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18 August 2010

Comments

Its an excellent article.
I'm hearing that many members of congress are ready for the Dallas meeting in September.
Lets hope so.

samizdat -
noun
1. a clandestine publishing system within the Soviet Union, by which forbidden or unpublishable literature was reproduced and circulated privately.
2. a work or periodical circulated by this system.

Sparrow-
I would love to know which Congress members you are referring to. I know of some who are ready for heads to roll, but certainly not "many." I hope you are right.

The AAs lost to Saracens Academy 32-0 and the last official tweet from the AA staff in London was:

"Improvements from richmond match. Some key mistakes changed the character of the match. Leicester on sat."

Don't know about you, but a 30+ point shut out is pretty much a failure in my book.

The kids on the AA's are doing their best - they are out there are giving their all, so please don't jump all over them.

Its not their fault we are miles behind the rest of the world!

AA Lose Big:
college season for most ended in April.......August is pre-season over in Nige land....

I haven't always agreed with some of Ed's opinions, but he has been around the rugby block and knows a toad when he sees one.

Our union has been lead by a handful of toads long enough. We must have a change in leadership.

Good on you Ed, keeping speaking with the rugby community's voice.

It is put up or shut up time for Congress.

There needs to be a vote of no confidence on the USAR Board of Directors. We should be under no illusions that it will be successful. But we need the vote to forever mark the resumes of the members of congress.

Those that vote for immediate change should be forgiven that it has taken them this long and congratulated for their courage.

Those which continue to side with this administration against the players and teams of this rugby union, will get away with it on the day, but henceforth will be known as a traitor to American rugby.

This time Congress, we keep score. No more happy bullshit press releases after the fact. No more excuses about the Board controlling the agenda. The first man/women to stand up in the meeting and say to the Board its time for change wins!

No more politics, from the shameful "inside crowd" and their agenda to support the Board at all costs. To include the dues money of the kids. These Congress insiders are duds, which have never accomplished anything in the game. They are nobodies except for the Congress seat they have which no one can remember how they got. They need to be ignored and tarred with their shame.

No more foreign assholes on Congress and the Board all voting together while telling us not to be xenophobia.

Xenophobe this, you have failed. Four years of administrative and executive failure is enough. Step down or get throw out. If not this meeting then one to follow.

No more telling us what we should do and think. The gloves are coming off. You will be booed and picketed. The IRB and every blog in the rugby world will hear the story of your greed, incompetents and failure.

Blog and love mark this KR, you aren't wanted.

Melville direct this, for $300k, you suck!

Every one of you Board members have lied to US rugby. Congress has been your crutch. We keep score from hear on.

"No more foreign assholes on Congress and the Board all voting together while telling us not to be xenophobes."

This my score-keeping friend is...priceless!

The last canary in the coal mine just died. The character of every member of congress will be exposed at the meeting in Dallas.

Okay guys, I get it your pissed with NM and the board, we all are. Even the dozens of 'foreign assholes' working hours and hours to help build the game in the United States at the coal face, are pissed with him.

Steady with the name calling dick weeds!

If you really want to get your point across, file a lawsuit. Any member of USA Rugby would have standing.

Found this on the Saracen's website after the AA game:

"The evening gave fans the chance to see the next generation of Saracens stars and in fact, at the end of the game, Sarries finished with seven schoolboys on the field all aged 17."

This is the crux of the problem. I couldn't imagine a 17 year old HS player in the USA lining up against monsters like Roland Evans or Eric Fry. But because every club in England has a strong youth policy that starts age 5, then the best kids at 17 are ready for top class rugby.

Nigel knows this, he played at Otley and Wakefield and was a part of a club scene that spent its time building a junior section. So why doesn't he get it that we need to throw all our energy into getting rugby accepted in schools?

Probably because IRB handouts and a fat check are easier than doing what is right and what is needed for rugby in the USA.

Sorry Nigel, pack your bags and head back to England before your thrown out!

I can only hope for change. There have not been many moments when talking with members of Congress that gives me a strong sense that they even know what is going on, how to lead or look at a balance sheet. Better yet, how many of our TAU/Congress people have done anything notable on the coaching level, promoting our game or raising any significant amount of capital?

Craig
I know 5 people on the Congress that are doing a tremendous amount for the game. Don't paint everyone with the same brush!

In 1975, my father was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the USA Rugby Football Union, along with a group of other men with similar drive and passion for the sport; his name is on the constitution of USARFU. It's a crime what's going on with the union right now, & a slap in the faces of those founders. Rugby was a part of my life from 1964 till the early 90's, when I took a 15 year break, expecting, on my return to active fan status, that the US game would have grown, progressed...evolved. Imagine my surprise when I found that, in general, the venues, the crowds, the administration and the attitudes were, if anything, less impressive than they were decades prior. As Ed says, what a complete & utter lack of leadership. What a waste of time, effort & resources. We must demand accountability, transparency, and measurable goals (with clear rewards/consequences linked to those goals). Local dollars should stay local & help build the youth/high school programs. And supercilious, detached, ineffective leaders must go. Ok, getting off soapbox now.

