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14 June 2011


CPD killed the Collegiate All-Stars. CPD has only worked for the 8 or so teams that are "premier", but for the other CPD teams and D1 teams they got nothing from the competition. Word is up to 10 teams are going to jump ship leaving the CPD with 20 or so teams and the ones that move up are not going to be any better. It is all a huge farce.

Collegiate All-Stars was dead long before the CPD came along.

What a joke! Why would you limit the amount of players in a pool. The CPD will fail. The ITT's used to be a great venue and there was a clear pathway to all of the National Sides.

This will all be a moot point when we go 0-4 in the World Cup and the CEO and the head coach have different jobs.

Stay tuned...

"Dartmouth administration is heavily in favor of playing to win the Ivy League, and holds the CPD as less of a priority."

Now that is just the best quote I have heard all year!


Word in the Pacific is that Claremont and UC Davis are dropping out of the CPD for sure. SDSU and Cal Poly have coaching changes and the new leadership is not interested in the CPD. Arizona and UCLA are said to be on the fence. The CPD is falling apart in a big way. It was still born from a podcast and the hubris that sponsorship dollars are low hanging fruit. What a bunch of clowns.

The CPD was the best thing to happen for teams with a strong conference. It just meant they could shed the TU and LAU clowns and run things themselves. The leagues that have thrived have one thing in common - no USAR involvement. The CPD needs to follow suit if it is going to survive.

Such a shame that all these teams are dropping out. I think the CPD needs leave USAR and to expand to 6 conferences with 6 teams in each... kinda like the BCS. Play 5 conference games and 2 or 3 non-conference games. And bring in the SEC as one conference. Maybe they could have a two tier system with their top tier playing in the CPD.

San Diego St
St Mary's
Arizona St

Colorado St

Notre Dame
Ohio State
Bowling Green

Penn State

South Carolina

Ark State
Texas A&M
Kansas State

I know most of you will say, "Well thats not top level rugby" well I dont care. The CPD needs big names in it for marketability and they NEED the SEC. I dont think rugby will ever get any stronger if you shrink the league or get rid of it and go back to the massive D1. Just my opinion.

Sorry but if you have crappy teams it won't meet the eye test and some of those teams don't meet the eye test.

You don't need football powers to market rugby. If there is another sports model to follow its lacrosse not college football. College lacrosse does fine with Denver and Johns Hopkins though they are not big names. Whatever college puts together good quality clubs is who should be in the top leagues. You knuckleheads who believe crappy teams from a famous football school will help our game are crazy and no nothing about marketing.

Every team but Cal, BYU, Utah, Life and Ark State dont "meet the eye test" if you really want to break it down. So either you fold the entire league and go back to D1 rugby, where you have over a 100 average to poor teams and 5 really strong ones... Or you add the 6 or 7 extra that Im talking about and keep the CPD going. Florida & BGSU were both in the final 4 for D1 so its not like I added all garbage.

And YES you do need football powers to market rugby. Its called brand marketing... People want to see traditional rivalries. Look what NBC has done with the CRC. Clearly the 16 best sevens programs were not all invited to Philly. Yet they had over 17,000 fans there, it was on NBC, Versus and NBC Universal, and its already been renewed for next year... Same for ESPN. They want the same thing. they want Florida and Georgia to be good at rugby. they want Ohio State and Notre Dame, they want Cal and BYU.... so you either add some average teams and keep it somewhat elite or you scrap it and go back to the old ways. This is the right direction, you just need to tinker with it to make it better every year. teams will get better but you need to give them the platform to do so.

Lasts years CRC event did better in the TV ratings than the Collegiate Lacrosse finals by the way. So you can take your John Hopkins and Denver and I'll take my SEC football schools and I garentee you I beat you in the TV ratings every year.

