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12 April 2010


How is this a national championship if there aren't teams from other parts of the country? Looks to be just a local rugby tournament.

Get your resumes ready...


How many Division III college teams are there west of the Mississippi? Maybe that will answer your question.

Seriously. It's like the supposed "national championship" in NCAA hockey. Did you see that jopke? I didn't see one team from Texas, California, Florida, or Louisiana in that tournament. None to the schools from the Mid-Atlantic were even in it. Give me a break, man. NCAA should call it the "Northern Championship."

Hockey is played in sweaters.
Rugby is played in shorts.

I have yet to see rugby played on skates, but maybe you are on to something...

Cold weather rugby isn't going to be providing any kind of entertainment value, kind of like watching roller hockey in Texas?

I suggest the turtlenecks adaptt and start a new game. Nordic Combined Rugby, 15 v. 15, played on ice, each player packing heat.

The National Guard would eat this up and maybe provide better kit?
Maybe a 7's version with rifles?

Well there is at least one team from west of the Mississippi and they are playing in the final four (Louisiana-Lafayette in case you can't read your maps) But college is right, this is a National Championship for D-III programs and since the overwhelming majority of D-III programs are located in east of the Mississippi, it would make sense that 3 of the 4 are from that area. Now go get your shinebox.

National-There are 51 teams that play NCAA D1 hockey.None of the states you mentioned have a D1 college hockey program.The best teams advanced,sorry that doesn't meet your "national championship" standards.There is a d-1 program at Alabama Huntsville,but they didn't make the tourney.

This may be the worst conversation ever to be held on Gainline.

Congrats to the NSCRO for recognizing a need and providing a quality product.

Apparently Gainline readers are not as high-brow as I expected. I figured that someone would be able to pick up on the sarcasm in my hockey post. The point was that when all of the schools playing a sport, be it college hockey or D3 college rugby, are in one part of the country, then of course that sport's championship is going to be predominated by schools in that part of the country. 95% of the D3 college rugby teams are in the eastern United States, hence that's where the teams in the national championship are from. So yeah, you can call it a national championship. Jesus you guys are dense.

We've heard the "this isn't a national championship" comments before and we (NSCRO) are working on expansion. This tournament started out as a competition between the South, Mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast as they were the only ones with Div III college rugby. We now have teams from the Midwest competing.

We also held a "trial" championship of sorts out west between teams from the West TU, SoCal, and the western part of the Midwest to test viability. The hope there is that one by one we will bring them into the mix and they understand a bit more about the commitment involved in terms of travel, etc.

Lots of good things in the works.

There should be only 2 levels of competition - big schools and little schools!

The NSCRO is doing a great job running this side of things - let them continue to allow in who they want and run the show. If a school is too big then it goes in the Div 1 bracket.

Once the National Premier League has taken the cream of the crop, then the rest can sort themselves out into traditional conference leagues like the (SEC, Ivy, ACC etc etc). After time relegation/promotion between conferences and the national league could happen, even play-in games between winners of conference leagues.

Those schools that don't fall into strong conference's could get themselves organized locally into leagues. Southern Cal, Marfu the Carolinas league etc etc.

This is a great opportunity and I think the NSCRO has a real role to play.

When the little school championship is over between schools with 3000 male students, the winner should go play D2 California Maritime Academy with their 750 male students. Cal Maritime will kick their ass and then we can wonder what the hell you were doing with your D3 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Its not "national"

Leave it to a Cal Maritime supporter to make the most idiotic statement yet. If Cal Maritime is so concerned about the NSCRO national championship, then why don't they drop down to D3 for next year?

Or St Marys with their 1200 males, or Claremount with their 1500, or University of San Diego with 1500. Hey the list goes on.

Face the facts, this isn't a real national championship of "like teams", it a made-for-ego regional championship.

However it is noteworthy that once again USAR is sleeping in the corner of the room on $275,000 plus per year.