The irony is that it is not Nigel Melville or Kevin Roberts that are at fault (or the panoply of lackeys that support them) but the structure and system that is US Rugby. Yes, they are continuing and contributing to a failed system, but to make them the root cause of the failing of US Rugby dooms Rugby in the US to mediocrity. US Rugby needs to be overhauled from top to bottom. A true reorganization. Nigel Melville might be the person to run the US high performance program. He is not the person to run US Rugby because that person may not exist, nor should there need to be that person under a system that takes into account the strengths of our nation. Even people like Bob Latham could be constructive under the proper system, instead he has been turned into a political hack defending a failed system. Democracy and transparency have completely gone missing, and without these there will never be a fully engaged and motivated membership. We all get emails from US Rugby. Why can’t before the Dallas meeting, a full accounting be sent to every member of US Rugby?

The true test of progress?
In 1977 I toured with Atlanta Renegades to Wales. The comment from the Welsh people at the clubs was, "if the USA ever takes to the game of rugby, they will be a force to be reckoned with."

I have since traveled to Wales over the years and again this August, and when I meet the people of the younger generation, they say the same thing now that they said 33 years ago!

There is your indicator of how far we have progressed. 3 generations later we still get the same remark.

If you boys run Roberts and Middleton out of town can you see if they will take Brian Lowe with them?

Guys - Melville will point to some successes in his mind:
1. Rookie Rugby - problem is there are several pieces missing such as a playing program after teaching taking the course, continuity and many, many rival programs out there - who is effectively running this?
2. NG/Emirates and maybe other sponsors - these are not based upon and improving USA Rugby product, numbers, TV contract etc - generally based upon the membership numbers and potential both things this administration has limited acheivement with
3. Olympics and Olympic funding - we will get a good chuck, players will become professional, etc - however this is based upon the vote and the USOC being very good at building sports and medals. Of course they want to support one of the top sports in the world with a very large playing base and a captive stadium spectator and sponsorable product.

With this - the "we cannot do more" is where the economy has been put up as a defense in Congress meetings. Really the economy does not allow you to do things mandated by the bylaws or are common sense in all sports and business.

This relates to a business plan that outlines fundraising goals and mechanics, how to grow a TV product, increasing membership through building the main parts of our game with a rebuilt structure more in working with the youth, hs and college games. Club rugby is very important, but have you seen anyone put any time into it from the national office, let alone have a dedicated staff member.

Certain members of Congress tried to get the board and nigel to write a plan, and others (half maybe or up to 2/3's) of the members signed the letter - to date over 18 months ago no joy - these are the facts.

I would suggest that the readers of this start talking about individual Congress members and give them either credit (boost their confidence and drive for Dallas) or give them grief (possibly guilt them into action) and at the least show their constituencies what is or is not happening with their vote.

Bob Latham - perfect attendance record - 15 plus years at it - someone help me with his body of work, his role is vice chairman and NACRA president. Do we have a vote on the IRB, has he written a proposal that has seen more dollars from sponsors or IRB? Did he schedule the next Congress meeting in Dallas that start at 10am and finishes at 3pm - really 5 hours - all the money to fly in and we get 5 hours for an AGM. He will claim that he helped get rugby into the Olympics - I mean really did you all see the vote and the amount of people in the room, give it a rest Bob. You are a lawyer and probably good at it, we need occasional by law changes, but what we need more is business expertise, high performance back ground, fund raising expertise, and showing up is not how you get things done!

Who's next?

Kim,

Good comments, stay on the soapbox, we need everybody. Your father Dick, is one of the true greats of US rugby. The vision the founders of USAR had for rugby in America was outstanding.

Your comments concerning the current administration are spot on. However, you are somewhat incorrect that US rugby hasn't moved forward. The youth, high school and college game is much improved. This has nothing to do with the USAR administration and everything to do with those individuals who have been working in these areas.

Here is the real problem Kim. The fix is in on all this. This USAR Board which has not only been poor at their roles, but has also repeatedly lied to the membership and hid the factual truths of their performance and leadership, has been cunning in their politics.

Take for example, your father's footprints in US rugby. He was first a major force in the MWRFU and then later in the PCRFU, and of course always a national leader. Now those territories and their votes have been bought by the current Board.

In the MWRFU two of the three Congress members are foreign guys, in the pocket of Kevin Roberts' Board and Nigel Melville's management. Their names are Jeremiah Johnson and Adrian Gannon. The fix is in.

