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Portia's Report from the USOC meeting

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  • Has anybody seen anything yet about whether the USOC Executive Committee has ruled on anything?

    The longer they go without ruling, maybe they'll see that the sky did not fall on Monday after the Operating Agreement expired and business as usual continued.
    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


    • The sky did not fall down! The athletes are happily competing in Florida. The sun still comes up, however this new blizzard? nah! I'm sure it isn't because the USET is no longer a member of the Operating Agreement.

      I did hear a rumor that there is a For Sale sign up on Hamilton Farm. But, I'm certain if they lose their headquarters Alan Balch will make room for them in Kentucky, and I know the New Jersey Horse Park would welcome them. So, the world is still spinning on it's axis, and, it's been a whole week since they became FREE!
      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


      • at the job you did on reporting all this! You gave us so much info to digest....

        What's next?


        • Weeble - just my thoughts on your concerns regarding a merger... This would be an area where I have spent most of my professional life (talk about a warped life!)

          Unfortunately, after working on a LOT of mergers, acquisitions, consolidations and other alliances; I think the only way the AHSA and USET would have a succesful future relationship is if one of the chiefs steps down and disappears.

          That sounds obvious enough, but I have seen "face saving" arrangements put in place in merger situations like this (see DaimlerChryseler" for a really good example of failure in action [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ). The only problem is that the people will continue to hold allegience to the old powers, and this can quickly drive the organization into total paralysis. And trust me, when the people who really do run the organization cease to be functional, it's a tough place to recover from...

          If one of the leaders leaves - and I do mean they are gone, not subordinate, then most people adjust to the situation pretty quickly. A few will leave, and that is generally a good thing for all concerned. You can overcome a loss of talent, you can't overcome a bad attitude...
          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


          • What would really be interesting is the following - extremely hypothetical and 99.099% unlikely - scenario:

            The AHSA and USET somehow come to an agreement to work towards a merger of both orgs into a new org...

            Both organizations would have to do due diligence... provide many, many, many financial pages for the number crunchers to pore over - among a myriad of other things to be pored over.

            No more reticence. No more hesitancy. No more silence. No more murky statements and refusal to produce documents. Everything out on the table.

            The USET has been the poster child of murkiness, so far. Think that will change?

            [i]\"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be wo


            • Funny thing about mergers... both parties have to agree that this is what they both want... at least until the documents are signed! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

              Have to admit, this would be one merger I would really enjoy doing DD on!
              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


              • It seems to me that what needs to happen is that those in the USET since they're the ones who refused to do a merger, need a majority to vote for the merger. Then the established personalities believing that life will not go on without them will resign and as you say disappear.

                The question is how to get that majority vote. If the California athletes are opposed and wish the merger they could be the moving force to change the attitude first from the inside. It depends on how the vote is held. For example if it stays within the grip of the old guard and therefore the Board of Directors who are all the heavy hitters the chance is nill. But, if there was an honest open vote of all the athletes there would be a shot.

                The real question is to make it a secret ballot since they have all invested a great deal of time and money in their careers and might feel pressured to vote with the USET establishment.
                http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                • Just moving them back up to page 1. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                  http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                  • since the Operating Agreement expired, and the sky has not fallen yet. The sun is still coming up at Gladstone and the USET continues to be operating as usual.

                    Hopefully the USOC has taken a "wait and see" approach to how to handle the USET claims of irreparable harm and its demand for emergency action. The longer the USOC waits, the more they will see that the Operating Agreement was not the foundation of the USET and it having expired did not send the equestrian world into a tailspin.
                    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                    • The question is mute to the extent that the AHSA is as of now the NGB. If they comply there will be no grounds to replace them.

                      So, to me the issue is simple in that the athletes who are the issue can participate in the proposed AHSA International Committees. There doesn't seem to be any reason why they must choose between the AHSA and the USET.

                      The AHSA has put in place the necessary funding and staff and I would suppose they could also participate in the USET as a private club which assists them.

                      Or is this not true?