Both college lacross and college hockey do have some teams like Hopkins and Bemidji St. and UM-Duluth that are not "big-name schools" but have very solid programs. But that's not all they have. Look at the Lacrosse final four this year: Maryland, Duke, UVA, Denver. What was the championship game last year? Notre Dame and Duke. Look at the hockey final four this year: Michigan, Notre Dame, UM-Duluth, North Dakota. Some lesser names, but some huge names as well. The way college rugby is going, in two years the final four will be some combination of Davenport, Life, Arkansas St., BYU (maybe-the new eligibility rules coming down the pipeline could hamstring them a bit) and Cal. Very little marketability in that. Meanwhile, the CRC will continue to prosper by having big brand names that the average college sports fan is interested in watching and getting the average American sports fan interested in rugby.

Case in point- everyone in my office knows I am a rugby fanatic-not a single person said anything to me about the CPD playoffs broadcast on ESPN3 and ESPNU. More than a dozen people commented to me about having caught some of the CRC.

I don't disagree with you, Clay. I may just call the SEC the Southeast region, switch Life and Arkansas. so they don't have to travel as far. I like your plan. But LSU may be dropping out, Tennessee already has. Don't know how that's going to go.

The truth is that Florida, Tennessee, LSU are all three good enough to play in the CPD. and South Carolina, UGA and Arkansas are all improving.

And @Runnerguy45: While Johns Hopkins is a great lacrosse team, you also have big name schools that are very good in other sports. Syracuse, Maryland, Duke, Virginia and North Carolina are all very good at lacrosse. They aren't the only one, but lacrosse does have brand name teams competing. oh and St. Mary's meet the eye test. I would also say Army, Navy and Penn State meet the eye test. While it is clear that Cal and BYU seem to be well above everyone else I think other schools will catch them in this format. Especially Utah, Life and Arkansas State. And schools like Floriad, UGA, Ohio State (every big name school up there will only get better.) I like the conferences though. Traditional rivalries will build the sports recognition on campus. But what to do? have the Division 1 in the Spring. And then invite the top 32, top 16 teams to play in a fall CPD?

Well that's what Im saying benito. LSU and Tennessee are dropping out to create the SEC conference, because that's something they get get sponsors to buy in to. So we dont lose them, just give them their own conference, with their top tier teams playing in the CPD and their lower level teams playing D1.

And I agree that Army, Navy and PSU all meet the smell test. Its good collegiate rugby to watch, but clearly there are only 2 teams that stand above them all... for now.

You can have crap teams in the CRC because a blow out is only 14 minutes of pain for the viewer and they can show blow outs as a recap and edit out much of the pain. You cannot have a 90+ minute broadcast of Cal scoring 100+ points on UCLA and say it is two strong brands so it works. I doesn't.

Also, where are all the comments that we saw earlier in the year that said taking a motor coach 5 hours, spending 5K and getting blown out by 50 to 100 points was good for the program to learn and improve? I guess the coaches from those teams are voting with their feet and leaving the CPD.

Sorry Clay, but you can't compare an NBC free TV event to ESPN cable event. Thats comparing apples to oranges and advertisers don't look at it that way. To think that college rugby is where college lacrosse is in terms of television ratings is false. You may want to believe that but its not true. The ad revenue for lax is way higher then rugby. Not even in the same ballpark. NBC is trying to create something where there is little demand hoping it will catch on. The more promising rugby event is the college elite finals for 15's. I can see ESPN picking that up and showing it on ESPNU. Then you can compare the numbers for the two sports. In closing I don't believe the 17,000 over two days for Philly was a paying crowd like they had in Utah. Utah's 10,000 in one night at $25.00 a pop was real, Philly the place looked empty except for other teams, family and friends.

Hockey, none of the powerhouse teams you mentioned in lacrosse are powerhouses in football, they have football teams but they take a back seat to basketball at the ACC schools and Syracuse.

The ratings for this past CRC should be out. Anyone know what they were?

Where did I say anything about football in my post? You think Duke isn't a big brand name because their football team blows? The worst thing that happened to the ACRL this year was Duke leaving because they lost their most powerful brand name.

CPD is looking a lot like RSL. Great idea with hope of sponsorship followed by a realization that it costs too much with little reward and then teams bail out. Sevens is going to get the TV coverage and sponsor dollars. Hopefully some of the Sevens funds will support 15s but 15s is not the money maker. 15s is becoming the WNBA that can not attract a TV audience without support from its more succesful sibling, Sevens. I like 15s as a player, but 15s does not work in the US as a business. I expect to see conference based Sevens Tournaments that will leverage traditional rivalries in a made for TV format. A RSL Sevens competition could also attract TV coverage and sponsors if it is promoted as the breeding ground for the Olympic Team. A 15s match has only two brand names to promote while a Sevens tournament has up to 16.