In the PCRFU, all three directors are tied at the hip. Frank Merrill is the chairmen of the nominations committee which seats the Board, so you know how he's been voting during the four year slide of this administration. The other two, like many of these Congress members, are not very successful members of the rugby community. Dave Pelton and Ellen Owens can only be counted on by Merrill, not by the players and clubs they are meant represent. The fix is in.

Kim, this same analysis could be performed in the other TU's. No where would it be worse than in the WRFU. All three Congress members led by Bill Sexton, will vote in support of Vice Chairmen Bob Latham and the Board's wishes. They are nothing more than proxy votes, the fix is in.

There was a time, when we had real elections and debate in American rugby. This has been replaced by a system which only taxes the players and clubs, while treating the Union's business like a private corporation of a few insiders.

I am afraid the way out of this mess will be far more difficult than we could ever have imagined. It might come to the boycott of dues, or maybe even a competing national rugby union. Certainly, one factor already underway is the dismantling of the Union, the very thing your father, as a founder of USAR, constructed. This dismantling is a sign of the overwhelming discontent of the membership towards the administration. High Schools and Youth going one direction on their own, while Universities head another. Before long, clubs, maybe Women's rugby, will decide separate from USAR.

Once Kevin Roberts and this foreign bandwagon head out of town, we will be left to start over and reconstruct what your father and others built in the late 70's.

Stay on your soapbox.

This short 5 hour AGM is a good idea by Latham and the Board.

Since Kevin Roberts, the freaking CHAIRMAN of USAR, has only attended the last two meeting for just under 30 minutes per, this short AGM will on a percentage time basis improve the length of his attendance.

Besides, what do you people want? KR will bring the power-point outlining the administration's many success. He's be wearing the black mock turtleneck. He'll throw in some new-age business terms, spin the Congress around his finger, get reelected and be back in the upper east-side before the third leg of your Southwest Airline fight is delayed.

Can anyone say USCRA?

Doesn't sounds like a bad idea now does it?

It might depend on who the USCRA leaders are and if the organization is Men-Women, D1-D3.

A new college rugby organization would end this administration, which would be a good thing. USAr wouldn't be paying $500,000 to two employees without the dues from college kids.

Brian Lowe (IQ) has just posted to his blog a rant that lacks logic and speaks volumes about the rugby media in the USA.

First, I am not sure what Brian Lowe has done for rugby in the USA aside from have a blog, but you would need to be in a cave for the last 4 years to not know that the D3 college kids he is mocking pay into what is the biggest revenue source USA Rugby has to fund the national team and admin salaries - CIPP & club dues. So, his answer to the problems of USA Rugby is to mock the people paying for the organization to exist? Mr. Lowe is either an Internet troll or just plain stupid. He does like rugby league....just saying.

Second, we have Ed at Rugby Magazine writing an editorial about the mismanagement of USA Rugby over the past 5 to 10 years, which was nicely done and sincere. On the other hand you have a retard at ARN spewing nonsense. These are the two largest sources of news on our game here in the USA, and they can't even agree on something so basic as the history and origin of mismanagement of USA Rugby.

I think it is time to boycott ARN and the people that are on it (Jack Clark, et al). I am sure Jack knew Brian is a retard all along. JC was able to use him and his college podcast to launch the CPL and then position himself as just another coach after he gave Todd Bell the bag to hold when no sponsors come in and the teams realize the comp is not much different than what cost them half the price.

We are a joke of a rugby nation, but the comedy as a spectator almost makes it worth it!

Can we take a moment out of our busy day to acknowledge Brian Lowe's current editorial is on ARN.

Some highlights, "LAU-TU folks and their welfare mentality waiting for Boulder to grease their palm."

Oh my Brian, the only group with their palms out receiving welfare is the administration of USAR which you are supporting in your editorial. The group of LAU-TU folks you are insulting only pay taxes to USAR. They receive very few services in return and certainly no welfare. If you were a dues paying member of the Union you would know how this works.

Another, "1975-2007, how did that work out"

Thanks for asking, not bad. With no multi-million grants from the IRB, USAR achieved solid and consistent membership and team growth. Teams in 50 states, created national championships at several levels. The Union fielded national teams at senior and junior levels for men and women, which achieved better results than the current administration has achieved. The Union started youth and high school rugby. Created a Union committee structure and Board of Directors at the local, regional and national levels. The Union was able to start hiring employees in the mid 80s. The union was able to balance its books for 25 years of the period in question. For a non rugby playing national, starting from scratch, USAR did damn well its first 25 years.

Admittedly, the brief Doug Arnot era of 2003-2006 was a problem.

Even with the IRB's millions in welfare this administration 2006-2010 hasn't been able to a balance the books or better achieve on the field.

USAR is middle six-figures in debt. They have raised the taxes on kids and overpaid some very average employees. The business model is tax the membership and beg for welfare from the IRB.

