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vineyridge
Oct. 24, 2001, 05:43 PM
should be out tomorrow, unless the controversy settles.

Will it be released to the public, or will we have to wait for the USAEq (?) to make it public? I know that the decision won't make the "real" news most places, but the COTH and Equisearch have been so good about their coverage that it would be greatly appreciated if they could put the breaking news on the web as it breaks.

Has anyone heard anything?

vineyridge
Oct. 24, 2001, 05:43 PM
should be out tomorrow, unless the controversy settles.

Will it be released to the public, or will we have to wait for the USAEq (?) to make it public? I know that the decision won't make the "real" news most places, but the COTH and Equisearch have been so good about their coverage that it would be greatly appreciated if they could put the breaking news on the web as it breaks.

Has anyone heard anything?

Bostonian
Oct. 24, 2001, 09:02 PM
according to Jaffer on equisearch.com the USOC has given the two orgs until Nov. 17 to work it out...

will this ever end???

dublin
Oct. 24, 2001, 09:41 PM
Here's a link to the article Bostonian is referring to:

Jaffer article on Equisearch (http://www.equisearch.com/news/news/2001/10/24/jafferngb/)

Beans
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:00 AM
I don't think I've ever seen a situation where a "clean sweep" of the top layer is needed. Each and every person involved in our sport should really look at the devestation that is happening with each passing day. The TOTAL arrogance of some individuals on both sides and the TOTAL commitment to each person's decision to put their own egos over the good of the organizations has become distasteful. I don't blame the USOC in this matter -I'll bet they wanted to wash their hands of both organizations.

Whatever the results - I'm detouring my USET donations to other horse events & functions - sorry I made a contribution earlier this year. The lack of financial oversight and the TOTALLY top heavy salaries really caused me grave concerns and Mr. Leone's attitude of taking money from endowment funds without advising membership or more importantly THOSE WHO DONATED THE MONEY!

Mr. Balch seems to realize that while he did follow the legal trail and has put the USAE on track in many areas, his personality cannot be overlooked. It has offended many, many people.

There will be a resolution but the wounds are so deep - I fear it will be YEARS before this NGB - whatever it is gets sorted out. In the mean time the riders & horses are the ones hanging out to dry.

Anne FS
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:23 AM
So USET really hates AB why? Because he filed a lawsuit that the courts said was right and just and made the USET do what they SHOULD HAVE DONE in the first place. So IOW they hate AB because he was right? Way to go, USET.

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:58 AM
They hate him because he is demanding (of both organizations) that they beome OPEN and INCLUSIVE and RESPONSIVE and RESPONSIBLE.

What is so bad about that????

I sat at a meeting and listened to the NHJC BITCH AND MOAN AND COMPLAIN about how they couldn't POSSIBLY have AMATEURS involved with the organization & management of THEIR sport! NOT a good thing to say in front of ME!! I've heard USET and NHJC member literally tell me to "stay away from your buddy Alan Balch, he is EVIL" - HUH??? Just because he wants ETHICS GUIDELINES (which I am writing) and CLEAR CONFLICT OF INTEREST RULES???

Just because he pushed to move to the KY Horse Park which saves the organization over a million dollars per year???

Because he is pushing for TRULY PROFESSIONAL MARKETING and has a vision of this sport expanded beyond our narrow focus and touching every household in this country??

Just because he has a HIGHLY competent staff in KY who are responsive to members, who are getting the databases REALLY up to date, and who are entering the 21st century?

It seems to me that Alan is expected to be all things to all people - when he micromanages, he is bad, when he delegates, he is bad, when he steps aside because of potential conflicts of interest, he is bad, when he doesn't, he is still bad.

He is in a no win situation. What most people don't realize is that he does NOT make unilateral decisions - he has an Executive committee (from across the board) who work closely with him, and they (believe me) argue and even veto him at times. He listens to those who disagree, and definitely fights back - BUT he listens and has even been known to change his mind.

I was VERY wary of AB and the AHSA two years ago. I have done a LOT of talking with people, gone to meetings, read reports, looked at the figures, talked to staffers, etc etc. (done my homework, so to speak) I have become a supporter of the USA Eq and of Alan Balch. Even when I disagree with him (and I do one some things!)

Perhaps if he were a member of the East Coast establishment, this would not have been a problem.

Do I need a Flame Suit?? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SGray
Oct. 25, 2001, 07:22 AM
IlonaE - please inform as to what Balch has done that seemingly puts him on a par with the Antichrist?

Portia
Oct. 25, 2001, 08:04 AM
when it comes to Alan Balch. In my experience with him, he has been an intelligent, driven, intense, man who cares deeply about the future of horse sports in this country. He has always been more than willing to come to a workable compromise with the USET that would join the strengths of the two organizations -- but the USET has insisted that it be their way entirely or no way. They had to be the NGB.

Well, now -- thanks to the Evil Alan Balch's lawsuit -- for the first time the world (and its own Board of Trustees) has a true picture of the USET, its finances, and how it runs its business. No wonder they hate him so.

Yes, he has become a lightning rod. He's a convenient target for blame. But Alan Balch does not act alone. He has an Executive Committee and a 50+ member Board of Directors that he answers to, and nothing definative gets done without their approval.

Unlike the USET Board of Trustees -- who the testimony at the USOC hearing made very clear have been kept in the dark for years and are expected to follow the directives of the big money people at the top -- the members of the USA Eq Board have access to detailed information and discussion of every significant issue, and those issues undergo sometimes intense and prolonged debate before they are voted on. If the vote is controversal and the board desires it, the vote is done by secret ballot so people can vote their consciences without having to worry about personal and professional retribution.

Also, unlike the USET, the president of USA Eq is subject to term limits. He will be gone soon enough, but as part of an orderly, planned progression that will allow identification and election of a competent and capable successor.

This isn't directed at you specifically, Ilona, so please don't take it that way. It's just that I've heard too many people say that "everything would be OK if Alan Balch would just resign." Hell, given their personal hatred of him, I'm guessing that big wigs at the USET may well be demanding that Alan Balch resign before they will accept a compromise agreement that virtually everyone but them agree would be best for the entire sport. Well, you have to think of what the consequences of that action would be.

OK. So let's hypothetically say that Alan Balch would agree to resign or that its a possibility that he would do so (and I very much hope it is not). Who do you propose immediately step in as President of USA Eq?

It's an unpaid, full-time position. (Jim Wofford, a wonderful man, had to resign from the AHSA presidency 10 years ago because he could not afford to have the job.) It is a virtually thankless position which draws intense fire from all sides for almost every action taken or not taken.

So, let's see, who are the people who immediately come to mind who might want the job and are financially in the position to take it -- Jane Clark? Armand Leone, Jr.? Finn Casperson?

Yeah -- we could look forward to going back to having USA Eq run in exactly the same way the USET is run -- a closed society of wealthy insiders who don't want the unwashed masses playing in their very exclusive sandbox.

Until somebody else steps forward who is strong, capable, intelligent, and can and will do the job -- and who will keep USA Eq on the progressive, open course that it is on now -- I for one am intensely grateful for Alan Balch and the fact that he's still willing to take the kind of immense load of crap and incredible personal vilification he's had to deal with throughout all this.

Just my personal opinion, of course.

Lucassb
Oct. 25, 2001, 08:46 AM
[QUOTE] Merger, however, is not part of the USET's vocabulary for this exercise, since the trustees do not want "the AHSA to control their affairs," said Leone.

"I have always felt a settlement is possible," said USAE President Alan Balch. "I continue to feel a settlement is possible and we will, on the USA Equestrian side, be exploring every possible avenue to see if we can get a settlement because we strongly believe that's in the best interests of the sport.." [QUOTE]

To me, these two quotes are SO indicative of the challenge we face.

The USET believes that the sport is THEIR sandbox - an issue of their PERSONAL affairs, rather than the concern of ALL RIDERS and supporters of the sport.

Alan Balch, and USAE, put the needs of the MEMBERSHIP and the sport first.

Ms. Jaffers' article also suggests that neither side will like the decision if it is handed down by the USOC. That concerns me, as it implies that the USET leadership will still have some role in the governance of the sport, dispite what appears to me to be INCREDIBLE mismanagement and disregard for not only the riders, but also the sponsors and contributors who have formed the financial support of the Team in the past.

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

canyonoak
Oct. 25, 2001, 08:59 AM
WHAT?

Alan Balch should resign because he has upset the USET applecart??

USOC is going to put off a decision AGAIN?

Exactly WHAT is going on here...?

if I look back on the chronology of all this, it appears to me that USOC tipped off USET at some point that there was going to be a problem re: the NGB status.

Which is why Alan Balch signed the now-notorious agreement--as he explained in his testimony.


And now that USET has given itself the defense it so richly (tee hee) deserves, and has failed utterly to make any kind of case for itself...the people-who-run-USET (can you say JaneClark really fast?) have handed down the Official Decree:

"We are displeased. He must resign. Send him to Elba."

WHY,exactly, is USOC refusing to get involved in what appears to be a simple and clear cut decision?

As I understand it, if USET agrees to a re-organization, USET will carry on exactly as it has been doing in the 'important' part of its job description--fielding and otherwise overseeing international teams yadda-yadda--

BUT

there will be the seemingly insignificant matter that the USET branch, like all the other branches of the NGB, will have to report on its program and schedule ,to a central committee. Inclduing, I imagine, finances.

Hmmmm.

Beans
Oct. 25, 2001, 09:19 AM
I said his personality has offended people AND it has. He got into a proverbial pissing contest with the Editor of the local Horse of the Delaware Valley which is something an ED should NEVER DO. You can have PR people answer incorrect statements or falsehoods but for the benefit of the organization and the respect of the position the ED should not mud-wrestle at that level. But he does it over and over again.

I certainly backed his request for financial information and my premise on this is the fact that there is CLEARLY a rift in personalities that I don't believe can ever be overcome. If we want a strong NGB that works and doesn't have dissention within and constant back stabbing well you have to have someone leading that ALL parties can support. Do you think that can happen??? I don't.

PLEASE - don't make statements about my posts that are TOTALLY MIS-REPRESENTATIVE of what I've written. THANK YOU.!!!

Beans
Oct. 25, 2001, 09:22 AM
It's ludicrous to have a position like this which is un-salaried - in fact it's irresponsible because the pool of people who can accept an unpaid position of this magnitude and responsibility is probably a handful. It's a corporation that needs a CEO - PERIOD. Paid with a job description, clearly defined benefits and a contract. This is a business not a hobby.

buryinghill1
Oct. 25, 2001, 09:23 AM
Maybe when the USAE wins it's battle, they will start paying their staff legitimate salaries.

SGray
Oct. 25, 2001, 09:44 AM
Sorry IlonaE - for the hyperbole - I simply meant "what has he done to offend" - which you answered in your subsequent post

JulieMontgomery
Oct. 25, 2001, 09:54 AM
Particularly the business of how blatantly and stupidly the USET squanders it's(?) money - (which is really the money of their contributors!

C-O-N-T-R-I-B-U-T-O-R-S.

Get it?

JulieMontgomery
Oct. 25, 2001, 09:57 AM
A-D-M-I-N-I-S-T-R-A-T-I-V-E

I-N-E-P-T-I-T-U-D-E.

JulieMontgomery
Oct. 25, 2001, 10:00 AM
B-O-A-R-D
M-E-M-B-E-R-S
W-I-T-H
T-H-E-I-R
H-E-A-D-S
S-T-U-C-K
I-N
T-H-E
S-A-N-D

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

SGray
Oct. 25, 2001, 10:39 AM
Personally, I do not believe this to be a fight between Balch and Leone or Balch and Clark/Casperson or..... (although for some it is convenient to personalize the issues)

I believe this to be supporters of a republic vs. supporters of an oligarchy.

With or without Balch, USA Eq. has moved toward becoming a democratic / republic style organization and I do not believe that this movement will be / can be / or / should be stopped.