Give it a break with the 7s hype. We know you and your other 150lb 5'5 friends love 7s and you like to take a poke at 15s every chance you get. 15s is the game that runs world rugby and that is the bottom line. Olympics or not.

Time for the west coast to split from USA Rugby and get away from this nonsense.


Under your assumption then you are saying that Duke is important to ACC football when its not. Duke brings no ratings to college football nor do they put people in the stands. Duke's brand name is only effective if they are good at the sport. Duke has no business in the ACRL because nobody wants to watch a team get beat by a 100 !

Duke Rugby knows they don't pass the eye test and its was a waste of everyones time. Schools that play a high level of rugby whether with a brand name or without a brand name deserve to shown. Crappy teams with nice uniforms need to stay home and play in front of mommy and daddy because thats the only people who want to watch them.

Left Coast. You are an idiot if you can not see that Sevens is already and will continue going to be the the version of rugby that will make money and 15s will be the sideshow. Don't be too distracted by my screen ID. I am a 230 lb forward who played 20 years of 15s and would have been happy to throw you an elbow to the face and run over you. But the fact is 15s is not going to be as broadly succesful as Sevens. 15s is a great game but Sevens will run the rugby world in the US.

In other news, Rich Pohlidal is trying to get a push to the fall season going again. http://www.wearerugby.com/news/articles/major-overhaul-proposed

I think the solution is pushing the CPD season further into the summer and pushing the CRC event back more. Might not be possible until the event gets legit ratings and is a draw whenever it is aired. But there are still some college sports being played right now and it has been a month since the CPD final. The CPD season can be pushed forward at least one or 2 more weeks. Which should help the weather situation.

Should be interesting. Also, if you go to Americanrugbynews.com it now redirects you to wearerugby.com


Like you USA is the village idiot of world rugby. Keep your thug rugby and try to beat me with a swerve, side step or nifty offload while in tackle. Time for you to walk away from the computer and shave your head, power trim your goatee, clean your Give Blood Play Rugby bumper sticker and put on your Super 15 jersey to show off to the world you love rugby.

How does Brian Lowe working from his grandma's basement trump Alex Goof at Rugby News on this reorg news?

This call for a reorg is all the cowardice teams that are on the fence about staying in the CPD need to jump ship completely. Expect a mass exodus of clubs now that there is the cover of a reorg to use as an excuse.

Runnerguy45 - I don't think rugby could compete with College Lacrosse on a weekly basis, but the numbers are what they are. And the CRC was better than the NCAA Lacrosse finals last year. That is a fact. I don't care if it was on ESPN or NBC. This isnt the 1980's... If you have a television and want to watch TV you have basic cable, which is what ESPN is on along with NBC. Its on every basic package. (And ESPNU already broadcast the Final 4 of the CPD this year. From what I had heard, the CPD paid around 70K to ESPN so that they'd broadcast the (3) games this year) So you are correct that we are behind Lacrosse, as I doubt they are paying to have thier own games broadcast, but again the numbers are what they are. when the CRC went head to head with them last year, they won.

Left Coast - Cal & BYU are the class of collegiate rugby. There is no debating that. Cal beat Utah by 48 points and Life by 33 in the playoffs, and many think that Utah and Life have have two of the top 5 of college rugby programs in the country. So if 3 of the top 5 cant even keep it close against the top 2 of the CPD, with your logic we should just fold up shop and have everyone go back to D1 except for Cal and BYU. Maybe they can have a 7 game tournament between the two of them... That would really lift the level of rugby in this country...

college rugby, thanks for sharing that article. The west won't go for that nor should they.

As many have said before, the CPD "ain't for everybody". It seems to work well enough for about 5-6 teams in each conference, with a few others clamoring for entry. Even if it never gets any more TV exposure, the structure works well enough as it is to have a playoff structure that worked for the teams that participated (though some, including me, would like to see a subsidy for traveling teams in the playoffs, so there isn't a penalty for excellence).