Smell the coffee Brian, you have it wrong. I hope your skin is thick.


lowe is a stooge/pimp/mascot for JC and his cronies.....nigel & roberts are borderline criminals.......send the funny talking posers back to where they came from.....

@ Jack Sparrow: It's up to the SBRO's to get rugby accepted into the school system. This country is way too large for one small non-profit to try and manage the national growth of youth rugby. SBRO's are better situated to handle it as well as they have an ear to their local issues and school administrators.
I read Lowe's article this morning. I can't believe he is able to publish the drivell spewing from his fingers. To mock any community level rugby player is an insult to all of us. Shows he doesn't understand that American ruggers are interested in ALL levels of the game. I'm totally into hearing who's on top of the DIII college rugby circut. To say that they are beer league in some cases may be true, but I've seen small college players busting their asses to get in shape, learn the game and get taken seriously by their school's administration.
Isn't Lowe an Aussie? Aussie's don't come close to packing in stadiums for Super 14, plus they don't even have a national competition!

That editorial was very much an insult to the entire American rugby population. I've been all over the world and attended every possible level game and there is nothing more fun than going down to the local park on a Saturday and watching the boys play. It's what playing the game purely for enjoyment is all about. Social community rugby is the backbone of the game all over the world.

Brian Lowe can not be taken seriously. Here is a guy that has a rugby blog that openly solicits advertisers. You would think that part of that business plan was to have as broad an audience as possible. So, what business school teaches you to insult the largest population of rugby players (i.e. what the funny talkers call the "community" segment of the game)?

Lowe and those that associate with him need to be ignored. That included JC who only uses ARN as a sounding post to push his agenda.

Ouch, Lowey. Have you been drinking?

Personally I enjoying hearing Jack's thoughts on college rugby and really, really like it when he has a go USAR.

JC has been more critical of USAR than most anyone on the scene, until my new hero Ed Hagerty came out of the closet.

Oh and Kurt, my old hero.

Look, Lowe is just pissed because the Axemen got a forfeit win into the semifinals of the AMNRL playoffs and he took it out on us.

"Lowe and those that associate with him need to be ignored."

I'm told he lost one of his writers the other day - rats and sinking ships, spring to mind!

@Sergeant Schultz
I totally agree - the club model doesn't work here for sure.
But I think the SBRO's should be given enough money from the Cipp dues raised by teams to pay for a part or full-time development officer that really makes in-roads into getting rugby in High schools.
How many of those could be paid for from Nige and Eddies wage?

Roberts = Hitler
Melville = Himmler
Lowe = Goebbels

It is so simple!

Rugby,

Then i'm waiting for Churchill= and then in a few years Rosevelt=

Till then we're all just Belgium...

Nazi comparisons is a bit harsh... I prefer a weak episode of The Office:

How about -

Melville - Michael Scott
Latham - Dwight Schrute
Roberts - Jo Bennett
Middleton - Ryan Howard
Lowe - Kelly Kapoor
Sharpley - Andy Bernard
Mullet - Phyllis Lapin
Merrill - Kevin Malone
OSullivan - Darryl Philbin
IRB - Sabre

Comedy, good idea but to keep on a theme, and if i knew the names, should have used the original "commonwealth" version with Ricky Gervais...

Or Sienfeld...since nothing ever happened on that show either just like USAR

"hitler had only one ball, goring had two but they were small,,,,,"

Where is the defense - certainly Congress members like J Johnson from the Midwest who reads this will tell us why he is not in on the fix - or Sexton saying he is not a lacky for Latham...
What about those who last year or the year before protected Nigel and co?
Kurt, can you dig up some of those posts and let those folks talk now?
Is this all now not a defensible position?

Just so you are all aware, my understanding is that the following are going to be proposed to the Congress as three of the four open Board spots:

Congress rep to Board: John Mullett

Highly touted rainmaker who prefers to root for the All Blacks: Kevin Roberts (apparently they couldn't find anyone who could fill this role as well as Kevin)

Female International Athlete: Phaidra Knight

Guy who never saw a rugby game before but has some connections with some big companies so it will make it look like he brings something to the Board: ?? (Apparently Paul Tschiya is out, but my sources didn't know who the esteemed nomination committee is going to replace him with.)

Needless to say, I will be asking my local Congress rep to vote "no" to this slate.

Keep in mind as well, that I had to get this information by doing some digging on my own. My Congress member told me that he had not been provided with any info by the nominations committee.

Based on the stories I've heard, the recently departed Sara John would be fitting for the role of Meredith.

I seem to recall a great post by the big Irishman Adrian Gannon from the Midwest last year trying to defend taking the position of not signing the letter sent to the Board by some on Congress. He got crucified in response. Kurt- pull that one up please and repost it.