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 10:46 AM
Oh, yeah, the BOARD

Whose membership is subject to the whims of the Executive Committee, and is dependant upon the Board member AGREEING completely with the Executive COmmittee's directives.

Oh, and there are those rider "votes" that I won't talk about... /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Actually, it makes me very /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 10:51 AM
Ilona - I agree with you about the pissing match; I am pretty sure Alan had no clue what he was getting into. A mistake he will not make again.

The HDV, IMHO, hasn't the right to even call themselves a newspaper. They will not print freelance articles unless the subject/author is also an advertiser; they have close ties to the USET that, IMHO, interfer with ANY concept of balance and fairness in coverage. (I have seen and known this since the rag's inception back in the early 80's.)

It serves a purpose, yes, but journalistic integrity, definitely NOT!

Just IMHO.

poltroon
Oct. 25, 2001, 11:05 AM
I truly believe that a major source of this is that AB is from California. Sad, huh? All I know is that when I sent my first check to the AHSA when I was 11 years old, I wondered why the offices were in downtown NY. Kentucky is infinitely more appropriate, even before the tremendous cost savings.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Merger, however, is not part of the USET's vocabulary for this exercise, since the trustees do not want "the AHSA to control _their affairs," _ said Leone.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you look at the finances on GuideStar and see who has been getting USET grants, you'll note that Mark Leone and Peter Leone are among the largest grant recipients - around $30k/yr apiece, if I recall correctly. I imagine that they aren't getting extra-large grants of unrestricted funds, but rather that there are earmarked contributions specifically for them (thus getting a tax-deductable status for the donor). I am just guessing here - I have no knowledge. While I don't have a problem with foundations doing that per se (I've mentioned the American Horse Trials Foundation, which is specifically set up for that), I feel it creates a conflict of interest with the realities of team selection, given that there's the expectation that a national body with this charter would be specifically serving the most talented rather than the best connected.

JulieMontgomery
Oct. 25, 2001, 11:17 AM
the word "close" hardly begins to characterize the relationship between a certain HDV person and a certain USET person.

Now, this is NOT a rumor, but there will be not another word out of me. Anyone who is curious can ask someone who was in the inner circle in Sydney. Let them fill you in!

And, I'll bet you $100 you will roar with laughter at the absurdity of it all..... /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

poltroon
Oct. 25, 2001, 11:19 AM
I also wonder who would be an acceptable president to take over from AB on such short notice. I can't imagine there's anyone acceptable to the USA Eq that would also be acceptable to the USET at this point. AB has been a convenient scapegoat for every bad thing that has ever happened ("Rhythmical would never have slipped on that turn if AB hadn't been president!" /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif ) - who would serve that role if someone else took over now?

I agree that the problem is as much structural as personality. I haven't met AB but I think anyone effective in the USA Eq president role will be just as offensive to the USET in short order.

I agree that it needs to be a paid CEO position. (And while I think Wofford would be a tremendous USA Eq prez, I'm glad he's spending his time training riders instead.)

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 11:20 AM
And the scarey part of the GuideStar stats is that they are simply what the USET WANTS people to see - like their "audited" financials that do not show the $3.8 mm loss because they are including PLEDGES as revenue, as well as not showing expenses against corporate donations (which, incidently, they are also showing as income in the year they are contracted rather than across the years of contract.)

IMHO, their financial wheelings and dealings border on fraud.

Certainly they are misleading their contributors and Trustees.

By the way, their statistics for FILLED pledges are not particularly inspiring either. Especially from some big money "donors" who never manage to actually MAKE their donations. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif & /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 11:42 AM
AH, but the REALLY REALLY SAD part about Jimmy Wofford training riders is that HE HAS BEEN HIRED BY THE CANADIEN TEAM!! So, we spend megabucks for our very part time trainer (and his wife now, too) while Jimmy goes to CANADA??

Not that ours isn't good, but I prefer home-grown!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

PDQBach
Oct. 25, 2001, 01:28 PM
I believe AB himself admitted that one of the problems was that he came from "west of Upperville, VA"...

YIKES - a COWBOY??!!!

Beans
Oct. 25, 2001, 02:19 PM
is a publication that someone feels is credible - it's read by alot of horsepeople who only believe what they read!!! That's the danger in journalistic mud-wrestling.

As far as a new CEO - well it's OBVIOUS you don't do that immediately but in any Merger/Acquisition you have a work out team that puts the plan together, drafts the new organizational chart, job descriptions, time line, etc. and at a point in the future - there's a steering committee to select a new CEO.

Portia
Oct. 25, 2001, 02:54 PM
This just arrived in my e-mail in box --

USET BOARD VOTES TO CONDITION SETTLEMENT TALKS; MEDIATION REACHES IMPASSE

USA Equestrian (formerly American Horse Shows Association) announced today that efforts to settle the formal dispute over the status of equestrian sport's National Governing Body (NGB) before the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), through mediation, have apparently reached an impasse.

In a trustees' meeting of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) held yesterday, October 24, 2001, its board voted by a narrow margin to refuse to engage in further settlement talks with the USOC mediators and USA Equestrian unless its president, Alan F. Balch, withdraws a motion pending in New Jersey Superior Court, "immediately dismissing the New Jersey lawsuit." The motion now pending in Court seeks enforcement of a previous court order, issued in the case Balch vs. USET, on August 16, 2001, declaring USET's corporate actions this year "null and void."

Balch explained, "We have continually offered, at USET's request, to ask the Court to postpone the hearing on the motion until November 16, by which time we had hoped a settlement could be reached. The Court initially declined to do so. We then offered to make a further joint plea to the Court. However, USET apparently refused to consider that option. Our attorneys advise us that to unilaterally withdraw the motion at this point in the proceedings, as opposed to postponing it, will prejudice our position. Given the importance of our case, and the terms of the decision issued August 16, we simply cannot do so. Our officers are all in agreement on this point."

Nevertheless, as a further gesture of good faith, Balch authorized his New Jersey attorney to make renewed efforts seeking an adjournment of the pending motion until November 16. Just after 3 pm today, the Court agreed to the adjournment. Unfortunately, the USOC mediator has had to notify the USOC that the mediation appears to be at an end. Armand Leone, Jr., president of the USET, had informed the mediators earlier in the day that, "I am not authorized to proceed any further with negotiations with the AHSA."

"The foundation of any mediation, working toward a settlement," Balch stated, "is that neither organization's previously existing position be prejudiced in any way. That was understood when both USA Equestrian and USET entered the talks upon conclusion of the USOC hearings in Austin, Texas, on October 15. Our court motion was pending at the time, and was not considered an obstacle to settlement discussions then. So obviously something changed. From what I heard at the USET trustees' meeting yesterday, it appeared that a majority of the USET board does not want to consider a settlement along the lines that the mediator, along with the leadership of both organizations, were in the process of developing. The demand that we halt our pending litigation is simply unreasonable; it is neither in our own interest nor the sport's larger interest of assuring non-profit corporate governance within the law. I would expect the USET to have the same reaction if our organization were to demand at this point that the USET drop or withdraw its formal USOC challenge, which began all this litigation in the first place, back in February."

With the mediation apparently ended, the formal result of the hearing held before a USOC panel in Austin, Texas, October 13-15, 2001, is expected to be revealed in due course, barring any further attempts at mediation that still might be undertaken. It is subject to ratification by the entire USOC board of directors. Both USET and USA Equestrian have previously waived any right to further argument or debate before the USOC board of directors, by mutual agreement with the USOC.

hoopoe
Oct. 25, 2001, 03:04 PM
My eyes crossed and glazed over.

Could you, in your usual cogent way, put this into simple words for my simple mind?

Snowbird
Oct. 25, 2001, 03:21 PM
First the USET is not upset at all that they were in violation of the New Jersey laws. They are upset about the fact they got caught by Alan Balch. They would be equally upset with anyone else who had the timidity to require the the laws be followed, and found out they had been corrupted.

So the issue is not why they hate Alan, that's obvious who loves the IRS Agent?

The issue is how can anyone trust any group that misrepresents their operation no matter how great the results. Unless and until it is shown to be otherwise I believe that reasonable people will know that the oversight is absolutely necessary because the USET has violated the trust of their members.

Surely, anyone in the same position with the USAE has to require full disclosure of where the money comes from and where it goes and to whom it is paid and that there be rules in place to protect the interests of those athletes who do not have influence with important people in high places with big check books that's what disclosure is all about isn't it?

IF that is not the case then do we really want a team? Any team at any cost it seems to me is not an option under the intent and purpose of the Federal Government's Ted Stevens Athletes Act. Heaven help us all if the USOC does not understand that issue.

I know that I would be prepared to mount a campaign with the Congress of the United States then to investigate exactly how and who is in control of the USOC. Certainly, their skirts are not so clean that they would not be opposed to an investigation by Congress to see if the Ted Steven's Act was properly implemented by the USOC.

The HDV has only got communication with one side of this issue, they do not choose to access both sides in the debate. Therefore, their articles are framed in what is the best case scenario for their friends.

If such foolishness was the decision of the USOC, I think they would be derelict in their responsibility to this country and the Congress of the United States. I do not believe that is true or possible.

So, to "save face" since the USET has lost their bid for NGB by their own ineptitude they want a scape goat to blame. They are not mature enough enough to say OK! guys! we were wrong and take their punishment by joining the USAE.

The possibility that they would get to pick who should be the President of USAE is between remote and none since there is equally no possibility that the Membership or the Board of Directors would agree with their choice.

What is the great crime of Alan Balch? He volunteered his services during this period of change to mainstream the USAE. He has been successful at making many of the changes we have requested. He was proved right in a Court of Law in New Jersey, he wants to do everything out in the open with fair rules for everyone. He has invited participation from the general membership.

My goodness! what a villain this man is! He is an enemy to all of those accustomed to using their check books as a way to get special interests. He is an enemy to all those who want business done quietly and privately in back offices and not announced until the decisions are carved in stone and it's too late. He asks for full disclossure of all conflict of interest issues, and he has asked for a fair allocation of charges for those who actually use the services. What a dreadful hateful man!

I say to you that the only people worth having in charge of this sport to see that it becomes mainstreamed is Alan Balch and all those who agree with him. In that case there is simply no compromise...so be it! New international divisions will then grow from the grass roots. Maybe our team will not win but it will be honestly run and honestly selected and a fair opportunity for every little kid from every backyard in this count

A postponement is more than fair...withdrawal is a silly frivolous request to end mediation to the benefit of the USET and against the enforcement of the laws of the State of New Jersey. I don't think the USET has ever been honest in it's mediation. Certainly, they have no real concern about the athletes and prefer their own vested concerns.

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Oct. 25, 2001 at 06:44 PM.]

Linda Allen
Oct. 25, 2001, 03:48 PM
precluded from winning? The examples of our top riders competing against the best and winning are many -- including this year when virtually all the appearances of our riders were as a result of private trips. And I'm talking jumping, dressage, and eventing.

We'll have the same riders and horses (and more) next year for the WEG as far as I can see.

If it is the full entourage of 'support staff' that might have to be trimmed slightly -- that has never been a problem for Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, or Brazil in being successful. They travel far lighter than we have done over the last few years, and maybe we can manage to as well.

I believe our riders need all the support that is essential, but after what it costs to do the trials - a small contribution by those eager to compete at the WEG or other majors couldn't be THAT much to ask.

Personally I've always noticed that 'riding hungry' can produce amazing results sometimes...

Linda Allen

Portia
Oct. 25, 2001, 03:50 PM
Whether I achieve what you ask for is something else!

What I take from it is that the parties have been having negotiations, with the help of a neutral mediator, since the Austin hearing ended. It looks like at that time the parties entered into an agreement with the USOC that they would continue trying to negotiate a settlement, with the mediator's help, and that in the meantime neither of them would be required to do anything that would prejudice their positions in any pending matters. It seems they also agreed with the USOC that they would each give up their right to argue to the USOC board about the panel's recommendation. (That doesn't mean they have given up any rights to contest the final USOC decision through arbitration.)