By now, the Cal/BYU thing has progressed to the level of a rivalry, where fans and teams begin to look forward to the annual expected confrontation. I would love to see a regular-season or pre-season encounter between them that wouldn't necessarily depend on both reaching the playoff final, and thus be in doubt each year. Some have even mentioned a three-way competition between BYU, Cal and UBC. Ideally, such a competition would attract a fourth team, though there simply isn't one yet in the same category as those three. I wonder if that competition could get play on network TV?

Just read the article on We Are Rugby... This is not good in my opinion. Being a 15's guy and a huge supporter of sevens. If they want to kill 15's once and for all, then go ahead and move it back to a fall sport. Im sorry but I dont think that the BYU vs Cal Championship game gets 10,500 people in the stadium in the fall during football season. Even the Mormons love their football in the fall people.

Why cant they keep the Spring CPD schedule, and start a Sevens based league after the CPD and run it through the summer? Why cant we think outside of the box and take over the summer with Sevens? The kids already play with a men's club in the summer anyway.

I'm keen on Rich's idea of 15's in the fall and 7's in the spring. Its the only way forward, especially when trying to promote college 7's. Absolutely no reason the south and west schools can't play rugby in the fall when the Midwest and Northeast schools have been doing it for decades. This restructuring may not suit high school or men's club, but it's the right plan for college rugby.

No One,I think Arkansas State gave BYU everything they handle and deserve to be the fourth team.

Clay, I hate arguing with people but I am in marketing and I assure you, that although to you numbers are numbers, the experts and advertisers know there is a huge difference between cable and network.

Army coaches states, "establishing a new collegiate Sevens series would allow colleges to cash in on the code’s inclusion in the Olympics" The money from Sevens can support 15s if properly managed. Same approach can help RSL and the rest of rugby.

Fall rugby for college is dumb. Can't compete with football and the best college programs are on the west coast and will play in the spring.

7s made much more money than 15s in the US this year. 15s will continue to be paid for by club dues and limited local sponsors while Sevens grows TV coverage and national sponsor revenue. 15s need to figure out how to work with 7s. The most ambitious 15s efforts, RSL and CPD have failed to generate commercial interest while 7s has taken off. 7s bashing is not going to help the game in the US.

The boys that want to keep competitive 15s rugby in the spring had better roll up their sleeves and get to work - and that includes the boys in Strawberry Canyon.

East & MW plays 15s in the fall and the west coast plays in the spring. No need for a national championship because until the east learns to play the game the west will be superior. Good luck playing in the rain, snow, mud, sleet, etc this fall.

Sure Cal and BYU are strong in college 15s, but overall teams from the East are as strong as the West. 3 of top 4 RSL Teams are East Coast. West Coast can't be happy that the CRC final was all East Coast. West Coast did not win a single title in Men's D1, D2, or D3. SoCal didn't make a single final. Women's rugby is stronger in the East. This is where West Coasters will say Women and Sevens don't matter. Jack Clark has lost his competitive advantage in Sevens and will resist growing a comp he can't dominate. Same way he avoids playing University of Victoria because there are too good.


Thena split is fine. At the So Cal AGM the topic to leave USA Rugby competitions all together and merge with the Pacific RFU was brought up with many positive comments. Sounds good to me!

Runnerguy45 - Im not trying to argue with you. Im just saying I understand the diff between cable and network too... I get what you're trying to say. But viewing numbers for sporting events are not that widely skewed because one is on NBC and the other is on ESPN. Marketing dollars are, but not viewers. If you're talking prime-time news vs cable news or tv shows then you have a better argument. Look at the NFL and MNF... the last year MNF was on ABC the ratings were around an 11.0. last year on ESPN they averaged a 10.4. Now that's a gap, but its not a huge one.

Duke not being in the ACRL absolutely hurts the league when negotiating with potential sponsors who care about the brands far more than the play on the field.