Big Irishman?
Six counties or Republic?
That would explain a lot, defending those foreigners!

http://krconnect.blogspot.com/2010/08/game-they-play-in-america.html

This is truly unbelieveable. Roberts has got to think more of us than to believe that posting this the same week that Hagerty's article comes out bashing him would make us forgive and forget. And didn;t he basically just cut and paste Nigel's blog from last week? Unreal.

They've got the talking points ready...

I predict another hugfest at the meeting in September. Simply too many congress members still want to hang out with the cool kids. I predict lots of unconditional support flying around in Dallas. We're just a bunch of overworked volunteers and players struggling to keep it together by balancing rugby, profession and family. No one has the time, money, patience or fortitude to do a damn thing about it. The people we need as congress members will never get elected because they mostly avoid TU meetings. They get talked into going to one meeting and then vow to never go back. So, just pay your $30 and move on.

Ed's article is great. Nigel gets off too easy. He is as big a problem as Kevin and the turds on the Board.
Don't give him the "he really is a good coach just got in over his head BS" that is a cop out he went for the big job and the big money and has failed across the board.

Many people have given Eddie a pass as well with the old " can't blame Eddie for taking the money he was offered by Nigel." I say BS to that as well.

As these battle lines get drawn it becomes more and more zero sum...you are part of the problem or you are part of the solution.


Anyone know more about some payment the Eagle players were supposed to get but haven't? I had heard something before it was posted here from a buddy of one the Eagle guys but I don't know him.

I mean how can that happen? I know the Eagles aren't conquering the world but those guys deserve better.

Seems like the captain or coaches should be doing something about this.

the roberts blog seems to think the women are playng 7's at the world cup...is this another funding short fall by USAR do they think sending a 7's team will save them money since they think the team will lose anyway why send a 15's squad...maybe they forgat the women won the first world cup...

Just posted a response on Kevin Robert's Blog,

"Mr. Roberts,
Please resign as Chairman of USA Rugby and take Nigel Melville with you. You both know nothing about American Sport and are preventing us from growing rugby in this country.
Please leave."

Let see if he has the balls to allow it to be shown?

Brian Lowe has lost it.

Lou, that cant, cant be real... that is way too funny.

Lowe is moving back to Australia in September. He's apparently intent on burning every bridge possible on his way out of town.

Sparrow-
Did you have the balls to use your real name in the post or did you do it anonymously?

Strange system on his blog - you can either link it to twitter and such or post it anon.

I would have preferred to have left my name of course!

By the way, Jack Sparrow has left the building!

That email can't be from Brian lowe. No way no how. But I wish it was. He's really going back to Australia?

He's probably just heading back to the Penile (yes, I did spell it right) colony from which he came!

Building on th etheme from earlier...today marks the 70th anniversary of an historic speech. Lets hope we are able to echo the words of Sir Winston Churchill and will soon be able to look to a few individuals (Kurt, Jack Sparrow, Ed) and be abel to say "Never in the field of human conflict hace so many owed so much to so few...".

OK OK, I know we want to be rid of the commomwealth boys and the speech was in hounour of commonwealth boys but still the sentiment holds...

But hell if not for those few (there were some Yanks amoungst them too) we might not have been able to have this discussion...

I love this!!! Lowe is such a deuche. I can't figure out why his site is called "american" rugby news. It should be called, "commonwealth rugby news in america".

The guys has absolutely no clue, and his editorial shows that very clearly.

I think he's too busy with his mouth around Jack's pole to see what's going on.

Why thank you Mr. Curious
Being in such exalted company as Ed, Kurt and Winston makes me blush somewhat. After all, I'm just an old, washed up, undead pirate with a fake west country accent!

Perhaps that why I fit in on this website so well?

KR's blog mentions the USA-ENG airing on Universal today (the 20th)

Either our CIPP dues are being spent to fund a time machine, or KR is mis-informing the public. Or a "lovemark" stained the "0" and "8" keys on the laptop.

Either answer is quite a metaphor for the state of affairs.

Glad to see Ed's article.

Frankly the latest rugby press was worn a bit thin on me:

1. Rugbymag.com -- has more and more "planted" stories to cross-sell its affiliated businesses (i.e. Las Vegas 7s, the Collegiate Sevens).

It feels like one of those paid advertisments in your local paper that is written to look like a feature article.

For example, "invest in Equatorial Guinea" or "clean your ducts to reduce your electric bill and allergies".

To be fair, the major media does this too -- CBS morning show making "news" with an interview with last night's "Survivor" banishment.

Nonetheless, it seems you have to read almost any Goff article with this affiliate relationship in mind.

2. Americanrugbynews.com -- seems like half of its time, they are trying to trick people into caring about league.

It seems to me like bait-and-switch tactics, best saved for a used car lot, or a sale at Best Buy.

Why doesn't ARN just make two podcasts and two websites for each code?

Part of my wonders if ARN is actively trying to Jedi-mind trick Americans into liking league.

Big time dreaming here, but wouldn't it be nice if the meeting were aired on the USAR ustream feed?