Yesterday, apparently, the USET had a closed board meeting and took some kind of vote regarding whatever the current proposal was, and in that vote -- which was apparently quite close -- the USET decided that it would not continue any further negotiations unless and untill AB dismissed the New Jersey lawsuit. Balch and USA Eq are saying that the USET's demand that he unilaterally dismiss his lawsuit before they would continue to negotiate violated the agreement that neither party would be required to do anything to prejudice its pending legal positions.

It is important to note that this is the same New Jersey lawsuit in the same court that issued the previous order finding that the USET's actions this year were null and void because they couldn't be bothered to follow proper procedure, among other things. The Judge issued her order in August, and she retained jurisdiction to continue to monitor the USET's actions and make sure it complied with the terms of her August order, and to make whatever further orders were necessary.

I don't know the exact contents of the motion that is currently pending, but my understanding is that it is a complaint that in the USET's 3rd Annual Meeting, the USET once again failed to follow proper procedures and did not comply with the Court's previous order -- such as by not making sure everyone who was supposed to get a proxy actually did so, and other reasons -- and therefore everything done at the 3rd USET Annual Meeting should also be declared null and void.

Alan Balch filed that motion in the New Jersey case soon after the 3rd USET Annual Meeting, and it was pending at the time of the hearing in Austin. From this release, it looks like Balch did what he could to avoid having the NJ judge rule on his motion, a ruling which might weaken the USET's position, by asking the Court to delay any consideration and ruling on that pending motion until after the date agreed by the parties by which there would either be a settlement or the case would be decided by the USOC. From a procedural progression, it looks like Balch asked the Court for a continuance and she refused to grant it, then the USET's lawyers did not join in a joint motion for continuance (joint motions are always more likely to be granted), but even then Balch tried again and renewed his motion for continuance. Looks like the Court granted it this afternoon, but by then the USET had already told the mediators that discussions couldn't continue. Apparently, seeking the continuance of the decision on the motion wasn't good enough for the USET, who demanded that Balch dismiss the NJ lawsuit outright.

Personally, I would never let a client agree to what the USET demanded -- dismiss a pending lawsuit without having any guarantees or any deal in place. People agree to dismiss pending suits as part of settlements all the time -- hell, that's what settlements are all about -- but the settlement agreements always provide that the suit won't be dismissed until after everything is signed, sealed, and delivered. Only an idiot would dismiss a suit without a signed settlement agreement in place, and no even half-way good lawyer would allow a client to do so.

Anyway, it looks like since the USET imposed a condition on further negotiations to which USA Eq could not agree, the settlement talks reached an impasse and the mediator informed the USOC of that earlier today. So, now the USOC can decide whether or not to open the sealed decision of the hearing panel and consider that ruling at its upcoming board meeting, or it can let things go until Nov. 17, which was the date set for the parties to have concluded a settlement deal.

OK -- that wasn't concise, but hopefully it was cogent. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Snowbird
Oct. 25, 2001, 03:56 PM
I didn't mean to say they would lose, I was using a worst case scenario as if we were to start from scratch as predicated by the statements of the USET not on the veracity of the situation.

The USET in their efforts to seem more important than they are have implied that we couldn't field good teams without them. My point was simply "SO WHAT?" We will learn and we will grow better every year.

No one is indispensible, and the fears being generated are just that FEARS.

Beezer
Oct. 25, 2001, 04:40 PM
Just catching up on these ... well, for lack of a better phrase ... un-freak-ing believable developments. A couple of folks pointed out already the Leone quote from the latest Equisearch article, but key to me was what came just before:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

The USET trustees gathered this morning in executive session, which meant the meeting was closed to outsiders, so they could offer their unrestricted views on the situation. USET President and CEO Armand Leone, Jr. said in an interview after the meeting that regarding a settlement, "there's too much at stake not to try, provided everything could be on the table" to be discussed by negotiating teams from both organizations....

Merger, however, is not part of the USET's vocabulary for this exercise, since the trustees do not want "the AHSA to control their affairs," said Leone.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK. So can someone PLEASE explain to me how the USET wants everything to be on the table while at the same time refusing to discuss a merger? How is it possible, then, for everything to be on the table? Does Leone not realize that the problem with talking out of both sides of his mouth is that *occasionally* people actually LISTEN??

As we all have said time and again, there is an INCREDIBLE disconnect going on with the USET.

I grew up riding in shows that AB managed out here; even waaaaaaaay back then /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif he had the ability to rub people so far the wrong way that they got friction burns. That is very often the case when people have strong ideas coupled with a strong personality. Get over it and grow up, USET ... we all have to work with people we don't necessarily like. Deal with it. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

****Bulletin Board Goddess****

Portia
Oct. 25, 2001, 05:27 PM
Deal with it? Sorry, Beezer, that would be the professional and mature thing to do. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Duffy
Oct. 25, 2001, 05:41 PM
OYE FREAKING VE!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

PDQBach
Oct. 25, 2001, 05:49 PM
You're not kidding, Duffy!!!

How about if they fire STANDISH and throw out the Leone's and those people who are now in the background (no official postiions) (J Clark and F Casperson) out?? At least the NF can PROVE that Alan Balch has gotten the NF LEGITIMATELY in the BLACK, unlike the USET!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Bostonian
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:13 PM
Probably just paranoid and I have nothing to base this on, BUT, this is the second time USET has deliberately ended any sort of "compromise," or merger (think back to SPI Task Force folks - I know I'm not the only idealist that was destroyed back then)...

Here is what I think, since someone mentioned their own suspicion that USET was tipped off by their friends at the USOC back around the signing of the operating agreement; AND because I'm also remembering Balch's description of USOC President Hybel's overly direct "request" to sign the operating agreement (or else).

Does anyone else out there suspect that USET's friends at the USOC might have allegedly tipped them off "again?"

Scary, but say you're one of those wealthy few that has been enjoying power in Gladstone and you're taking Balch's efforts to broaden the base of support - PERSONALLY - instead of thinking about what is best for USA.

Now, you've allegedly heard the USOC is leaning to declare a vacany instead of choosing USAE, or USET...

Maybe somebody at USET sees this vacancy as a second chance to regain the POWER lost by Standish's and his team's blatent incompetence - through creating another nonprofit/charitable organization. Different name, same players???

Sounds like a fantasy sure, but if you have hundreds of millions of dollars and you're bent on seeing USAE/AB lose, why not.

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:24 PM
Sounds like a frighteningly real scenario, Bostonian.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Beezer
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Portia:
Deal with it? Sorry, Beezer, that would be the professional and mature thing to do. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cripes, yes ... what WAS I thinking?!??! Slaps self upside the head.

The sad thing is, all that this crap is doing is reinforcing the outside perception that we horse people are a bunch of too-rich twits who have nothing better to do with our time and money than sit around and bicker. Now, I know that SOME people in the horse world fit that description /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif , but not all, not the majority. If the USET truly believes that that's how they want the rest of the world to perceive us, well ... I'm not gonna get in front of them if they want to pick up their dump trucks and leave our sandbox. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

****Bulletin Board Goddess****

Duffy
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:34 PM
This is making me ill.

PMJ
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:47 PM
Dumb question, but I'm blonde soooooo. . .

If they declare a vacancy, does that mean that this mess just continues?

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 06:53 PM
YUP!!!

Or as Bostonian suggested - the UET declares banckruptcy and "reoorganizes" under a new name - and with certain persons money behind them, they try for it....

YUK

Snowbird
Oct. 25, 2001, 07:59 PM
We are watching the competitor and letting them convince us of their superiority.

Just a little dash of reality please. Why assume that the USET which is so blantantly incompetent that they couldn't even follow the law regarding how to manage their own programs becomes brilliant? Let's better assume that their self-centered and ego-centric philosophies are what have defeated them so far. They haven't made one right move at the right time yet in this whole debacle.

Why would they suddenly become such good insider traders? Why would they suddenly gain a genius mentality? I don't think so, all we have available are the rumors that they have started to create some insecurity and doubts on the side of the USAE, just a brain war and they are two cents short of a dollar.

Look at their bargaining chips: 1. Out with Alan Balch (unachievable) 2. Cancel the 2nd part of a law suit they have already lost once and against the instructions of the USOC (unlikely) 3. They stay independent and are not required any oversight by USAE (equally unlikely) How is that intelligent?

In their best case scenario, in their dreams for any justification at all would be that both get thrown out as NGB. If the USOC was thinking that way they would have done it until the hearings. The USOC didn't do that they left the USAE in as NGB. I believe they will give USAE a suitable period of time of have in place the International Divisions and the necessary athletes on all committees. Probation if you will! And at the end of that period they will finalize NGB because we know USAE can get it done.

So the rumor that someone from the USOC said neither side will be "Happy" is equally explained and in an affirmative way.

People who believe they are so important and singularly knowledgeable simply find it impossible to believe that any such program can be put in place without them. No doubt there has been a substantial pledge for mega dollars to the USOC which the USOC prefer not to lose but they are not suicidal. Any other decision could easily be raised to a higher court don't you think?

I refuse to believe the the entire USOC and all of our Olympic movement is so taudry that it is totally for saale to the highest bidders. BUT, if they are let me tell you there will be the wrath of the Congress to deal with for them too.

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Oct. 25, 2001 at 11:08 PM.]

Weatherford
Oct. 25, 2001, 08:33 PM
Snowbird - good post and good points.

The "rumour" that someone said "and neither side will like it" is not a rumour - it was a statement of fact during the hearings by Bill Stapleton, the Chair of the hearing committee.

Snowbird
Oct. 25, 2001, 08:41 PM
A very dear friend of mine who was my mentor in years past always said that a good decision was one where both sides lose something and neither goes home happy.

A scenario where the USAE is on probation to prove it can implement suitable programs without the USET is a logical and fair proposition.

We know the USET is not indispensible and the job will get done with or without the the advice and consent of the USET.

Bostonian
Oct. 26, 2001, 02:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
Why would they suddenly gain a genius mentality?

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Oct. 25, 2001 at 11:08 PM.]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And here I would have settled for paranoid:^)

SGray
Oct. 26, 2001, 08:00 AM
IF we were to take a page from uset's management book we would set up the international division like this:

endurance: Denny Emerson
jumper: Robert Ridland
eventing: David O'Connor
dressage: Lendon Gray
vaulting: Cindy Stys
driving: Chester Weber
reining: Kent Allen

As has already been stated, Jimmy W is taken by Canada. Now Cindy may have not ever seen vaulting but she is lithe and intelligent. Kent, well, again intelligent and just looks like he could get into reining.

hoopoe
Oct. 26, 2001, 08:54 AM
and sigh.

I am far from an expert rider and just muddle along. I hope to start riding again shortly and am setting humble goals for myself.

I have been this way all my life. Even without a horse I consider myself a horsewoman.

I have always looked up to our international riders as mentors. Even those from other countries, they are our teachers. It is why I watch OLN ewvery week. It is why we begged for Sydney coverage on TV.

Once again those at the very tip top of the pile have lost sight of all of us down here on the bottom. You remember us don't you? The ones that go to shows and pay the fees. Not the AAA shows but the B and C shows that are the bread and butter of the sport.

We are the ones that volunteer to help at shows. Keeping prices as low as possible in order to provide an outlet for our passion. Some of us are even bold enough to run and support FEI level shows. We were there , WHERE WERE YOU, OH ELETE RIDERS???

I am tired of this. Mostly because it detracts from the common cause of our sport. I feel warry that we are going to get short changed. I feel like those in charge do not realise that there is a huge country here. Horse sport does not end at the Appalachian Mountains ( oh except for California).

I cannot support the USET because I suspect that my humble donation would not hold up in an audit. Somebody has warm pockets. HOw could anyone worth paying 250,000.00 appear to be so ignorant of the form and function of their "company"?

I am fearful that all of this is going to distract and dilute the function and service of the USAE. I have nothing but praise for them after having been involved with show management.

Oh and by the way. All you elite riders and trainers who are giving testimony and opinions, I am keeping in mind your feelings. They will certainly determine where I spend my clinic monies.