The split is not East vs West. It is everyone splitting from USA Rugby. Regional development is a better approach for Rugby in the US. Collecting and spending dues within a region is a much better approach as it keeps the money close to home and makes stakeholders accountabe. The US should have 4 Regions that control their own money and then get together for a short national Club championship. Pacific, South, Mid-West, and East. Each regional would represent about 75 million people, a massive player pool. The 4 Regions could also have representative sides that play a home/away format with six games. No sense giving money to USA Rugby when is does not benefit the clubs paying. Also no sense waiting for USA Ruby to reorganize the TUs. TU's should work together on merging and ratioanlizing their underlying LAUs. Colleges and High Schools took the initiative now it is up to the Senior Clubs to do the same. USA Rugby can manage the national team and maybe, if we let them, the championships between regions.

I was at that SoCal meeting too (where, by the way, the Arizona union seceded from the Pacific Coast TU to join So Cal). It's an idea whose time has not yet come, but there were definitely a lot of people who were intrigued by it. No one is ready to pull the trigger, but it's kind of nice to do a bit of window shopping and wrap your fingers around the trigger and think, "what if". Who knows what (seemingly) minor event will precipitate a mass exodus? Once a few more governing bodies start looking around for the exit signs, one secession will provoke a stampede.

Another bit of news from the So Cal AGM was that CIPP fees will go up 10 bucks or more. A Congress member gave the news to the assembled club members, and then tried to sell the idea that only 500K of USA Rugby revenue was from CIPP. Those figures were shot down by someone in the audience and then another congress member came into the discussion (propaganda session) with stats about how much it costs to run a tier 1 national team and the Eagles have no money.

Roberts and Melville have their congress members well trained to do their bidding. Bunch of jokers.

Does anyone know the market value of the insurance component for CIPP? I doubt it would cost much more than $10 per person. The insurance piece is important for Clubs to secure fields. I'm sure there are a few rugby players out there in the insurance business who could come up with an alternative insurance plan. Each TU can get a policy for their members. Once we know the insurance costs, we can start to look at setting up a regional dues arrangements that will support the goals of each region. Beyond insurance, most clubs get very little from USAR. If we want to support the national team we can make donations on an optional basis.

More like 2 or 3 bucks for liability insurance. Accident insurance would be much higher.

So for $35 (soon to be $45) players get a $3 policy. Sweet. Let's give USA Rugby $5 for CIPP and admin costs and keep $40 per player in the regions. Assuming there would be 25,000 players in each of 4 regions, there is $1,000,000 per year for regions to use as they see fit. National team can be funded by donations and sponsorships.


JC was very complimentary towards the 7's game before and after the Cal defeat. He seems committed to 7's for the long haul, "it would be nice for Cal to be back in the business of developing Olympic rugby players".

Although Cal has only played 7's at the end of long XV seasons the last two years, they have done reasonably well. 5-1 lost in the championship in OT in 2010 and 3-1 lost in the quarters in 2011. For you to assume Cal won't be a player in 7's rugby is incorrect. Seven's is a game built for giant killers, so no team will dominate like Cal has dominated XV's, but Cal will be a player.

BYU will also be a player if 7's are played Friday, Saturday.

If there is money or Olympic glory in 7s, BYU will start playing on Sunday. Those Mormons do it for the NFL, they will do it for they Olympics. No games on Sunday is a nice to have and not a need to have and if you do enough business in Utah you will find money trumps Mormonism every time.

There's a whole heap of money in the NCAA basketball tournament and BYU won't play on sundays in that.

Does Cougar Womens Basketball never participate in that tournament then? Or (if they were to have a good run) would they drop out upon reaching for the final four? Have they ever qualified for that tournament and declined to go?

(I could google it, but I probably won't)


Interesting. The article implies that the NCAA would have made a last minute schedule change for WCB had they advanced, which seems impossibly impractical. I remember Eli Herring (I think the Raiders drafted him in the 7th round anyway...just in case.) Even his dad encouraged him to give the NFL some real thought, having himself raised a large family on a public school teacher's salary (which was Herring's career plan too).

Thanks for indulging my laziness.

While I am no fan of the LDS church, I admire people who stand up for their principles even when it is terribly inconvenient to do so. (Naturally, I have less admiration for those who demand that everyone else change to accommodate those principles.)

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