So anyone with an interest can see with there own 2 eyes what goes on.


topics to continue debate, although no one is really debating other side
1. Interview Congress and board members for site - counter view?
2. Recount financials and amounts spent on various projects in last 4 years under Roberts and co
3. Employees - how many have we been through?

What else should he talk about?

so, according to lowe, the vast majority of the cipp paying population is welfare driven "drek." this drek to which he refers are the hardworking, bright young people who play at levels lower than those in the proposed premier league of the jc brain-trust, because in the absence of authentic mainstream american intercollegiate sports representation within the ncaa (sans a few women's programs) the vast majority of kids in america playing rugby in college are actually pursuing their education first. 3 mos. ago i thought the new u.s. collegiate splinter group was a raging joke, today, not so much. maybe our drek would be much better served by creating their own ngb. then usar can spend it's devastatingly reduced cipp revenue and sunsetting emirates' dollars on our men's national team and collegiate premier league and our wildly underfunded women's national team can continue on with their bake sales. i think i would much prefer being a part of better educated drek who once in the work-a-day world will be hiring (or not) those with the far superior rugby educations.

Dreamer
If USAR was to UStream it, and it followed the path of their previous UStream efforts, none of us would be able to see or hear it anyhow.

Aha, perhaps that is their cunning plan?

Watching the Women's World Cup today.
Have to say that the England v Ireland game and the USA v Borat's country were worth watching.

Women's collegiate rugby (at all levels) is like watching paint dry, but I have to say the standard of the women's game at the international level has gotten so much better that is is worth watching.

Jack - Did you see Roberts their sporting his Women's Eagles 7's World Cup jersey, his Blog seemed to think this was the 7's.

drek, not to defend Lowe, to much, nut in his article I believe the DIII he refers to is the mens and if so he's pretty accurate about the social aspect. However, if the above email is real then he obviously is just another wanker who should take his prawns and put them on the Barby with all the other shelia's...

More serious note...if USAR actually spent CIPP monies on the college game how far would it go and where? Would it support either the CPL or similar level of play and if so wouldn't there be just as much up roar from DII and DIII college teams about not getting any support. I tend to think the top down college approach might work and there would be a trickle down affect much like lower level football...but thought from the masses...

drek,

Let us get this right, Penn State, UCLA, Army, Navy, Cal, Dartmouth, Tennessee, ect aren't teams of students?

The educations are all in social rugby teams?

You think the current high school rugby players don't want to be student-athletes?

The premier teams aren't taxed by the same USAR?

Interesting take on the universe. Have you been drinking with Brian Lowe?

interesting,

not a drinker and i actually played a varsity sport at one of the institutions you mentioned. my point was not to pass sweeping judgement on the academic prowess of student athletes; club, varsity or otherwise at the premier league schools, but simply to respond to lowe's assessment that rugby played outside of the national team programs and the proposed premier league are excrement.

Better stated drek.

You have to admit there is a destructive element to all this.

Lowe writes something which has no factual basis, that teams and players from LAUs and TUs have their hands out begging for welfare. When in fact it is USAR sucking in the welfare.

He further insults the average club player for only wanting to pay his dues and play some rugby in the park with his mates a few Saturdays a year.

Then bloggers start opining about the merits of the premier league, as if these teams and students are some how representative of Lowe's comments.

A few of the comments caused by Lowe's idiotic comments are equally idiotic.

"No more politics, from the shameful "inside crowd" and their agenda to support the Board at all costs. To include the dues money of the kids. These Congress insiders are duds, which have never accomplished anything in the game. They are nobodies except for the Congress seat they have which no one can remember how they got. They need to be ignored and tarred with their shame."

Well, you can run for a seat.

"Roberts = Hitler
Melville = Himmler
Lowe = Goebbels

It is so simple!"

And Godwin's Law has been invoked. This discussion is dead according to the Laws of the Internet.

rj,

"run for a seat"

First, here's the big secret. There is no running, because there is no election. No one elects this Congress. CIPP dues payers don't get to vote.

Here's how it works. Some guy from your club attends a meeting with one vote. Yep, 50 dues payers equals one vote. Not that it matters because the guy who wins the local election pulls 20 proxies out of back pocket anyway.

Then this "elected" person becomes part of a small, very small, group of individuals who decide your Congress person.

Its a joke. The member is taxed, with no service provided, and can't even vote to change this fact.

Look at that Congress, how do you think these people were "elected"?

Don't give us any Jeffersonian BS. There are no true Congress elections and there are for sure no Board elections.

Frank Merrill decided who can be a candidate for the Board. He is a dishonorable, highly disliked "elected" Congress member, and he's the gate keeper to even throwing your name in the hat.