Thanks Portia, I understand the situation better. I think that is what is getting me grumpy.

Portia
Oct. 26, 2001, 09:26 AM
Very well said.

As for what may happen now, Snowbird is right that it is a very common tactic of judges, arbitrators, Hearing Examiners, and other conflict decision makers to try to encourage the parties to come to a mutually acceptable agreement by advising them that neither side is going to be happy with the decision.

They do that because they know that in most instances, a settlement is the best way to achieve a long-term, workable solution that can set an environment for further amicable relations. In a settlement, no one wins or loses (or at least, neither side is labled a winner or a loser), and each side gets something out of the deal. If it goes to a verdict or the decision-maker is forced to issue a final decision, then there is either a winner and a loser, or there are two losers. There are no "win-wins."

In this case, everyone but the USET leadership agrees that the best thing for the sport would be for the two organizations to join forces and work together. It seems that is not going to happen -- after all, it does take both sides being willing to do so to come to an agreement.

So, I take the "neither side is going to be happy with the decision" with a small grain of salt, recognizing however that it may well be true.

Under the Sports Act and the USOC Constitution, the USOC Board can take only one of 4 defined actions: (a) confirm the existing NGB, (b) declare the challenger as the new NGB, (c) declare that neither org meets the requirements to be the NGB and that therefore a vacancy exists, or (d) declare that the current NGB does not currently meet all the requirements for NGB status but that those deficiencies are of a nature that can be promptly remedied, and put the NGB on probation with directions to remedy the deficiencies.

Assuming (as I must based on the evidence presented) that the USOC cannot name the USET as the NGB because of its financial mismanagement, if nothing else, then the big issues become what happens if the USOC declares a vacancy or puts USA Eq on probation.

The problem with the probation option is that the deficiencies have to be relatively minor ones, and the USOC may well feel that the split in authority to train, fund, and field teams are not minor deficiencies and therefore probation is not an option.

The problem for the USOC with declaring a vacancy is that then no one is the NGB, and the USOC has to assume the duties of the NGB for that sport. That situation would exist, with the USOC governing the sport, until either one of the existing organizations demonstrates that it currently meets all the requirements of NGB status, or until a new organization is established that meets all those requirements. Declaring a vacacy is a huge burden for the USOC, but it has done it before, with Shooting. Shooting is a much smaller and much less complicated sport than Equestrian, but we should not assume that the USOC will be afraid to declare a vacancy. They may do so in hopes that the vacancy will force the two orgs to work together to form the new organization.

Lucassb
Oct. 26, 2001, 11:03 AM
Is there any reason why USA Eq should not immediately put into place the High Performance Division and assume, as the legal NGB for the sport, all of the functions previously performed by the USET?

I ask this knowing full well the anger and dissent that this type of action would cause, however, it seems certain to me that doing so would be preferable to having a vacancy declared and having the USOC, esteemed as it may be, declared the interim NGB for a sport ...

In the event that the USOC *does* take over for a time, how do they function? Do they adopt FEI rules? Use USAE officials? What about the drugs and meds program... doesn't the Fed lab carry the only FEI designation here????

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

Beans
Oct. 26, 2001, 11:19 AM
That would of course be disasterous for the sport. On the NJ gossip line - a USET employee said they have nothing to worry about the USOC is on their side!!! Could this be delusion or more in line with posts above.

Portia
Oct. 26, 2001, 11:51 AM
The USET just issued this press release with their version, sort of, of why the settlement talks broke down. Once again, let's all say it in unison: "It's all the Evil Alan Balch's fault."

USET Issues Statement On NGB Matter

Gladstone, NJ--October 26, 2001. In response to the press release issued by the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) on October 25, United States Equestrian Team (USET) President Dr. Armand Leone, Jr. has issued the following statement:

"I believe that Mr. Balch has once again failed to clearly and fairly state the position of the USET Board of Trustees. On October 24, the Trustees, after long and significant discussion, voted on two motions. The first one was to authorize continued discussions with the AHSA without withdrawal of a pending motion in Mr. Balch's New Jersey lawsuit; this did not pass by a vote of 12 in favor and 16 opposed. The second motion was to authorize discussion with Mr. Balch provided the New Jersey lawsuit motion was withdrawn. This motion was passed unanimously by the Board, including by Mr. Balch who was a voting trustee on the call and did not object or abstain. Clearly there was a sense of cooperation and hope for settlement from the USET Trustees."

"It is important to understand that the lawsuit filed by Mr. Balch was a personal lawsuit designed to derail the proceedings before the USOC. Now that the USOC Hearing Panel has concluded its proceedings, there is no reason for Mr. Balch not to have withdrawn his motion in the lawsuit which is over. The USET simply cannot continue to have discussions with an individual who professes to good faith negotiations on behalf of his organization while pressing on with personal litigation at the same time."

"Furthermore, yesterday's assertion that the USOC challenge began all 'this litigation in the first place' ignores the fact that, prior to the filing of the challenge, the AHSA told the USOC in writing that they were prepared to immediately assume all responsibilities previously held by the USET. It was only after this attempt to strip the USET of all its duties and responsibilities that the challenge was filed."

"Mr. Balch's actions, and the controversies that continue to plague him as President of the AHSA on so many fronts, should send a clear message to the equestrian community and the AHSA Membership especially. If Mr. Balch truly has the sport's interest at heart, he would have honored the USET Board's request and withdrawn the motion currently pending so that negotiations based on trust could continue."

The USOC Board of Directors will receive the Hearing Panel's decision regarding the NGB status for Equestrian shortly so that they may confirm the decision. The parties will be made aware of the Hearing Panel's decision at that time.

Duffy
Oct. 26, 2001, 11:58 AM
EGADS!!!!!!!

Portia
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:00 PM
Ilona, it's funny, because those are the rumours I've heard since the USET filed the challenge, that the USET insiders were saying they had nothing to worry about because the USOC is on its side. And yes, those rumours worry me because those kind of statments are, in my mind, the equivalent to saying "the fix is in." I desperately hope that is not true.

However, after attending the hearing and seeing the evidence of the financial quagmire into which the USET has sunk itself, I find it very hard to believe that any fix could be in that strong (to put it bluntly). How could the USOC possibly justify giving NGB status to an organization that is deep in debt and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, all due to its own mismanagement and incomprehensible fiscal policies?

The very first requirement for becoming an NGB is to prove you have the financial and managerial resources to perform the duties of the NGB.

But you want to hear something really scary? I actually heard that one of the trustees on the USET conference call/meeting said that it's not the USET that's in financial trouble, it's really USA Eq that is deep in debt -- and that the USET didn't bring that out at the hearing because it wanted "to take the high road." Dear lord, how delusional do you have to be to believe something like that?

Weatherford
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:01 PM
Excuse me??
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>"It is important to understand that the lawsuit filed by Mr. Balch was a personal lawsuit designed to derail the proceedings before the USOC. Now that the USOC Hearing Panel has concluded its proceedings, there is no reason for Mr. Balch not to have withdrawn his motion in the lawsuit which is over. The USET simply cannot continue to have discussions with an individual who professes to good faith negotiations on behalf of his organization while pressing on with personal litigation at the same time." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK - Perhaps it is time to discuss the FACT that the USET has mismanaged its assets to the point that there is only enough left for another two months of existance, and the FACT that they have HID this information from their BOARD and from their MEMBERS - which is illegal, immoral and indecent!

Perhaps it is time for the USET Members to DEMAND some accountability! /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Portia
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:03 PM
Weatherford, the only heartening thing about the reports from the USET meeting is that 12 of the trustees actually went against the wishes of the chosen few and voted to continue the negotiations even if AB did not drop the NJ suit. Maybe some of them are starting to get the idea.

Weatherford
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:03 PM
Portia - YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING????

I am totally APPALLED!!!

N&B&T
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:11 PM
Or have Mr. Leone's statements always been so personally directed?

Aren't two boards involved?

SGray
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:23 PM
Who is on the uset's board of trustees these days? Their website http://www.uset.org/html/board.cfm shows 15 officers plus another 36 on the board; 14 of the total are noted as being members of executive committee

I assume that that info is pre the most recent meeting and that positions have changed.

So - who IS on their board of trustees now?

Portia
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:27 PM
while some at the USET can only see the Evil One.

Dr. Leone's statement also ignores that "Mr. Balch's personal lawsuit" was a complete success for him and a complete loss for the USET. They repeatedly called that suit frivolous, and Dr. Leone's statement implies they continue to think that, but the NJ Court emphatically did not agree.

If it had not been for the lawsuit, few people, including most of the USET board, would even now know how deep in trouble that org is. They might very well not even know about the $2 million loan the USET took out and spent, without notice or approval of the board. As Dr. Leone admitted in his testimony at the hearing, the USET Board was advised of that transaction only after the NJ Court forced the USET to abide by Balch's absolute legal right to review the records of the organization of which he is a trustee.

Moreover, Dr. Leone's statement repeats the mischaracterization we heard over and over again at the hearing, that the USET filed the challenge because the AHSA said it was going to take over all of the USET's functions and strip it of its rights. The truth is, the USOC had already initiated a compliance review into whether the AHSA was meeting all the requirements to become NGB, and inquiry prompted by the USET's complaints. The USET participated in that inquiry and filed its own statements and papers asserting that the AHSA did not qualify to be NGB because it had, under the Operating Agreement, delegated responsibility for funding, training, and fielding teams to the USET. In its filings, the USET said it could not continue to do its functions if it was required to report to the AHSA.

In a filing in response to that inquiry and to the USET's assertions, the AHSA stated that there was no reason why the USET could not continue doing all the things it had been doing under the supervision of the AHSA; however, IF the USET chose not to continue performing those functions, the AHSA was immediately prepared to assume performing those responsibilities.

That is what the USET has continuously characterized as the AHSA's threat that it was getting ready to strip the USET of all its responsibilities, which "forced" the USET to file the challenge to protect itself.

PMJ
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:28 PM
Wow,

Portia, I hope you can explain this to me, but if I read correctly

"It is important to understand that the lawsuit filed by Mr. Balch was a personal lawsuit"

now, granted I am blonde, so that may play into it (use small words /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ) but I don't quite understand how--except that they don't seem sincere about merger anyhow--if Mr. Balch filed the lawsuit as a personal one how when he is acting as USAE President they can object since their negotiations are with USAE. I am thinking it is just bad blood and the fact that they were caught in the wrong according to the initial ruling. Since other people within the USAE are involved not soley AB, is it just me or are they being rather childish. And how can they say they want what is best for the sport when they seem so ready to absolutely destroy it if they cannot be in charge.

Weatherford
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:30 PM
I think, Susan, that is their most recent Board - if you look at the names, you will note who is missing - ANYONE who has EVER ENCOURAGED COMPROMISE!

One of the AMAZING things about the NGB hearings was the fact that EVERY one of the USA Eq's witnesses (and it was an amazing group) was saying COMPROMISE - GET TOGETHER.

NONE of them are still on the USET Board - although, perhaps a committee here and there, maybe??

Weatherford
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:35 PM
Exactly, Ela - you hit the nail on the head. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Snowbird
Oct. 26, 2001, 12:45 PM
Find a scapegoat! Well so we blame Alan Balch for all the problems of the whole industry, and propose with conviction that this man has singlehanded been the sponsor of all faults.

Well it is a fact that if you never have an opinion and you never try to do anything you will probably never have an enemy. That is not Alan Balch, we have seen ourselves, not by hearsay or promises the intent to welcome all of us masses to participate in our association.

We have shared his hopes for every little kid in every backyard in America to be able to dream the Olympic dream. We all have expressed opinions that we want to make the changes he has offered.

His enemies are those who are accustomed to making private deals in private offices for the prestigious opportunities. They are to me the "great satan". That is the America that has been dispised by the rest of the world. These are the ugly Americans the world makes bad jokes about.