                      To me in a worse case scenario there might be some duplication. For the next 3 years at least the issue is simply fielding teams to go to Europe and compete for the experience. If the team desires to go and is turned down, they might be funded by the other group. Certainly, as someone else posted Kentucky would not be a bad place to have as home base for our athletes.

                      Is there any reason why the AHSA could not employ George Morris to coach it's international riders?
                      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                      • With the new releases I thought some new comers might want to read this thread. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                        http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                        • In case you haven't seen it, between them both parties have now posted the relevant correspondence concerning the USOC decision on the USET's claim that the sport would suffer irreparable harm if the Operating Agreement was not extended.

                          Some of the correspondence and the USOC Executive Committee's letter with its decision are on the AHSA web site at http://www.ahsa.org/EquestrianGovernance/index.html

                          The rest of it is now on the USET web site at http://www.uset.org/disciplines/spi/spi.cfm
                          "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                          • Thank you very much, Portia! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                            • That the ongoing soap opera is on a commercial break. I am looking forward to seeing the plans of the AHSA to comply with the USOC during this waiting time for another decision.

                              I'm also looking forward to seeing how the USET would plan to operate if by some chance they won and still be in compliance with USOC. There has been no evidence so far as to how they would solve some of the major difficulties that would occur if by some chance they won.

                              My old Momma always told me "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it!".
                              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                              • By my calculations, if the USET challenge that was filed on Feb. 22 was received by the AHSA that day, then the AHSA's response will be due tomorrow, March 14, 20 days after receipt of the challenge. However, the time periods run from the date of actual receipt, so if the AHSA did not actually receive the challenge until Feb. 23 or Feb. 24, the response date would be pushed back to March 15 or 16. The AHSA will have to file either a jurisdictional objection or an answer to the challenge.

                                I don't have any idea whether either of the parties will make such pleadings public or not, though I believe they should be under the USOC rules that state the challenge proceedings shall be open to the public. The pleadings might be something that would have to be obtained from the USOC though, and I don't know under what terms.
                                "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                • With everything that has occured with the hoof & mouth in europe, could this be why things seemed to have slowed down?


                                  • Possibly, but I think its the calm before the storm. The AHSA is undoubtedly getting its response together, either its answer or its jurisdictional objections, while the USET is waiting to see what the AHSA will do.

                                    There's an interesting letter from Mark Weissbecker in the March 9 COTH Letters to the Editor. He says his name should not have been on the USET full page ad that was in the COTH as someone supporting the USET plan to become the NGB. He also says he "knows of others who were surprised to see their names included in this USET open letter."

                                    The USET attached that ad as an exhibit to its Challenge pleading as proof in support of its express claim that "the active athletes overwhelmingly support the USET's USA Equestrian proposal."

                                    (Had to edit. I spelled Mark Weissbecker's name wrong.)

                                    [This message was edited by Portia on Mar. 13, 2001 at 03:52 PM.]
                                    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                    • I originally posted this on "The USOC Decision Is In" thread, but I think it really belongs here with all the other summaries. Sorry for the repeat --

                                      I've obtained a copy of the USET challenge pleading (the one the USOC offered to give me at the meeting, but they weren't sure they had enough copies). It is a typical entirely one-sided legal pleading -- can't blame them for that at all; that's how the game is played. Some of the claims in it make clear what the USET sees as the big problem between it and the AHSA - The USET does not like having to answer to the AHSA.
                                      The USET's basic claim is "the USET should be formally recognized by the USOC as the NGB for equestrian sport in the United States in that the USET has been serving as the de facto NGB for equestrian sport in the United States, despite the fact that the AHSA, for purely historical reasons, has retained the title of NGB."

                                      The USET claims: "Whereas the AHSA, as a founding member of the FEI, was recognized as the National Federation for equestrian sport in the United States, with jurisdiction over the many breeds and disciplines competing nationally, its main concern, as its very name indicates, was (and continues to be) the administration of horse shows and rule-making for the 26 or so breeds/disciplines competing domestically; while it was the USET which concentrated on developing, training, selecting and funding of coaches and horse/rider combinations for competitions in the internationally recognized equestrian disciplines, including the Olympic disciplines of Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping." ...