You dudes are morons. It is a D-III Championship, those schools you mention are D-II and D-I do well for themselves. The size restriction is to deter the larger state schools from slacking off and dropping down so they can win a "national championship". Why would anyone of the schools mentioned above be interested in the D-III title?

Right, Notre Dame has fewer students than many D-1AA and D-2 football schools, but they play D-1A football and play it very well. I don't think the Notre Dame football coaches, players and boosters would even care enough to point out that James Madison, Montana, Delaware, App State, and other D-1AA football champs have more students than Notre Dame. That fact is totally irrelevant to them and with good reason given their illustrious D-1A history.

Is OMBAC RSL team eligible for this small school championship? There they might be playing against comparable opposition.

Does anyone have a list of the college teams that have committed to the CPL so far?

Penn St.
Arkansas St.
Texas A&M
Central Washington
St. Marys

When did Florida and St. Mary's get on board?

St Marys isn't going to play in the CPL. They were asked and said no. Look for UC Davis who has as many Final Four appearances, at one each, to take their place.

How about the PSU ruling? No punishment for the team. What a precedent this sets. A team can cheat, play a player which is ineligible in important matches and not forfeit those matches. This is a call to cheat. Nothing will happen if you get caught other than the player can't play going forward, what's to lose?

If you don't get caught you win, if you get caught you win. I think I'll cheat.

This is USAR at its finest.

I think the CPL is just looking for a place for Florida. I hear both UF and FSU both want in.

I think this should be 3 conferences of 8, not 4. I think 32 teams dilutes the talent pool a little too much where as 24 gives 3 very competitive leagues with few uncompetitive games.

East: Dartmouth, Army, Penn St., Kutztown, Navy, Tennessee, Arkansas St., Florida

Central: Colorado, Utah, LSU, Texas A&M, BYU, Air Force, Wyoming, Colorado State

West: Cal, St Mary's, Davis, Arizona, SDSU, Cal Poly, UCLA, Central Washington

Maybe one or two of those teams exchanged for someone else but I can't think of any others that really need to be there. Promotion/relegation would take care of any others that are really deserving.

I really hope St Mary's opts in. They are an elite program and this competition could use them. When this league does begin where else could St. Mary's find a competitive league?

Would like to see the Mtn West be one of the 4 leagues in the CPL...

Air Force
Colorado State
New Mexico
San Diego State

The Claremont colleges (excluding Scripps) have ~4500 undergrads. I don't think the remaining 4 colleges are 2/3 female.

You're right bag head, this absolutely opens wide the flood gates for teams who can convince non-scholarship players to transfer mid-semester across the country from one playoff bound team to another. Dear god, it is going to be a free-for-all.

Christian transferred from Colorado to PSU in the spring. Why should she not be allowed to play for PSU again? Because the Colorado coach was bitter and decided to tell USAR/MARFU that he had not granted her his blessing after all CU gave her? She paid her dues to CU and USAR while paying for college. She transferred to PSU and does the same thing there. And they arent going to let her play. This is a travesty.

What a dumb dumb post. Cheating? huh? A procedural error sure, but cheating? Stupid

USA Rugby had an opportunity to show some common sense with the whole PSU deebacle and as usual, they fluffed their lines.

PSU should have been allowed to carry on, thats right, no sense in messing around other teams. But probation, you're kidding me. They should not be allowed to play for a title next year - period.

This isn't the first time PSU has been sailing close to the wind with the rules!

Cheaters is not too strong a word.

Do you want to eliminate PSU, one of our

...best marquee teams because of a paperwork error. The NCAA would laugh at this.

No, just suspend them from competition next season.

That would make sure that every coach and administrator in the country is focused when taking on a transfer student mid-season.

PSU is even more guilty as they have a paid Director of Rugby and coach. If this had happened in an NCAA sport, someone would be looking for a wage elsewhere.

You guys are insane. Banning dues paying, non-scholarship players and volunteer coaches from competition.