Until the clock strikes on the hour with a decision from the USOC I will continue to believe that this country is a Republic based on law. And the law requires that the wishes of 80,000 members not be ignored and trampled on.

If the decision of the USOC should by some weird twist of fate be that already accepted as a reality by those in the USET then there will be a clear cut and commanding case of collusion in my opinion.

I mean really if the USET makes these pronouncements of what will be and there is this underground currant that the USOC has been bought and paid for, well then what other conclusion would there be but collusion.

Surely, there are some people on the USOC who are aware that the cat's out of the bag and they have to play fair otherwise the world will know they have sold out the Olympic movement.

I dearly respect those horsemen who have led us until now but if they choose not to participate I think we can still field winning teams. I certainly believe that the fund raising days of the USET have passed them by, with the financial reports no one will ever believe in their fiscal responsibility again.

The marketing people testified that the only way to get the big national sponsors is with the expanded programs of the USAE.

I will not believe that anything else can or will happen, it's not over til the fat lady sings and she's not singing yet! I think the obituaries are premature and we have to believe in the good intentions of the USOC until we see otherwise.

Lucassb
Oct. 26, 2001, 01:01 PM
Since apparently it is possible that the USOC could conclude that USAE does not meet the standards for the NGB and may conclude the deficiency is not minor (therefore precluding probation as an option)...

Is there any reason why USA Eq should not immediately put into place the High Performance Division and assume, as the legal NGB for the sport, all of the functions previously performed by the USET?

I ask this knowing full well the anger and dissent that this type of action would cause, however, it seems certain to me that doing so would be preferable to having a vacancy declared and having the USOC, esteemed as it may be, declared the interim NGB for a sport ...

In the event that the USOC *does* take over for a time, how do they function? Do they adopt FEI rules? Use USAE officials? What about the drugs and meds program... doesn't the Fed lab carry the only FEI designation here????

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

Portia
Oct. 26, 2001, 01:12 PM
No, there is no reason for USA Eq not to fully implement its High Performance Division. They would rather do so with the close involvement of the experienced people at the USET, but if that is not to be, it is not to be. To my understanding, while the structure is all in place, it has not fully done so yet only because it has been hoping that it could join together with the USET, and because right after the USET filed the Challenge, Sandra Baldwin of the USOC asked the parties to please try to maintain the status quo, which meant in part not taking over all of the things the USET had been doing.

However, if the USOC were to declare a vacancy, USA Eq would not have any authority to fund or field teams or perform any of the other functions of the NGB. There would simply be no NGB, and no one except the USOC would have that authority. USA Eq could continue to operate and enforce its rules and do drug testing, etc., but for anything deemed to be a core function of the NGB, it would have to report to the USOC.

How things would operate on a daily basis, I don't know. My guess, and that's all it is, is that the USOC would ask USA Eq to continue to govern all the national competitions, do the drug testing, apply the rules, train the officials, etc., and the USET might even keep doing what it does. However, when it comes to "protected competitions" or international competitions, it would all be under the supervision of the USOC and USA Eq wouls have to report to the USOC.

As I understand what happened when the vacancy in shooting was declared, a USOC person (I believe it was Sandra Baldwin, who is now the USOC president) was appointed to act as the person who put that one back together and got a new NGB organized. Certainly, she worked with the existing people and orgs in the sport, but I don't know any details beyond that.

I think, without having gone back to check the USOC Constitution recently, that if a vacancy was declared, what USA Eq could do is get the High Performance Division in gear and every aspect fully functioning, then re-apply to be named the NGB.

SGray
Oct. 26, 2001, 01:25 PM
W - that's too bad as there are a few that are listed there that I would have thought had at least a modicum of integrity - but then I am naive about so many things

Portia
Oct. 26, 2001, 01:35 PM
Ok, here are some excerpts from the USOC Bylaws dealing with challenges to become NGB and what the USOC can do in disposing of such challenges. For practical purposes, the language in the relevant sections of the the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act and the USOC Constitution is the same.

Here are the stated standards for granting a challenge application:

Section 6.

"(A) At least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the Board of Directors meeting specified in the Chair's notice for hearing of the challenge, the Chief Executive Officer shall mail to each member of the Board a copy of the report of the hearing panel. At the hearing before the Board of Directors, the Board shall consider the panel's report and may elect to receive further written or oral evidence or presentations, or may make its decision based on the report and materials submitted by the panel.

(B) At the hearing before the Board of Directors, the applicant must establish by a preponderance of evidence that --

(1) the applicant meets the criteria for recognition as a National Governing Body under Article IV, Section 4((C) of the Constitution; and

(2) either --

(a) the respondent does not meet the criteria of Article IV, Section 4(C) or Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution, or

(b) the applicant more adequately meets the criteria of Article IV, Section 4(C) of the Constitution, is capable of more adequately meeting the criteria of Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution and provides or is capable of providing a more effective national program of competition than the respondent for the sport in which the applicant seeks recognition."


Here is what the USOC can do in ruling on a challenge application:

Section 7.

"Within thirty (30) days of the close of the hearing before the Board of Directors, the Board of Directors shall --

(A) uphold the right of the respondent to continue as the National Governing Body for its sport;

(B) revoke the recognition of the respondent and declare a vacancy in the National Governing Body for that sport;

(C) revoke the recognition of the respondent and recognize the applicant as the National Governing Body; or

(D) decide to place the respondent on probation for a specified period of time not to exceed one hundred-eighty (180) days, pending compliance by the respondent, if respondent would have retained recognition except for a minor deficiency in one of the requirements of Article IV, Section 4(C), or Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution. If the Board of Directors places the respondent on probation pursuant to Section 7(D) above, it shall within thirty (30) days after expiration of the probation period hold a subsequent hearing to determine compliance by the respondent. At such hearing, if both the applicant and the respondent have not complied within the prescribed time period, the Board of Directors shall revoke the recognition of the respondent as National Governing Body and either recognize the applicant as the National Governing Body, or declare a vacancy in the National Governing Body for that sport."

Unfortunately, neither the Sports Act nor the USOC Constitution, nor the USOC Bylaws, explains specifically what happens and how things are to run when and if the USOC does declare a vacancy.

[This message was edited by Portia on Oct. 26, 2001 at 05:02 PM.]

Lucassb
Oct. 26, 2001, 01:44 PM
I am just trying to envision how the USOC could find for anything other than USAE continuing as the NGB...

Is there any word yet on whether they are still planning to wait til mid November to announce their decision?

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

N&B&T
Oct. 26, 2001, 04:31 PM
Another article from Equisearch:

"The envelope please" Nancy Jaffer 10/25 article (http://www.equisearch.com/news/news/2001/10/25/jafferngb1025)

poltroon
Oct. 26, 2001, 07:05 PM
From equisearch:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
"We ought to get off the blame game and fix the problem," said Balch. He explained that under the
plan USAE and USET had been pursuing, the USET would continue to exist with its own board as a foundation with a primary mission to raise money for international high performance activities, and stay headquartered at its Gladstone, N.J., facility. USET committee members would be involved in USAE's International High Performance Committee.

"That whole structure would be insulated from the Great Satan, Alan Balch, or anybody on the national
side by means of a very sophisticated voting provision that would give dedicated identity to the IHPC within the federation," said Balch.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think when you're willing to give quotes comparing yourself to the Great Satan, it's definitely a sign that you've been bending over backward to try to accomodate the other side... /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Come on, Armand! You can do it! Don't let him out-evil you! Surely you might be a teeny eensy bit to blame as well?

Duffy
Oct. 26, 2001, 07:10 PM
Great quote!!!

Speaking of quotes...Portia gave me permission to quote her over on TH, which I have done. She is just so darn intelligent, I wanted to share! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

PMJ
Oct. 26, 2001, 08:14 PM
"Leone maintained, "Alan is not a credible person to deal with. The blame lies at his doorstep.""

That's right and they don't have financial problems either.

Weatherford
Oct. 26, 2001, 08:34 PM
Actually, read Portia's post above, according to their Treasurer, the USET doesn't have financial problems - the USA Eq does!

Having spent much of the weekend with the Forensic Accountant, I can guarentee you that is not the case! Actually, he went through the USA Eq's books as thoroughly as he went through the USET's!. And, no the USA Eq is NOT in financial trouble AT ALL!

poltroon
Oct. 26, 2001, 09:04 PM
I hate it when those minus signs and plus signs get all mixed up like that. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

(Hmmm, if the treasurer really believes that, no wonder the USET books are so screwed up...) /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Were they taking the "high road" by not bringing this up at the USOC hearing? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

How much does their treasurer/accountant/guy-in-charge-of-money make again?

N&B&T
Oct. 27, 2001, 05:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Portia:
...we should not assume that the USOC will be afraid to declare a vacancy. They may do so in hopes that the vacancy will force the two orgs to work together to form the new organization.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

...we'd have to re-name the darn thing! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

N&B&T
Oct. 27, 2001, 05:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Portia:

Assuming (as I must based on the evidence presented) that the USOC cannot name the USET as the NGB because of its financial mismanagement, if nothing else, then the big issues become what happens if the USOC declares a vacancy or puts USA Eq on probation.

The problem with the probation option is that the deficiencies have to be relatively minor ones, and the USOC may well feel that the split in authority to train, fund, and field teams are not minor deficiencies and therefore probation is not an option.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, Portia (and everyone else!), what is your take on these conclusions?

If the decision is probation, and the USET is still an existing organization--then USA Eq cannot avail itself of the expertise of existing USET staffers, etc.

If the USOC manages the sport temporarily, then they can draw from both wells so to speak?

It seems to me (as to many or most of you) that it would be so much better if the two organizations could merge in a spirit of cooperation...there would be a lot gained in that scenario that we might lose otherwise.

The staff and coaching contracts we have heard about are really hard to reconcile with a position which claims it has the best interests of our international and elite competitors in mind.

[This message was edited by NP Fisher on Oct. 27, 2001 at 08:22 AM.]

N&B&T
Oct. 27, 2001, 05:38 AM
I believe the USET is correct when they say their financial situation has been exacerbated (apparently not caused) by their challenge to become NGB. But that fact cannot be laid at any one person's or organization's doorstep--it is inherent in the uncertainty associated with their challenge.

Given what information we have, the idea of an International High Performance Division (with some autonomy, based on the latest statements by AB--anybody else read it that way?) seems preferable to having the USET assume authority and delegate the (other important!) functions they have no interest in to USA Eq as an affiliate member.

The amount of money (mentioned in this week's Chronicle Commentary) that has been spent on this needless dispute is really depressing.

Weatherford
Oct. 27, 2001, 06:21 AM
http://www.chronofhorse.com/features/01/ahsauset.html

canyonoak
Oct. 27, 2001, 08:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Portia:
No, there is no reason for USA Eq not to fully implement its High Performance Division. They would rather do so with the close involvement of the experienced people at the USET, but if that is not to be, it is not to be. To my understanding, while the structure is all in place, it has not fully done so yet only because it has been hoping that it could join together with the USET, and because right after the USET filed the Challenge, Sandra Baldwin of the USOC asked the parties to please try to maintain the status quo, which meant in part not taking over all of the things the USET had been doing.

However, if the USOC were to declare a vacancy, USA Eq would not have any authority to fund or field teams or perform any of the other functions of the NGB. There would simply be no NGB, and no one except the USOC would have that authority. USA Eq could continue to operate and enforce its rules and do drug testing, etc., but for anything deemed to be a core function of the NGB, it would have to report to the USOC.

How things would operate on a daily basis, I don't know. My guess, and that's all it is, is that the USOC would ask USA Eq to continue to govern all the national competitions, do the drug testing, apply the rules, train the officials, etc., and the USET might even keep doing what it does. However, when it comes to "protected competitions" or international competitions, it would all be under the supervision of the USOC and USA Eq wouls have to report to the USOC.

As I understand what happened when the vacancy in shooting was declared, a USOC person (I believe it was Sandra Baldwin, who is now the USOC president) was appointed to act as the person who put that one back together and got a new NGB organized. Certainly, she worked with the existing people and orgs in the sport, but I don't know any details beyond that.

