Talking Points for USA Rugby Congress. Feb. 11, 2017 Austin, TX 3

To: USAR Congress

Here are some talking points regarding ‘Governance’ for this weekend’s meeting.

Please ask yourself, ‘are we happy/satisfied/OPTIMISTIC about USAR’s state of affairs’? Do we have “A” players in every position in our organization? Start at the top.

I understand the agenda for this meeting was distributed <48 hours prior.  Think about that.  Do World Class organizations operate in this manner?

This weekend, it is your 100% responsibility to make some hard decisions. You must perform your duty and hold our Board of Directors to account for the shocking state our Union currently sits:

I’ve done a lot of writing and would like to provide a summary of the issues for you below, there has been hundreds of hours of social media conversations on these topics. Some questions that must be addressed, and answered this weekend:

USAR Board

  1. Every board member should be questioned on their participation, and more importantly the tangible results they have shown as Board members.  A further question to ask:
  2. We had no Strategic Plan, executed and managed for over a decade.  In the ByLaws this is listed as the #1 priority of the Board.  How could an effective Board go a decade without an executed Strategic Plan?

PRO Rugby

  1. What systems or department were created to manage, integrate and leverage PRO Rugby? Who agreed to sanction with no Strategic plan in place, no verifiable finances and no controls on duties specific to RIM?
  2. The license fee for the Premiership game at Red Bull Stadium was $25,000 for the single event. The fee to sanction the entire PRO league was $1,000.  What was the thinking behind this amount, and what was the ‘upside’ for USAR in that case?

RIM/The Rugby Channel

  1. How much (and what) content is locked down for the next 3 years by TRC and what is the projected P&L for both RIM and TRC.
  2. How does RIM benefit USAR (over and above the ‘license’ fee agreement). i.e. “Explain RIM”.’
  3. Why has no other NGB gone down this model, why is it not endorsed by the USOC senior management, or other seasoned executives?
  4. Potential Conflict between commingled RIM/USAR Board members
  5. RWC 7’s
    • Why was the GM hired 6 months (conservative) late to run this event?
    • Why is she employed by USAR and not by RIM?
    • Does USAR have downside risk?  Who is taking on the liability and funding? USAR or RIM?  RIM should.  Why is the GM employed by USAR then?  This is an organization chart issue (dysfunction)
    • Giants:  The entire event is run at ATT Park thru the Giants organization.  The USAR Chair has a minor stake holding in the Giants.  Who oversaw the negotiations with the Giants?

USA Rugby

  1. Organizational Chart
  2. Can the CEO of USAR operate with maximum effectiveness if he does not have command/control over arguably the most important entity in the organization (i.e. Financial, RIM’s function).

Be Courageous.

I would be glad to answer any questions anyone has over the weekend.  I will be staying at the same hotel as your meeting.

Thank-you for your kind attention to this matter. It is vital for the future of the game in this country.

Tony Ridnell



  1. Hello Tony. I am eager to see some answer to the talking points you mentioned. Maybe its still too early but I just leave this question here to see if there is some feedback, besides to the one stating that Austin Huns are starting a new professional league. Thanks for you comments!

  2. Pingback: On USA Rugby Vision, Strategy 2020, RWC 2018/2027, Age Grade, HP audit, & more on the Board/RIM « Tony Ridnell

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