This is not cheating. Where is the intent? Everyone in the country knew Christiane Phiel transferred to PSU. This wasnt some cloak n dagger operation. The fact is in the NCAA the ruling would have come down as soon as she transfered. They would have said, nope, she broke her commitment/scholarship agreement with CU and cant play for PSU until next year or whatever. In this situation it took Ebbins from CU to bring it to the attention of USAR. And after he did, he regretted it and tried to take it back. Too late. ANNND Christiane never had any obligations to CU rugby. that's why this is nonsense. These arent scholarship players where teams have spent thousands upon thousands recruiting them and then paying for their education. Players pay to play in college rugby. You're going to keep a girl from playing for the school she transferred to? Just ridiculous guys.

I get it, rules have to be followed or rugby looks bush league. But let's be serious here. A student who pays for her own college annnnd to play rugby should be granted a waiver automatically when she transfers colleges. PSU didnt realize she needed one in the first place and all of this only came up b/c of the CU coach who should be embarassed.

JS, you think suspending a team to increase focus on midseason transfers is worth it? Midseason rugby transfers are about as rare as a USAR sponsorship. And those players should be given automatic waivers anyways since they are transferring for educational purposes. No one is going pro in rugby, especially women's rugby. These kids have to get real educations so these choices are obviously for that reason. So that would be the most harsh, and pointless suspension of all time.

R and P
I actually get your argument on a common sense basis but we're not talking abour common sense, we're talking about rules!
Where do you draw the line?

USAR just gave the green light for coaches to deliberately break the rules knowing that all they'll get is a suspension at worst. Because there is now precedent and they will argue that if its okay for PSU, then its okay for us.

When dealing with a case like this, they should have come down harsh, then they have room to move on a case by case basis down the road. All they have done is back themselves into a corner and have opened the floodgates.

Nothing makes a great news story like the suspension or probation of a women's club sports team.

Call your local media outlet, tell them about the suspension & drum up some support for your suspended or probated club.

I hope it is a light news day up in State College, PA. This screams front page headline.

Maybe JoPa has chnged his exercise regime?

JS, I was being facetious about opening the flood gates. The gates are open but there is no water. On what planet will club rugby players start transferring mid-season? Common sense should rule here because there will be so few situations like this one. And when there is a situation like this, the girl should be allowed to play. So what flood is this rule preventing? None. Back themselves into a corner? The only thing this has done is notify teams that in this rarest of occasions, just make sure you tell USAR you want a waiver before the spring season starts so that the former coach doesnt try to sink your season out of bitterness. That waiver should automatically be given because unlike in a men's/women's club competition, this is a move from institution to institution and not from team to team. The motivation isnt there for this to become a rampant practice because normally college kids have picked their college for a good reason (their education) and arent going to switch just b/c another school has a better shot at nationals.

Playing on two different teams and helping them to the national post season, is not a paperwork error, its wrong and its cheating.

If this player had only been a transfer student and had not played in regular season matches leading to the post season, then no problem. But this isn't the case, now is it.

The USAR transfer eligibility waiver would not have been granted. Maybe this is why PSU cheated and didn't request the waiver. Certainly they knew USAR doesn't grant these type of waivers. This player would have been told she was fully eligible to play for PSU beginning in the Fall of 2010 at the new competition cycle.

This is a BIG precedent! How can USAR ever punish any other team for playing ineligible players now that they haven't punished PSU? If USAR tries to punish another team, it will be decided in a court room, because the precedent has been set.

When added to the issue where PSU used students from other campuses to play on their team, we clearly have a team willing to cheat to win. This is an institutional problem. It speaks to the leadership of the head coach and the director of rugby. Titles are easy to come by, integrity, not so much.

Well said sir!

Speaking of integrity, Alex Golf has a piece up on ERN about Frank Merrill overriding the system to protect one of these EPA boys he's associated with. Normal story of an out of control kid assaulting another player.

The story is like an honor-roll of despicable characters, headlined by Merrill and Giles Wilson.

