who will be in SCRFU's D1 next year.

Here are a few items from ARN and Andy Richards I don't understand:
"'Virginia Tech has already announced that it will withdraw from the Mid-Atlantic Premier League this fall.

“The team feels its best interests lie with the Atlantic Coast Rugby League,” club president Cory McGillivray said.

“Now a spring league allows us to pick and choose our fall schedule. Football is king in the fall in Blacksburg; trying to manage a competitive league around it has always been a problem for us. This way, we can now work with it instead of against it.'"

Tech has been making Fall rugby work for over 40 years and 10-20 years ago they were making it work rather well as they were always in the running to rep the ERU or MARFU in nationals. While I support the idea of the ACC league, I wonder what Tech will do as far as making the playoffs for the time being. I don't know how much recruiting Tech does but I wonder if this (withdrawal from MARFU) will hinder it. Will kids that want to play top flight rugby want to go to a school that plays in a league against the likes of NC State, Duke, GA Tech, UNC, etc or against teams like Navy, Penn State, Delaware and Kutztown? Will the fact that Tech is no longer eligible for a national title hurt their recruiting as well?

Fall rugby will be a series of one off XV matches, traditional sports conference competitions (Ivy, ACC) and the national championship sevens season.

All XV championship play will move to the spring. Vtech will miss out on nothing. This is really smart stuff my all involved.

No more gridiron shadow. A real season to call our own and build real fans bases.

Pete M
Virginia Tech were hardly a powerhouse even at their best. 6 times at nationals, only 1 win in the Sweet 16 and that was against . Never won Marfu, and only qualified as No2 seed twice. The No3 seed was taken away Marfu because they got so badly beat year after year.

You are mistaking misguided tradition and habit whilst wallowing in mediocrity with real progress.

Stop hanging on to the past and let those that are really running the collegiate game, do just that.

6 appearances at nationals at what? Lets say $20,000 a pop from the deep-pocketed alumni.

All for what - lots of good times for an alumni that taught the young lads to drink - that did them well last fall huh? Now they are banned!

Please, your a joke. You'd had been better putting a 100K in an endowment fund for them.

If I was a high school kid looking to go play college rugby, I think that I would much rather attend Virginia Tech now that they are in the ACC league. Presumably, the people who are pushing this league are also going to be looking for sponsorship, broadcast and media partners, and the like. I haven't seen the MARFU premiere league doing any of that stuff since its inception. Also, with Navy, Kutztown, and Penn St. signaling their intention to go to the premiere league next spring, and VT not getting an invite, the choice for them appeared to be stay in a watered down MARFU league that PSU, USNA, and KU are in only as exhibition teams and then hope you qualify for a second tier USA Rugby championship, or go to the ACC league and give your kids a meaningful, recognizable competition to play in just like the other student athletes at Virginia Tech have. Perhaps one or two high school players in the next year will think twice about going to VT because they AREN'T in the premiere league. But I don't see anyone not going there because they ARE in the ACC league. Additionally, looking forward, I can guarantee you that they will get more school support now that they are in the ACC league. Everything from funding, resources, even coverage in the school newspaper will increase. I happen to know a coach at one of the other ACC school who told me that when he sent the ARN article about the league to the club sports director at his school, the director responded with something along the lines of "this is amazing, this truly does set the rugby team apart from all the other club sports here." I bet that club sports director wouldn't have had the same reaction if he had been told "Hey, we just joined the MARFU premiere league with Deleware and Kutztown!" I suppose only time will tell if VT made the right move, but I'm thinking they did. Also, it makes even more sense when you consider that the fall is going to become the college 7s season.

True enough

Spack Jarrow nailed it.

There will be those that are critical of this competition because it marginalizes the importance of a national competition and places the emphasis on conference championships. That will be a recognizable threat to the tax collectors.

Thats it boys, throw those tea crates into the harbor!

Those Commonwealth types in Boulder will soon be forced to leave.

This is a great thing that is happening to American rugby.

What will happen to Appalachian State and East Carolina, both of whom played in the Carolinas League but neither of which are in the ACC or SEC? It's not like Conference USA and the Southern Conference are going to form rugby divisions.

ACC Fan,

I really don't care how college rugby is handled. If those in charge feel this is the better path, then that is great. My point was whether or not this move will hinder recruiting as for the time being Tech has no option for playoffs. But who knows that can be changing and the ACL folks might be working out a deal with USAR ala the Ivies. Let's hope so. Also of note is that Tech's website is off line.

Tech's website is offline because they were suspended by their University (something that I think might hurt recruiting more than anything else). They are putting the pieces back together under new leadership and great support from the University and I think you'll see them become a force to be reckoned with fast.

As for Appalachian State and East Carolina, it would certainly be possible to form a Southern Conference-based rugby league. The problem is finding someone to take the lead on it and do it. My guess is that person doesn't exist (actually, John Roberts at Furman could do it, but he likes playing D3 rugby against small schools). So instead, the same people who took the lead on forming the ACC league are making sure App. St. and ECU have someplace to play and are creating a new version of the Carolinas Rugby League with ASU, ECU, UNC-W, UNC-G, UNC-C and perhaps some South Carolina teams like Coastal Carolina or Furman or Charleston if those teams are willing to step up to the D2 level.

Not for nothin' but Tech's website was just recently taken off line, but the club was suspended in the fall. I hope they can regain their standing fast.

It was dormant since fall, it was taken offline while they are working on a new one. I think you'll be pleased with what they unveil.

Found this under a new domain name


Also, I can confirm that the Carolinas league is continuing next year with App State and ECU with UNC-W, G & C and some South Carolina clubs if they want in.

There is alot of work going on behind the scenes by people actually involved in the college game.

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