I think, without having gone back to check the USOC Constitution recently, that if a vacancy was declared, what USA Eq could do is get the High Performance Division in gear and every aspect fully functioning, then re-apply to be named the NGB.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

__________________________________________

The above post bears repetition...


OK. Let me understand this.

USAE claims that the USET challenge is illegal, so USOC is now going to make a decision based on an illegal challenge by USET?

Are we seriously on the other side of the rabbit hole?

I think it is time to ask: How much money has USOC received froim USET donors?

There can be little if any other conclusion to draw from the ridiculous events that are unfolding.

It is clear to any sane, reasonable person that USAE , indisputiable, IS and has been the NGB.

I keep trying tpo understand how USOC can consider the USET challenge, and having seen and heard actual facts, continue to dither and delay a decision.

As there are no legal or visible grounds on which to consider the USET challenge, I am left to believe that USOC has been seriousoy compromised somehow in its abiliuty to function and make decisions.

The only compromising point I can come up with is financial or other forms of control.

So I ask again, in caps:

HOW MUCH MONEY HAS GONE FROM USET SPONSORS TO USOC?

I am not raising this pint to be an alarmist.

I have read Weatherford's petition, I have read allk the posts, I have read Portia's clear and indisputable commentary.

I do not know what other conclusion to draw.

Alan Balch resign?

I think it may be time to ask USOC to clean its closets. Again.

Erin
Oct. 27, 2001, 08:34 AM
Canyonoak, I think the USOC has been hoping the AHSA and USET will work something out, so they have been trying to give them some time and leeway for that. So maybe that is the reason for the delay.

canyonoak
Oct. 27, 2001, 09:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Erin:
Canyonoak, I think the USOC has been hoping the AHSA and USET will work something out, so they have been trying to give them some time and leeway for that. So maybe that is the reason for the delay.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


One. I apologize for the sloppiness of my post above..I am really upset over this ridiculous state of affairs.

Two. USOC has given the two organizations plenty of time to achieve settlement--even the appearance of the beginning of the glimmer of a settlement.

USOC's decision was supposed to be made in September--the original meeting was, of course, cancelled and rescheduled for October.

Three. The possibility that USOC could even begin to think in terms of any decision other than allowing USAE to be recognized as NGB is insupportable. There is nothing improper in the way USAE has handled its duties. Including the creation of a BRANCH of itself, named USET, to handle international affairs.

The idea that handling the international aspects of equestrian sport is the equivalent of learning the Egyptian Book of the Dead is... silly.
(there! I've toned myself down<G> )..

Therre are enough people right now at USAE to take over all the duties and functions of USET, and I am willing to take bets that NO ONE would notice the difference.

No one.

Not the horses, not the riders.

Not the sponsors (well, OK, a few of these).

Not USOC.

Not IOC.

Not any of us.


Frankly, it will probably save money..only one organization having fundraisers, contribution drives, Christmas card offers..

cheers

Snowbird
Oct. 27, 2001, 10:32 AM
The facts are what is supposed to be on the table. The USET needed to prove it's case to be NGB. The USAE is already the NGB.

It seems to me like the rest of you that any rational objective person would have to say that they did not prove they were more capable than the USAE. Their whole case was a hypothesis that they might be able to do the job alone since they had always done it with the USAE.

It may be that the USOC is trying to force the issue for settlement but it is blatantly clear the the USET is not interested in any compromise. They were not supposed to use any issues that would change the legal status of either side. The refusal to talk if the law suit was still pending regarding their violation of New Jersey law is definitely in that category. The resignation of Alan Balch was equally irresponsible.

The idea that a person who simply requests that the law and the rules be followed is somehow a villain I find totally unbelievable. And, I ask you if the USET cannot follow rules how will they ever enforce rules? How can ANYONE think that they will enforce rules properly?

Linda Allen
Oct. 27, 2001, 02:09 PM
is that there will be no resolution this weekend. The USOC atty. overseeing this whole process made a short statement that, despite hoping to have been able to announce that the parties had reached agreement, this was not the case. Apparently the hearing panel's decision will be submitted to the USOC Board and both organizations within the next couple of weeks (deadline at the moment remains 11/17 according to the stipulation signed by Armand and Alan in Austin).

Sounds like USOC is still holding out a little bit of hope that reason will prevail and mediation can somehow continue. Every officer of the NF shares that hope, tho the candle is pretty dim since the USET board voted not to continue any discussions unless the terms everyone agreed to in Austin (that neither side be required to prejudice their positions during the course of mediation) were changed.

Armand's latest statement gave the impression that there had been another "suit" filed against the USET by Alan on behalf of the NF. This is not the case, what is being referred to in this way is actually a 'motion for post-judgement relief,' asking the court to look at the actions taken after the court's previous judgment and directions to the USET on what needed/could be done to rectify things (a judgment that voided all actions taken by the USET board this year, including its election of a new board and officers)to see if the last meeting and actions taken actually were done in accordance with the law and those instructions. To not file the motion, or to withdraw it at this time, would be a strong signal to the court that things HAD been done right -- something the NJ attorneys feel strongly is not the case.

The question remains: why was this demand to withdraw the motion NOT an issue in Austin, and became worth ending the mediation over a week + into it - and after a huge amount of work had been done by the mediators, in conjunction with Armand and Alan, to consolidate the two organizations?

Linda Allen

[This message was edited by Linda Allen on Oct. 27, 2001 at 05:17 PM.]

Snowbird
Oct. 27, 2001, 09:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The question remains: why was this demand to withdraw the motion NOT an issue in Austin, and became worth ending the mediation over a week + into it - and after a huge amount of work had been done by the mediators, in conjunction with Armand and Alan, to consolidate the two organizations?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What do you think? I think desperation! Like the guy drowning and trying to grasp at a straw.

JustJump
Oct. 28, 2001, 03:55 AM
<<Armand's latest statement gave the impression that there had been another "suit" filed against the USET by Alan on behalf of the NF. This is not the case, what is being referred to in this way is actually a 'motion for post-judgement relief,' asking the court to look at the actions taken after the court's previous judgment and directions to the USET on what needed/could be done to rectify things [a judgment that voided all actions taken by the USET board this year, including its election of a new board and officers) to see if the last meeting and actions taken actually were done in accordance with the law and those instructions. To not file the motion, or to withdraw it at this time, would be a strong signal to the court that things HAD been done right -- something the NJ attorneys feel strongly is not the case.>>

...that there is a chance we might all wake up one day and have the actions of the USET rolled back to last year by court order? And find that things were back to normal, since the old board, who would now have the benefit of having taken this awful "trip to the future" could make a different decision next time around?

Weatherford
Oct. 28, 2001, 05:54 AM
Well, the actions WERE rolled back, and they tried to have a meeting with the "old board" and neglected to give Jimmy Wofford due notice of the meeting, so he refused to OK it.

Then they had another meeting (where "due notice" was BARELY discernable) where they reinstated their new Board, etc.

The thing is, the judge actually stated - or at least suggested - that all the actions of the past FIVE years were illegal. So, the USET asked their Trustees to BLANKET ratify ALL the things they have done in the past five years. (Alan Balch objected, pointing out that a blanket ratification ignores the implication of there having possibly been individual actions that may have been illegal - so each action should be voted on by itself.) The Board, however, acccepted this in a voice vote. (Don't know how many others objected.)

I don't think the Judge will look upon that too kindly, actually. Of course, that is just IMHO!!!

Groundline
Oct. 28, 2001, 06:30 AM
is what this is all about.

Balch is being publicly subjected to what many, many other former USET trustees, and athletes, and owners, and employees of the past have been subject to -- intimidation -- except it was always before done in private. And the people silently disappeared.

This guy is being protected by only one thing, the way I see it: his board seat is protected by his position in the AHSA. That, and the fact that he must not have anything to lose by going against the attempt to intimidate him, OR nothing to gain by giving in to it.

Also, it shows that the USET fears losing the ability to raise money and do what it has always done to control selection and those things, using the same tactic: intimidation. Intimidation only works when someone is afraid to go public or to be made the subject of public controversy about it.

Look at the people AHSA had at the hearing. People with strong credentials, who spoke for themselves, not for Balsch or anyone else. Compare them with the relatively weak, or unsuspecting, people the USET had for the most part on their side. Can you imagine the evil Balch trying to tell Wofford or Emerson what to think or say? If he ever did, he probably got put down in a hurry. On the USET side, no wonder they are afraid of Balch, with people like Standish and Jenkins the strongest they have. Those people must get paid those high salaries just to take it and do what they are told without speaking up, even when they know it's questionable.

So I think that's what this is all about. Are we going to have a sport that can air its problems openly, without fear of intimidation if we have an idea which someone in power doesn't like? Or not?

DMK
Oct. 28, 2001, 07:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ela:
"Leone maintained, "Alan is not a credible person to deal with. The blame lies at his doorstep.""

That's right and they don't have financial problems either.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yup, Ela... It's really AB's fault you know...

He sneaks into Gladstone late at night and steals their nickels. I mean next thing you know, all the little Whos in Whoville won't have any nickels to get their horse a stall, why that evil Alan Balch, he stole them ALL!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

And that, quite frankly, is the level the USET has taken this down to... That of a small child's tale of greed.

But really, wasn't Seuss so much more entertaining?

Weatherford
Oct. 28, 2001, 11:14 AM
Groundline - you are absolutely correct.

Back in the early /mid 70's there was a successful rider who wound up paying her own way to compete internationally (successfully, I will add) because the USET powers at the time thought her mother's cheering and carrying on when she competed and especially when she won was abhorent. (And that is NOT a rumour, I got that from the USET's mouth at the time.) We all knew it and denied it publically. Intimidation dictated our behaviour at shows - the word was, if she left her mother home, she would be on the Team. (I went off to college and don't know what happened.)

I was appalled then. And am doubly appalled by what is happening now.

And you should hear Denny & Jimmy (and Linda, too, actually) on how they fight with the "evil one"! Makes for great dinner tales! AND they still respect each other; they still work together for the greater good of the sport; they still even LIKE each other! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

They just agree to disagree!! Which is a GOOD think - especially when an open, communicative, and greater sport for ALL is the common goal. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

poltroon
Oct. 28, 2001, 04:51 PM
Great post, Groundline.

vineyridge
Oct. 28, 2001, 07:24 PM
I still want to know what happened several years ago. From something that was posted, I got the impression that there had been a takeover of USET control by some group or other.

Snowbird
Oct. 28, 2001, 07:46 PM
Yep! that's what I've been saying since last year. We make a difference and we can drive the closet rats out in the public area. The "Right to Know" is our weapon as long as we will use it.

Well, to the best of my knowledge under the direction of Burt Denemethy there was a real coach who looked for talent and found horses for the Team.
This subjectivity was offensive to a few who thought they were international talent but were not picked for the Team. If I remember correctly Armand tried for the Australian Team and didn't make it there either! Then they had "Team Leone" and that didn't make it! So there was a law suit in which they demanded the right to be on the Boards of the USET. DeNemethy resigned and left a hole in the program and the computer concept was adopted as an objective way to pick athletes.

We all know any point system by itself only leads to chasing and corruption. The proper way is a balance between the two methods. When the outsiders became the insiders they suddenly changed their appearance. Since they were individuals looking for personal glory and not TEAM GLORY for the USA we developed what we have today.

The issue is what really is best? Is it best to win gold with a Team which seeks personal glory or the old method. In the ancient days with the army in control it was pure merit and Team Attitude because the army is a collective.

I personally think the merit system (qualifying)is good enough to do some general weeding, but it takes a real Team spirit and vision to be "Wonderful".