Merrill calls in a few favors at the congress level, while Wilson stalls for him at the NCRFU level. The story is a disgusting look under the hood of USAR and its parts.

Two things are true, no one ever remembers voting for these guys and no one can ever remember them playing rugby. These are power junkies attracted to rugby because they could be somebody. Giving back to the game my ass!

Merrill has presided over the end of one of the great TU's. Its on its last legs now after losing funds from the youth. Merrill would pocket these funds and hold a camp for as many of his friends as campers in attendance in Quincy, CA where he has a business.

Under Merrill the PCRFU has shrank to nothing. A tax collector with no purpose other than collecting taxes.

Merrill still chairs the USAR elections to the board, if you are wondering why, these same individuals get reelected without your vote.

Just take a read of Alex's story to get a clear view into the working of USAR.

hahaha. Challenging the integrity of the Penn State Rugby program. Hilarious. Anyone who knows anything about them knows that is a joke.

I agree that there is a logical argument that they broke rules and whatnot but you aren't looking at it in the right context. The context of college rugby. This is being blown WAY out of proportion. But I guess that is what gainliners do.

There is no precedent here because the rule is made for club teams since player movement is much more fluid and common in their ranks and the possibilities of players playing with one team in the fall and jumping to a better team in the spring was a problem in the past. Not so for college students who rarely transfer schools and especially not for rugby reasons. The waiver would have been granted. But we can agree to disagree I guess.

The players from another campus is also a soft argument for cheating. The altoona campus is 30 minutes away and doesnt have rugby. The university permitted students from Altoona to play on the main campus club team. What is the difference? What about all the Claremont college campuses playing with each other? It really isnt cheating but I agree that USAR had the right to draw a line and so they did.

No one needs to challenge the integrity of PSU rugby. There is no challenge required. The absence of honesty and integrity is apparent.

Claremont combines their athletic department from these small schools into one, in all sports. This is an institutional decision by the presidents of the colleges.

Penn State rugby makes up the rules to suit their own desires. Nothing institutional from the campus, just out of control coaches making up the rules to suit their own purposes. "What you didn't get in to the main campus, grades not good enough, no problem you can still play for us, we'll just play fast and loose with the rules." They were caught doing this by MAFRU and now no longer allowed to cheat in this manor.

BTW, a better analogy is Wisconsin, Minnesota, California all drawing players system wide into the main campus. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Cheating no matter who you look at it. You play for the sports teams of the campus you attend.

Laugh all you want, but the very proud name of PSU has been sullied by the actions of these rugby coaches and their cheating.

This is a very sad chapter in the history of PSU rugby. Because USAR allows this behavior won't change the damage this has done to PSU reputation. The whole program should be ashamed, from school officials, to players and their parents.

What else will we find out about PSU and their rugby cheating?

Ridiculous. The allowance of the Altoona players was a decision made by the Penn State Administration. Certainly supported by the rugby program but not done without both University Park's and Altoona's blessing. Cal's system isnt at all analogous. UCLA, UC DAVIS, UC Santa Barbara and whoever else have rugby programs and are major institutions. Most Altoona students spend 2 years at Altoona and then go to main and finish there.

It's expected that when the best team has a controversy that all the haters jump on it. That's fine. Completely expected. But get your facts straight.

Once again, the only reason this ever came up was b/c the CU coach brought it up. He then tried to say it was okay with him but once he complained USAR had to do something.

A very sad chapter in PSU history? haha. Yea, how will they ever live it down allowing one of their students play on the team she pays to go to school to?? Oh my gosh, I bet this is only the beginning. What other dark secrets are there to be found in State Colleged? Their parents and grandparents and pets should all hang their heads in shame at this near criminal cheating.

And btw the students that are still at Altoona are still allowed to play for main. They were grandfathered in. MARFU/USAR didnt say they cheated. They just drew a line for the future.