                                      The USET's version of the history of how the dispute developed starts with the 1984 Olympics and a dispute between the organizations over which one should get the LA Games surplus to be distributed to equestrian. It mentions that in 1988 that while the USET developed the selection procedure, because of its official NGB status the AHSA became involved in and defended two arbitrations brought by athletes pursuant to the Sports Act complaining about the procedures. The USET's version continues:

                                      "Events in 1990 further exacerbated the increasingly tentative relationship between the two organizations. A show jumping candidate challenged the selection procedures for the show jumping team for the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. Instead of proceeding through arbitration under the Sports Act, the athlete chose to challenge the USET and the AHSA in the courts. Although the USET and the AHSA prevailed, from the point forward the AHSA took the position that as the 'official' NGB for the sport, the AHSA was to have oversight and final approval over all USET actions that might involve the AHSA as NGB."

                                      The pleading then mentions how in 1991 the AHSA ceased its financial support of the USET when it removed the $1 per member fee that went to the USET. It also complains that "in 1992, an Olympic year, the AHSA demanded, for the first time, that all USET selection procedures henceforth be approved by AHSA legal counsel and the AHSA Executive Committee. ..." The pleading then continues with what, it seems to me, is the heart of the USET's complaints:

                                      "Beginning in January 1997, the AHSA, through its new leadership, and perhaps as a result of inquiries received from the USOC Membership and Credentials Committee concerning the AHSA's claimed status as NGB, became increasingly protective about the outward trappings for its NGB status. Even though the AHSA was still content to let the USET continue to perform the primary functions of a NGB in developing, training, equipping, fielding and funding the equestrian athletes who represent the United States in international competition, the AHSA insisted that it exercise responsibility with respect to a number of NGB functions:

                                      (a) the receipt of invitations to all international competitions;

                                      (b) the submission of entries with respect to such competitions;

                                      (c) the development and approval of selection procedures; and

                                      (d) hearings involving grievances of, or complaints against, USET athletes.

                                      In addition, the AHSA insited that it designate representatives to sit on the USOC Board and the FEI, despite its non-involvement with the development, training, selection and funding of athletes, and horses at the international level.

                                      In short, the AHSA, despite its traditional non-involvement in NGB functions, began insisting, through its newly-elected President that it interface between the USET and USOC ...."

                                      The USET pleading does not mention that the 1997 USOC inquiry into the NGB compliance and the interest of the M&C Committee was directly prompted by the letters from Jane Clark and DD Matz apparently complaining that the AHSA was not in compliance with NGB requirements. It seems the USET is complaining that the AHSA took action to correct the complained-of deficiencies, when the USET management was the one who raised the issues with the USOC in the first place as part of its efforts to be made the NGB.

                                      The USET pleading implies that prior to 1997 it handled such things as international entries and grievance and discipline procedures, when in fact the AHSA has always been responsible for and has always performed those tasks, before, during, and after the Operating Agreement.

                                      The USET pleading also expressly argues that the USOC staff "deal[s] directly with the USET as the de facto NGB for the sport. For example, the USOC continues to send grant money directly to the USET."

                                      The only reason the USOC sent money directly to the USET was because of the terms of the Operating Agreement. Such contentions by the USET make it apparent, to me at least, why the AHSA could not agree to extend the OA, since the USET was using the arrangement it provided as a primary basis of its claim that the "AHSA is the NGB in name only." (Pursuant to the USOC Executive Committee decision, following the expiration of the Operating Agreement, the money now goes to the AHSA for distribution to the USET.)
                                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                      • <<There's an interesting letter from Mark Weissbacker in the March 9 COTH Letters to the Editor. He says his name should not have been on the USET full page ad that was in the COTH as someone supporting the USET plan to become the NGB. He also says he "knows of others who were suprised to see their names included in this USET open letter.">>

                                        Hmmmm, glad he wrote to the COH, but let's hope he also wrote to the USOC.


                                        • I wonder how many fo the others were taken for granted and put on the list? And, I wonder how well informed they were of the whole situation?
                                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org