SGray
Oct. 29, 2001, 07:32 AM
from Coth article
"Balch countered, however, that the lawsuit is significant because of what it charges. Balch asserts that, because the USET did not install a legally elected Board of Trustees until Oct. 10, it could not legally pass bylaws that allowed them to file a challenge to the AHSA�s status as national governing body until, so it had missed the USOC-mandated deadline. According to Balch, the USET�s board was not legally constituted when it decided to file the challenge last February. Therefore, since the board wasn�t legal until Oct. 10, it had missed the deadline for filing a challenge of one year following the Olympics, which ended on Oct. 2, 2000. "

well no wonder the uset is in financial trouble, they cannot even add 2000 + 1 to come up with October 2, 2001 = deadline

man, they must be really pissed at JW and at whomever decided that Jimmy was no longer on the board and so did not need to be notified

Standish, Jenkins and Leone = "Three Stooges"?, well, actually I think Bonnie made the call with the correct information so perhaps that's the wrong lineup

kmoffitt
Oct. 29, 2001, 07:36 AM
Having worked in non-profit, I believe it is normal for the Board President to be a unpaid/volunteer position, while the Executive Director position (now held by Lori Rawls) is a paid staff position.

Actually, it seems to me with Alan standing on the front lines taking all the fire, Lori is able to run the staff and the USAEq without having to deal directly with this mess (this is not saying there is not tremendous impact on the staff and its work!).

I have been very impressed with the upgrade in services and the quality thereof and the increase in markeing of horse sports since Alan came on board. I don't know when his term ends, but I'd like to have him voted him back as President if possible!

Portia
Oct. 29, 2001, 08:09 AM
I don't know all the details, but here's the rough sequence of events as I understand it.

Through the mid-1990's, Jane Clark was president of AHSA and Finn Casperson was chairman of the USET. They all got along fine, and did things the old-fashioned way -- that is, both ran fairly closed orgs that didn't care much for outsiders trying to get involved or having much say in how things were done, and any kind of significant change in the status quo was not acceptable.

In 1996 or 1997, Jane Clark left the presidency of the AHSA, and Alan Balch, who was then vice-president, was elected as the new president. I've heard his election was fairly controversial, because as vice-president he had proved himself to be one who would not "go along just to get along" and who had some independent ideas rather than blindly following what the people who had always been really in charge wanted done. He was also the first president in the 75+ year history of the AHSA to come from anywhere west of Upperville, VA, which ruffled some East Coast feathers.

At the same time, Jane Clark became executive vice-chair (or some equivalent title) of the USET, and she and Finn Casperson ran the roost there.

The AHSA, under Alan Balch as president, started making some big changes -- such as moving the headquarters out of New York City to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, saving the AHSA more than $2 million per year just on rent. Other controversial moves were that they tightened up the D&M rules, started imposing conflict of interest disclosure requirements on board members, and brought AHSA financcial practices into a more open and buisnesslike structure. Perhaps worst of all, Balch and other AHSA directors began actively trying to connect better with the folks who make up the vast majority of the membership, listen to what they wanted and what their concerns were, and to get grassroots people more involved in the organization.

In the meantime, the USET continued business as usual. Other than some positions it was required to reserve for people from related orgs like AHSA, USCTA, USDF, etc., the board was made up almost exclusively of wealthy donors (and horse owners), or their designees. It was also dominated, as it always had been, by people from the East Coast.

As became quite clear from the testimony at the USOC hearing, USET decisions were/are made by a few people at the top without consulting the rest of the board of trustees, and the board was/is expected to rubber-stamp those decisions. It spent/spends more money than it had or expected it would earn in donations or sponsorships, and it depended on wealthy board members to pledge to make up the difference at the end of the year. The majority of the board members were given only superficial financial data.

At some point, I think in the early 1990's or so, the Leone family was among those who sued the AHSA and the USET over the selection processes for showjumping. (They weren't the first to bring that complaint; I believe their suit/arbitration was one of 3 or 4 eventually filed.) Those arbitrations and suits led to the objective computer list and trials selection process. I can't remember exactly, but I think at one point the Leones tried to mount a proxy fight and lost. At some point after that, Armand Leone, Jr. apparently took the approach of trying to gain power from the inside of the USET, and became a trustee and an officer.

It was in 1996 or 1997, after Clark left the AHSA and went to the USET and Balch became AHSA president, that the USET began complaining about its relationship with the AHSA and suggesting that the relationship did not comply with the Sports Act requirements for the NGB. The USET did not like having to be under AHSA supervision and did not like answering to the AHSA about much of anything. Those complaints led to the USOC-brokered Operating Agreement, which expired at the end of February this year.

The Operating Agreement worked for awhile, but as the AHSA made more and more changes, the USET people became more and more uncomfortable with the relationship. When the two sides began discussing an extension of the Operating Agreement, Finn Casperson wrote to the USOC and asked whether the "delegation of authority" by the AHSA to the USET under that agreement complied with the Sports Act and USOC requirements. Given that the Sports Act expressly prohibits any such delegation of authority, the USET's use of those buzz words was guaranteed to, and did, provoke an inquiry by the USOC into whether the AHSA was in compliance with the requirements to be the NGB.

In its statement in the compliance review, the USET argued that it was really the "de facto" NGB and always had been, and that it performed all the core functions of the NGB. The AHSA responded that the USET argument was false and that if the USET chose not to continue performing the functions it had been performing, that the AHSA was prepared to immediately assume all of those functions itself. The USET said that statement was a threat to strip the USET of all its functions, and it filed the NGB challenge.

Anyway, that's the history as I understand it. If I'm wrong, I imagine someone will correct me.

[This message was edited by Portia on Oct. 29, 2001 at 01:59 PM.]

SGray
Oct. 29, 2001, 08:51 AM
so let's set the record straight:

the two areas that the uset are claiming have caused their financial woes, are

a) the fight over NGB status - WAS STARTED BY THE USET

b) the lawsuit in New Jersey court over actions taken by the uset - WAS SIMPLY TO COMPELL THE USET TO COMPLY WITH THE LAWS UNDER WHICH THEY ARE INCORPORATED

am I wrong here?

Weatherford
Oct. 29, 2001, 09:04 AM
Absolutely right, SGray!

Isn't it amazing?! And to think that Portia heard the USET Treasurer say they are NOT $3.8mm in debt, the USE Eq is, is really amazing. (Especially for those of us who listened and spoke to the Forensic Accountant!!)

Talk about "spin" - this is out of control. IMHO!

Portia
Oct. 29, 2001, 10:39 AM
Sorry, Weatherford -- but just so we're all clear, I didn't hear any USET trustee say anything. I did not participate in that meeting in any way, shape, or form. Someone who was there and heard the remark told me about the comment. Also, although it is correct (as told to me) that the source of the comment was the USET Treasurer, in my post I only said it was a Trustee and didn't identify anyone in particular.

As for the causes of the USET's financial problems, in addition to the drop in donations and the costs of litigation, the USET witnesses also testified that a significant reason for the deficit is the conscious decision by the USET Executive Committee several years ago to pass budgets for programs in excess of expected income and to pay for those excesses with capital funds and hoped-for pledges from individual donors (the "Santa Clauses").

Weatherford
Oct. 29, 2001, 10:50 AM
Sorry, Portia!

The point about deficit spending is a good one - especially when the Forensic Accountant pointed out how many "pledges" never really got filled!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

[This message was edited by Weatherford on Oct. 30, 2001 at 11:34 AM.]

poltroon
Oct. 29, 2001, 11:31 AM
What is the story with pledges not getting fulfilled? Were these multi-year pledges where only a part was actually sent, or did people make a practice of making large pledges and not follow through? I am also getting the impression that there were people making *large* pledges that weren't completed, and that these same people did this on multiple occasions?

Weatherford
Oct. 29, 2001, 11:33 AM
Actually, all of those scenarios, Poltroon. But the saddest is the Large pledges that never got colected. Year in and year out.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Snowbird
Oct. 29, 2001, 01:05 PM
During that time Jane did whatever she wanted, if the Board didn't approve she just paid for it herself. I remember on the computer system for example they purchased the wrong kind of programimg and main frame system. But, no one argued because Jane Clark donated the system.

I will say though the conventions while very expensive did start to change during her time as President. The hotels selected did not have central type places where those who attended could collect and mainstream. The program became stilted and closed so that gradually it was pointless for anyone except those on committees to attend.

SGray
Oct. 30, 2001, 06:47 AM
'tis interesting Snowbird, to hear how things were handled in the past

anyone else have recollections?

Snowbird
Oct. 30, 2001, 09:34 AM
I remember before Jane Clark which seems a rare memory these days. Then all the committee meetings were open to audit and the Forum was where we got to be heard. Any private meetings happened before on the first day, and then all the licensed officials had their clinics on a last day. Inbetween there were to open meetings which we could all attend.

The hotel always had this lobby with a bar where we would perch and get to know each other. We'd make plans for dinner and gradually by the end of the convention all the show managers had a chance to meet new officials and find out who would waive traveling expenses or even put together a tour so that the share of the expenses was small enough to be affordable. (AH! yes! those were the days when most horsemen were both smokers and drinkers.)

We were more interested then in enjoying each day to the hilt, instead of just being afraid to die.

Lord Helpus
Oct. 30, 2001, 08:30 PM
I worked for AB in San Francisco in the 1980's when he had the contract to set up simulcasting facilities at the California racetracks.

He is an incredibly intelligent man with a vision. In fact, perhaps he is almost too intelligent for most people ~~ he thinks on a higher plane than many people and can see beyond the immediate details and look at the long term big picture.

Race track owners were afraid that simulcasting would lower attendance at their tracks and were afraid of it. Well, the succeeding 15 years has shown that, even with on track attendance down, simucasting has been a huge boon to race tracks. Alan could see that. Many track owners could not, way back then.

But, it seems to me that history is repeating itself with the FED (or what ever its name is now)/ USET. AB has trouble understanding that others are not as farsighted as he is and he gets frustrated when they do not share his vision. I was friends with a lady who was a department head when the AHSA made the move here and heard blow by blow details of the tension inside the AHSA at that time. know the hackles he could raise and the pro AB camps and Con AB camps that were set up right from the beginning, even within the AHSA.

So, while I admire AB, I also realize that many of his current problems are of his own making ~~ and are a result of management practices that he has developed and has been unable to change, despite not having had success with them over a long period of time.

It is too bad, because he is a brilliant man who is, at the moment, the best option for the future of the FED. But he is not necessarily a good people person. He tends to polarize situations when smoothing ruffled feathers would be more productive.

But there is no way that the FED should be an unpaid position. The FED is big business. It is ridiculous to expect someone to take on such responsibility and devote their life to such an enterprise for free. Only the very wealthy like AB or Jane Clark or the Leone's can afford to do that -- and are they truly representative of the membership and the best leadership available?

We no longer exist in the 1930's when supervising running horse shows was a gentleman's hobby. Nor when sending teams overseas was the province of the army or the very wealthy. One group run by a knowledgable, well paid efficient staff, answerable to the membership for momey spent is the best solution.

SGray
Oct. 31, 2001, 07:55 AM
We'd make plans for dinner and gradually by the end of the convention

ahhh Snowbird - that is such an important part of any gathering - meeting and getting to know new people

I was at an event a while back with a friend of mine - when we got back to the hotel we saw a famous horseman getting into the elevator alone(neither of us had ever met him) - we yelled a greeting to him, he got out, began talking to us and we wound up having dinner with him which was absolutely delightful

Portia
Oct. 31, 2001, 08:00 AM
Pam, I fully agree with you about AB's intelligence and vision. To quote the first President Bush, he definately has "that vision thing." /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I also definately agree with you that the USA Eq presidency should be a paid position. The very fact that someone of the quality and knowledge of Jim Wofford had to quit the job because he couldn't afford to do it shows how much we can lose by effectively limiting the position to only those who are in a financial position to take an unpaid, full-time job for a few years.