Then the Board has a 5 hour AGM, most of the time used for committee reports aimed at using time and marketing a favorable opinion. The remaining time is used for the "election" of Frank's Board choices. Cleverly, Frank's choices are packaged as a slate, which means if you want one, you've got to take them all.

Yea, we could "run" for a seat. Or we could use that time to tell the world what a bunch of punks have taken over USAR.

That's a pretty accurate depiction of the process. I became a Congress member by getting involved in my local union (because nobody else wanted to do it), then getting involved at the TU level (because nobody else wanted to do it). I decided that I didn't like the direction the college game was going, so I put my hand up at a TU meeting and said "I want to be on Congress." A vote was taken, and then "presto," I was on.

Frankly, being on it is kindof a pain in the ass. I have to be away from my family for two additional weekends every year, beyond what I already have to be away from them for my real job and being a volunteer rugby coach. I get reimbursed by my TU for my plane fare and hotel, but I pay for my own meals, ground transportation, and any other expenses while traveling. But I continue doing it because I actually believe that I am making a difference. Slowly, but surely.

I guess my point is that yes, the previous poster was right about how you get on Congress. But it works both ways. The same reason it is easy for a guy like Merrill to stay on is how it was so easy for me to get on. So if you really wanted to fight the good fight and become a Congress member and make a difference, I bet you could do it. I think most people would rather just sit here and post on blogs about how bad things are though.

And to that end, it's funny-with all the blog posts advocating that people who want change should contact members of Congress, I have not received one email from anyone asking my views on things or encouraging me to press to go in a different direction. Why is that? I wish I was getting hundreds of emails a day, because it would give me hope that my fellow Congress members were also getting emails expressing displeasure with the current situation.

here is the direct link to the members of congress:

http://www.usarugby.org/information/default.asp?NavPageID=59827

I hear the rumblings - no not the aftermath of last nights curry.
I hear the rumblings of discontent that will topple these idiots.

Good for you Congress member, fight the good fight!

Absolutely agree with the previous poster. I too am a Congress member. If there is truly these lines being drawn and people are that pissed and demanding change why have I not received one email from a constituent advocating for said change? Apathy is rampant and until thousands of dues paying members at all levels of the game either refuse to support the current structure financially or demand change nothing is going to happen. Sorry but pissed off anonymous bloggers are not going to do it only when people engage their congress members and say enough is enough will there be action.

If thousands of emails and letters arrived on every congress members desk before September 18 there would be a much better chance of action being taken. It's the American way!!

Congress members
Thank you for reminding us to do this - I've just written to mine.

Dear Congress Member,

If you need letters from members to throw this entire administration out on their ear you are collectively weaker than previously thought.

Why do you need a letter to realize that paying two employees a half a millions dollars per year is out of scale for our organization?

Why do you need a letter to ask the USAR Board to publish detailed financial accounts?

Why do you need a letter to ask the CEO, how he cashes a personal monthly paycheck of $25,000, while stiffing the Eagles players on a bonus they earned months ago?

Why do you need a letter to see the office moral and turnover is indicative of poor executive leadership?

Why do you need a letter to establish performance benchmarks for the Board and Management?

Why do you need a letter to know the Boulder website is delayed because of poor management of the upgrade, costing the organization six figures?

Why do you need a letter to realize there is zero transparency between this administration and the membership.

Finally, why do you need a letter to understand the reason you aren't getting letters, isn't apathy, but the fact the membership's faith and spirit have been lost and broken? The membership feels the fix is in. Roberts, Melville, Latham, Merrill have accomplished the opposite of "making us fall in love with rugby". In fact, we have always loved rugby, but have lost so much faith in USAR, that writing a letter to a Congress person who has allowed the above to occur seems pointless.

How is it not one of you can understand its your job to lead? To make the unpopular decision to stand up to these guys?

How do you blame this on a lack of membership letter writing, when Congress has been so centrally involved in breaking the spirit of the membership. Show the courage to make a stand. Then you'll get some letters. Letters of admiration.

Fair point anon, but letters a million for the next month or so cannot do any harm?

So the Congress is so pathetic they need letters from USA Rugby members to do the basic task that come with the appointment to the Congress (i.e. hold the board accountable)?

Wow! We are doomed to mediocrity as a rugby nation. The Congress is as big of a joke as the board, but the board at least are smart enough to have their hands on the funds.

"How do you blame this on a lack of membership letter writing, when Congress has been so centrally involved in breaking the spirit of the membership. Show the courage to make a stand. Then you'll get some letters. Letters of admiration."

I don't blame anything on a lack of membership writing. I blame it on a Board Chairman who doesn't care about rugby in this country. I blame it on the fact that we pay two individuals far in excess of what an organization of our size can afford. I blame it on foreigners who don't understand the way sports work in America. And I blame it on a bunch of Congress members who are just happy to be at the party.