As the saying goes, perception is reality. Everyone I've spoken with who is not affiliated with PSU believes Penn St cheated (whether knowingly or unknowingly) and believes that the punishment from USAR should have been harsher. So yeah, the reputation of Penn St. rugby has taken a hit. Whether or not Penn St. cares is another story. You sound like a PSU supporter and you obviously care or else you wouldn't be spending so much time trying to defend PSU on an internet message board.

I played rugby with Giles Wilson, he was a pretty good prop on the Old Blues.

Right Alan,
Giles Wilson was a good prop on the Old Who's. Oh you mean the Old Blues that combined with the Olympic Club. That you coached and had a winless Super League Season in 2002. Your eye for talent is crap.
If Giles Wilson & Frank Merrill do such a great job with the LAU & TU then why have you been such a driving force in Rugby California. The State Based Organization that has taken the youth out of these guys control?

GW propping skills were/are equal to his ref/admin abilities-you get the picture.

I am glad to see there is a post about how horrible a job Frank Merrill and Giles Wilson are doing.

This is the quote from the rugbymag.com that got me pretty upset:

"Various organizations look at the result of an offense - how badly someone was injured, for example, but there's also the issue of intent," said Hughes. "It appeared one player was trying to punch the ball out of an opponent's hand, rather than strike the player. That makes a difference."

Simply put, a moronic argument. If you are stupid enough to "punch" a ball out of someone's hand and "accidentally" punch them instead, you should have to deal with the consequences as if you tried to punch them. It is no compensation to the person punched/injured that it was a mistake. If you swing your fist violently, deal with the suspension. To expand on this stupidity: who the f--- tries to punch a ball out of a players hand and ends up hitting them in the face? Strangely enough this phenomena is unique to Norcal D1 men’s rugby. And let’s just dismiss this “various organizations” BS. No other rugby union in the world would be so stupid as to say someone was “punching at the ball” when they hit the other person in the face. Read that sentence again to see how stupid it sounds.

More from the rugbymag:

Hughes, who oversees a hardworking committee performing a fairly thankless task, and Merrill, vehemently denied any undue influence by Merrill, who is on the USA Rugby Congress.
"I have no more influence than anyone else," Merill told RUGBYMag.com.
"In all the years I have known Frank, he has never, ever asked me for a favor," said Hughes. "We judged this case on its merits."

Also a moronic argument. So you have two scenarios, one where you are asked to view an appeal from someone you do not know, and another where you are asked to view an appeal from someone you are friendly with, that you have known for years. Which one has a better chance?

Merrill should not be allowed to file an appeal. It is an obvious conflict of interest.

I actually heard Giles was a pretty good player in his day. This of course has nothing to do with the fact that he is a horrible administrator, along with Frank Merrill.

Frank Merrill is on the USA Rugby Disciplinary Committee with Ed Hughes.
USA Rugby Disciplinary Committee is made up of only 6 people.

Its on the USA Rugby website under

NorCal is shameless in this affair. You know what you're going to get out of Merrill and these USAR crooks, but NCRFU proclaims to be cracking down on violence...unless the fix is in as in this case.

BTW, Giles was a fat shit then and now.

Actually, the Claremont colleges do NOT combine into a single athletic department for "all" sports. For their NCAA sports, they combine into two different teams. Pomona and Pitzer Colleges combine to form one team and the other team is composed of Claremont-McKenna, Scripps (women's sports only), and Harvey Mudd Colleges.


"In all the years I have known Frank, he has never, ever asked me for a favor," said Hughes. "We judged this case on its merits."

When Ed Hughes says "we" he means just himself and Frank Merrill.

Can someone post a link of the Merrill/Wilson article from Goff? I can't find it.


Thanks dreamer.

Semi-final 1
Keene State comes from down 22-13 with 15 mins left to defeat Louisiana Lafayette 25-22

Semi-final 2
William Paterson scores a try with no time left, but misses a conversion near the posts and loses to Penn State Berks 17-16

Louisiana Lafayette def William Paterson 43-0

In a defensive battle, Penn State Berks hold on to a 11-6 victory.

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