However, I have a big question about putting AB in the same category of personal finances with Jane Clark, or even the Leones, however. I don't know any details whatsoever about AB's personal finances -- other than that he works his @#$ off for USA Eq and doesn't get paid a cent -- and everybody's idea of what constitutes financial wealth is different, but I think I can safely say that AB is nowhere near on the same financial plane as them! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

At the USOC hearing, he testified a bit about his background with horses, saying how he grew up in California without any family money, but was lucky enough to be at a place where a kid could find rides and training if he/she was willing to work hard. Then he worked his way through college in part by announcing and organizing shows, got hired by Santa Anita race track, kept working, put on shows along with other jobs, and eventually had enough success and investements to a point where he could afford to become USA Eq President when he was asked to do it. It was in no way a hard luck story, but it did contrast with the histories of many of those on the USET board.

In fact, I think those differences in personal background and economic circumstances among the leaders of the two groups is part of the underlying problem with the clash of cultures between the USET and USA Eq under Balch. You know what they say, "the rich are different" and the USET leadership is nothing if not rich (at least, in their personal finances). /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Weatherford
Oct. 31, 2001, 11:48 AM
http://www.equestrian.org/EquestrianGovernance/index.asp

Including:

USA Eq Report to the Board - Oct 25, 2001

An Open Letter to the USA Eq Trustees from Armand F. Leone, Jr. October 29, 2001

Response to Armand Leone, Jr., From Alan F. Balch, October 30, 2001.

Integration of USET High Performance Function Into USA Equestrian, Interim Pre-Athens, October 23, 2001

Integration of USET High Performance Function Into USA Equestrian, Post-Athens, October 23, 2001

USOC Stipulation and Waiver, October 19, 2001

What I find MOST interesting is that while Armand is stating that his letter is not flammatory, he calls Balch by name 16 times, and mentions the lawsuit 12 times. This, after having SIGNED an agreement not to do this. (Perhaps Portia can explain the legalese better? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

The results of the mediation - to which the USET would not agree - look pretty good to me - except paying the salaries of certain employees til 2004. Nope, I think the ED, and perhaps some others, should be fired. They are highly overpaid, and certainly did NOT prove their worth in Austin.

SGray
Oct. 31, 2001, 02:51 PM
John S = with another excellent piece

http://www.chronofhorse.com/commentary/01/oct26_cmty.html

Snowbird
Oct. 31, 2001, 04:49 PM
It would be really good to get to have dinner with all of you. Much better than the rubber chicken and boring presentations of the formal dinners.

Anyplace exciting in Charlotte? We all had a ball in New Orleans.

A superb summary by Sraussburger. It hits the nail right on the head. I do not find it strange however that the USET has forgotten the other half of the partnership as an equal athlete. Their computer ranking indicates that the athlete with the most horses is superior to the athlete with only one good horse. That alone gives very little merit to the horse and it's talent for the combination. Once again in another aspect it is only the most prolific not necessarily the best that we have to offer.

Dealer
Oct. 31, 2001, 06:50 PM
Leone attacks Balch for what he calls his "personal lawsuit".

Bach always ignores the attack and defends the AHSA position.

I am confused, can someone clarify why the "personal suit" was filed and not an "AHSA" suit??

SoEasy
Oct. 31, 2001, 06:57 PM
Because Alan filed as a trustee of the USET to make them follow the laws of the State of New Jersey (state of incorporation). He is a trustee - AHSA/USA Equestrian would have no standing to file such a suit.

Weatherford
Nov. 1, 2001, 07:38 AM
What people seem to forget is that a TRUSTEE of any corporation is PERSONALLY repsonsible/liable for mis-managment and fraud. Yes, they are covered by Trustees' insurance - but that is (IMHO) not the point.

The point is, Alan Balch (and other USET Trustees) are BY LAW entitled to view the fiscal records of the USET. And that viewing was repeatedly DENIED by the USET. For what are now obvious reasons.

Without that lawsuit, we would have continued to speculate about the USET's fiscal mismanagment, which we now now as a fact. We would have not known about the depletion of the Capital Fund as well as the Limited Endowment. We would not have known that the USET only has enough money to make it through another two months. We would not have known about pledges that aren't filled, accrual vs cash accounting, and other problems with the books.

I, for one, am disturbed that Mr. Balch requested that the judge's REVIEW of the USET (which is not a lawsuit; he already WON that - it is a check to see if the USET did what they were supposed to do!) be delayed til after the 17th. He did that on the GOOD FAITH that negotiations would really be happening - instead, they are NOT happening, Mr Leone is, IMHO, trying to incite the AHSA trustees with SPIN, and the USOC won't hear from the Judge that the USET still has problems.

YUK!

[This message was edited by Weatherford on Nov. 01, 2001 at 07:55 PM.]

Lucassb
Nov. 1, 2001, 07:56 AM
Indeed it was an excellent summary, and very sad.

However, there is reason to hope that all of this will be resolved one way or another in the next few weeks - either a settlement will be negotiated (though it seems unlikely now) or the USOC will hand down a decision and we will go on from there. As Portia has reminded us a few times, there are only four possibilities if the USOC decides, and maybe now is the time to start thinking and planning how each one might be handled in the best manner possible.

FWIW, I personally hope that the Fed is either affirmed as the NGB, or is retained as the NGB on a probational basis - in which case, I think it is likely that the proposed International High Performance Division better be geared up in a hurry. If that happens, it will need a lot of support from all of us to succeed.

I don't understand enough about what the reality would look like if the USOC declares a vacancy and undertakes to run the sport until another governing group can be established, but maybe someone here knows more and can fill me in. Presumably there would be quite a number of issues to address and communicate to everyone involved.

If the USET is named NGB, (admittedly a prospect that scares me given the facts which have come to light about their financial condition and management, not to mention the attitude of entitlement and exclusivity which has pervaded their statements) I am not sure what the effect will be on "the rest of us." But I'd like to hear more about it, and think we should all be prepared that it COULD possibly happen.

By the way, I believe TODAY is the last day to forward your request to add your signature to the Open Letter to the USOC if you wish to participate. Contact Weatherford if you wish to be included. If anyone needs a copy of the letter to review, email me and I will be happy to provide you with the text.

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

Snowbird
Nov. 1, 2001, 07:32 PM
I am an advocate of the power of positive thinking, I cannot and will not believe that your suggestion of the USET as NGB is even possible in an upside down world.

There is no way that reasonable people that are concientious and thinking could ever make such a decision.

It is organization of the International Division we must consider. I hope you all will be at the convention when these plans are proposed and implemented.

Lucassb
Nov. 2, 2001, 08:00 AM
Yes, I will be at the convention. I hope by then we are all celebrating the early success of the Intl. High Performance Division.

However, while I also believe in the power of positive thinking, I am a realist and frankly I think it is important to be prepared for any of the four possible outcomes.

It is POSSIBLE that the USET could be named the NGB, although in my personal opinion, it's unlikely. I would be very disappointed and concerned if that happened, but that wouldn't stop me from trying to make the best of what I'd consider a bad situation.

To fail to plan for such an eventuality is foolish. If the Fed is named the NGB, great - perhaps some planning efforts will be "wasted." If not, then having that "plan B" will be very important.

I have seen very little (no) discussion of what the go-forward plans for the sport are under each possible scenario, and I think that it is important to start thinking about the impact each possible decision would have.

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

Lucassb
Nov. 2, 2001, 05:58 PM
C'mon guys - I know we've discussed this topic a lot, but surely *somebody* knows what will happen if a vacancy is declared... or if, God Forbid, the USET is named NGB??

Anyone?????

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

Weatherford
Nov. 2, 2001, 11:26 PM
HEY - you have til MONDAY to get your names & addresses to me for this petition!!!

PLEASE SIGN!!!!

brilyntrip
Nov. 3, 2001, 05:03 PM
I have to admit that without any inside info I had thought just what BOSTONIAN had suggested that the fix was in.
This whole mess has seemed just too oppositional on USET part for me to believe that they (uset) know something we don't.
And yes I agree that AB has a really poor set of "people skills" I can think of no one who can pi@@ people off so badly.

Groundline
Nov. 4, 2001, 06:19 AM
Yes, so-called "people skills" are sometimes difficult to blend with standing for principle and real fairness and honesty in a sport that seems to have been based on other principles in some quarters.

The first I remember reading about him was when he was bashed for trying to get the drug rule straightened out, and naturally the people who liked to give their horses any amount of Ketophen, and still show, buy, and sell their lame horses who just deserved a rest, didn't think his "people skills" were too hot.

Balsch is probably just like the rest of us. Not saint, not satan, just doing the best he can. He may not have great "people skills," I don't really know, because so many people seem to talk about him who have never met him. But he must have some kind of quality as an individual not to respond in kind to all the personal bashing he has taken. That probably just drives the bashers more nuts, every time he turns the other cheek.

Portia
Nov. 5, 2001, 08:34 AM
I wish I had some insight, but I'm at a loss about what Plan B would or should be. I can make an educated guess about what may happen if either a vacancy is declared or if the USOC names the USET as the new NGB.

First, in either of those events, USA Eq would likely file for arbitration. The USOC Constitution provides for arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) in accordance with its domestic Commercial Arbitration Rules.

The arbitration would be before a panel of 3 neutral arbitrators, selected and appointed in accordance with AAA rules. (For those familiar with the system of having 2 non-neutral, party-appointed arbitrators and 1 neutral, that would not apply in this case because it is not specifically provided for in the USOC arbitration provision and under the AAA Commercial Rules, all arbitrators are neutral unless designated otherwise in the parties' arbitration agreement.) The parties do have input into selection of the arbitrators, but the final say is with the AAA.

The arbitration will essentially be a "de novo" proceeding -- that is, the Arbitrators are not bound by any prior rulings of the USOC and can make their own determination of the issues presented. In the case of the USOC having declared a vacancy, the issue presented would be whether, in fact, USA Eq does not meet the requirements to be the NGB such that the vacancy is justified. In hte case of the USOC having declared the USET as the new NGB, the issue would be whether the USET meets its burden of proving that the USET meets all of the requirements to be the NGB and that either USA Eq does not meet those requirements or that the USET better meets them.

After the Arbitration Panel is appointed, there will be briefing by the parties followed by an evidentiary hearing. It is unlikely that the evidentiary hearing will be as truncated as was the hearing before the USOC panel -- that is, it is likely to be much longer and go into far more detail, with many more witnesses testifying. Following the hearing, the parties will file closing briefs discussing the evidence presented and how it impacts the issues before the Panel. Finally, the Panel will issue a written Award stating their decision on the issues presented.

As a practical matter, the arbitration decision is likely to be final. Under the Federal Arbitration Act, there are certain very narrow bases for challenging an arbitration award, but such challenges are seldom successful.

Lucassb
Nov. 5, 2001, 12:13 PM
It does make me feel a bit better that there will at least be an opportunity to put the issue before totally disinterested, neutral parties if the decision goes against the Fed as NGB.

I suppose at this point it is likely to go to arbitration either way as both parties have the option of an appeal to this process?

The whole thing does sound quite involved to me, so I guess it may be quite a while before the issue is REALLY resolved. <sigh>

**********
To appreciate heaven well
'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
Will Carleton (1845-1912)

Snowbird
Nov. 5, 2001, 07:24 PM
I heard a rumor from people who say they know for a fact that the envelope was empty! This is all a ploy to try and effect an arbitration. They didn't know for sure but they thought the USOC would go for keeping the existing NGB on the basis that the contestant had not proved their case.

Gossip is afterall gossip, but since we've all been privy to the gossip from the other side that a fix was in, I thought this was rather reassuring to contemplate that justice will win in the end.

vineyridge
Nov. 6, 2001, 05:59 AM
This struck me as a possible USOC strategy for resolving the contretemps.

Declare the position of NGB vacant. Both organizations start scurrying around for a resolution. The USET, having no further reason for existence, would have to dissolve (financial difficulties) of become a willing merger partner with AHSA.

AHSA goes ahead and creates and implements its high performance division, gets everything in place, with or without the USET, and refiles for NGB, based on its experience, etc.

The USOC would have a year or so to clean up the selection process and harmonize US practices with FEI practices.

I would think that if the USOC bounced them both, an arbitrator would uphold the decision. Any other decision would be messy.