But the fact is that the Congress is the one who has the power to make things change. Rather than posting on a blog about how they are all cowards, why don't you write to your Congress reps and tell them how you feel about their performance and the performance of the Board. This is America. Lobbying people in power is how things work in America.

I don't need letters. I'm going vote against the reappointment of Kevin Roberts and encourage others to do the same. Why don't you help me by writing to your Congress persons and telling them you don't want Roberts back on the Board and reminding them of their responsibility to represent you as the paying membership of USA Rugby?

This is surreal. Now there are congress members posting on Gainline anonymously that it is the memberships fault for not telling them how to act by sending them letters. Can you imagine any elected official saying ”I did not do anything because I did not receive a letter from my constituents”. A great many congress members are wringing their hands and staring at their shoes as they abdicate their responsibilities. Why can’t each congress member state their position? And use their name? It is time for openness and backbones or resignations.

My name is at the bottom of this. Why not the elected representatives of US Rugby?

I am a USA Rugby Congress member.

Look, don't criticize this Congress member, he is telling you what he is doing dammit. He is saying many of his colleagues are pathetic and apathetic. He asked your write them and push those like Merril, Sexton, Sharpley, Mullett, athlete reps that don't even show up - you pick them - to get off their collective asses.

He is saying to you, he is trying and that your blogging only is not the answer, you must put pressure on your rep, a vote or recount, just like you are asking the Congress to vote or vote no confidence.

Whay, whay, we have to write a letter, we have to call someone, we can't just post on this blog. Fing kidding me you would criticize a guy who has the balls to come on this site and say what needs to be done. He is like most of you, fed up, voting to get these guys off and you give him shit.

Grow up people and state your opinion, just not here but to those who will be representing you in September!

I am a USA Rugby Congress member.

I am not a USA Rugby congress member
But I use my real name
:-)

“Don’t criticize this congress member “? Who is the congress member? Is he really a congress member? My comment was in response to the post by “Congress Member” and “Another Congress Member” 5-6 posts back. Read what they are saying. It is disturbing. They can’t say anything worthwhile until they put their names on what they say and believe. Until that happens they are nothng but cowards.

We are USA Rugby Congress members.

Uh huh huh huh...we said member.

Hi Mark Mowery-

I am a Congress member. If the nominations committee puts Kevin Roberts in front of us to re-elect to the Board, I will be voting no. To anybody who knows me, this will come as no surprise.

Interestingly enough, I googled your name and came up with this comment from you on a gainline post in 2006.

http://www.gainline.us/gainline/2006/07/roberts_wacker_.html

"Anne Barry is the perfect candidate for the carry over board member. She has the credentials and will give this new board experience in dealing with the many problems facing US Rugby.

The new board has the right stuff (kudos to Frank Merrill) and we should support them as they will need some political capital to really make the changes that will put US Rugby on the right course.

I am also hopeful the new bylaws will give the staff at USARFU the authority and support to advance the game without the ongoing meddling by the many fiefdoms that plague US Rugby.

Mark Mowery"

So Mark Mowery, why don't you get in touch with the Frank Merrill who you lauded for putting this Board together and tell him what you think now.

Ouch.

I am a USA Rugby Congress member.

Double ouch

The AA's just got whacked 43-12 by Leicester Academy.

Great experience at Welford Road, eye-opener for the lads, hopefully some might aspire to try and make that step up when they leave college.

But the fact of the matter is that our best collegiate athlete's, some who were 20-22 years old were thrashed by a team that had some 16 year olds on it.

Again, as I said in my post after the Saracens game, this is not a dig at Alex or any of the AA's who have done their best. It is more evidence that this administration's hashed 'top down, bottom up' policy is a load of bollocks!

Get rid of these idiots, then it should be Youth, youth, youth. Get ISP or someone else to raise funds for the national team (commission based), get an agent in place to start getting players abroad to play the game after the leave HS or college, and pay good people an honest wage to get the game into high schools.

Sorry if I am repeating myself, but being a crusty old pirate will do that to you!

Hi Pat

Thanks for using your name and telling us where you stand.

In 2005 and 2006 I thought real change was going to happen. It was quite easy to be optimistic leaving the status quo. I don’t think I was alone in thinking this. But nothing changed and I believe it will continue until there is democracy and transparency with youth and college operating separately from adult and the Eagles (in line with mainstream US sports).

Having just read some of the letters on ARN in response to the Lowe article, I feel really down. There is simply no hope - we are doomed to fail.

So I'm going back to my average team and will continue to wallow in mediocrity, continue to pay dues to a TU and LAU that does nothing for us and continue to be robbed blind by USA Rugby and the board!

A very sad state of affairs!

I salute you Pat Kane. I salute your ability to see the truth through the politics. To say four years of this Board and Management is enough to judge the track record. I admire your willingness to to publicly state your position and reasoning.

We should all hope that more Congress members will be willing to PUBLICLY state their opposition to this administration.

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