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What the HELL Does the USOC Think It's Doing Now?

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  • What the HELL Does the USOC Think It's Doing Now?

    This just in -- the USOC is now trying to undo its Final Order in the NGB Challenge and re-open the hearing!

    The USOC, supposedly at the request of the Hearing Panel itself, has sent around a Resolution to its Board members recommending that they rescind their Final Order adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Hearing Panel on the NGB Challenge. You know, the Final Order that they adopted in June, and the one that USA Eq filed the arbitration on that is now pending at the AAA.

    The Resolution says that the arbitration demand raises "important questions and issues" that weren't addressed in the hearing, and that they think those issues should be addressed by the USOC rather than a panel of arbitrators.

    Good lord, as if USA Eq didn't BEG these people to reconsider their order, and BEG them to reopen the hearing to consider these issues before they filed the arbitration! The USOC summarily rejected each of those requests.

    As far as I can tell, pretty much every issue raised in the arbitration demand is something USA Eq has raised with the USOC in the course of the proceedings. Everything from the USOC's refusal to give USA Eq a copy of the initial letters from D.D. Matz and Jane Clark that started the whole inquiry, and the secret meetings between the USET and USOC, and the violations of the requirements of the statute and due process -- USA Eq raised them, and the USOC rejected those objections. Now that the USOC's mistakes are all about to be made very public, they want to go back and have another chance to re-write history.

    This is my favorite line from the Resolution: "One concern is that if these issues, many of which have never been presented to the USOC, are heard in the first instance by the AAA, there may be delays and costs that will further challenge the sport of equestrian and interefere with the USOC's ability to perform its obligations with respect to the sport of equestrian and equestrian athletes while the dispute is pending before the AAA."

    Translation: There is going to be a lot of dirty laundry aired in this thing that is going to trash our reputation even more than it already is, and we need to do everything we can to try to cover it up and keep it quiet.

    There is no way in hell that the USOC going back and re-opening the hearing and starting the process all over again will make anything move faster or prevent delay, and they know it. It will just drag things out longer. Once the Arbitrators issue their Final Award, that's it; it's all over and done. Which seems to be exactly what the USOC is afraid of.

    Not to mention where the hell the USOC thinks it has the right or power to "re-assert jurisdiction" over the dispute. There's nothing in the Sports Act or the USOC Constitution that says the USOC has the right to go back and do anything once the case is in arbitration. The USOC lost its jurisdiction the moment USA Eq filed its arbitration demand.

    Call me cynical, but I don't think for an instant that they want to go back and give USA Eq a fair shake. They just want to try to cover up their obvious mistakes and blatant failures to follow the law and find a less egregiously improper way to reach the same result.

    "I'm designed for sitting. That's why my butt is covered in soft fur." Dogbert
    "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
  • Original Poster

    #2
    This just in -- the USOC is now trying to undo its Final Order in the NGB Challenge and re-open the hearing!

    The USOC, supposedly at the request of the Hearing Panel itself, has sent around a Resolution to its Board members recommending that they rescind their Final Order adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Hearing Panel on the NGB Challenge. You know, the Final Order that they adopted in June, and the one that USA Eq filed the arbitration on that is now pending at the AAA.

    The Resolution says that the arbitration demand raises "important questions and issues" that weren't addressed in the hearing, and that they think those issues should be addressed by the USOC rather than a panel of arbitrators.

    Good lord, as if USA Eq didn't BEG these people to reconsider their order, and BEG them to reopen the hearing to consider these issues before they filed the arbitration! The USOC summarily rejected each of those requests.

    As far as I can tell, pretty much every issue raised in the arbitration demand is something USA Eq has raised with the USOC in the course of the proceedings. Everything from the USOC's refusal to give USA Eq a copy of the initial letters from D.D. Matz and Jane Clark that started the whole inquiry, and the secret meetings between the USET and USOC, and the violations of the requirements of the statute and due process -- USA Eq raised them, and the USOC rejected those objections. Now that the USOC's mistakes are all about to be made very public, they want to go back and have another chance to re-write history.

    This is my favorite line from the Resolution: "One concern is that if these issues, many of which have never been presented to the USOC, are heard in the first instance by the AAA, there may be delays and costs that will further challenge the sport of equestrian and interefere with the USOC's ability to perform its obligations with respect to the sport of equestrian and equestrian athletes while the dispute is pending before the AAA."

    Translation: There is going to be a lot of dirty laundry aired in this thing that is going to trash our reputation even more than it already is, and we need to do everything we can to try to cover it up and keep it quiet.

    There is no way in hell that the USOC going back and re-opening the hearing and starting the process all over again will make anything move faster or prevent delay, and they know it. It will just drag things out longer. Once the Arbitrators issue their Final Award, that's it; it's all over and done. Which seems to be exactly what the USOC is afraid of.

    Not to mention where the hell the USOC thinks it has the right or power to "re-assert jurisdiction" over the dispute. There's nothing in the Sports Act or the USOC Constitution that says the USOC has the right to go back and do anything once the case is in arbitration. The USOC lost its jurisdiction the moment USA Eq filed its arbitration demand.

    Call me cynical, but I don't think for an instant that they want to go back and give USA Eq a fair shake. They just want to try to cover up their obvious mistakes and blatant failures to follow the law and find a less egregiously improper way to reach the same result.

    "I'm designed for sitting. That's why my butt is covered in soft fur." Dogbert
    "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

    Comment


    • #3
      Gotta love it. Pay them lawyers!

      Comment


      • #4
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Once the Arbitrators issue their Final Award, that's it; it's all over and done. Which seems to be exactly what the USOC is afraid of.
        <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
        I agree completely. Just when you think things can't get more ridiculous...

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Portia! I take it you needed to vent a bit? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

          Walking on water is my specialty, making wine out of it is an art. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

          Comment


          • #6
            force them to follow an arbitration procedure?

            Sorry, I am an intelligent human being, but at this point in time all I can do in response to more of this is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

            Don't we have more important things to worry about? Like keeping Peter Wylde on Fien Cara? Like the reconstruction of our fall indoor season? Like preserving the Maclay finals? Like tweaking the Pony Jumper division? Like educating everyday course designers? Like finding a way to lower entry fees? ENOUGH ALREADY!!

            Comment


            • #7
              USA Equestrian, Inc.
              4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511-8483 Tel: (859) 258-2472 Fax
              (859) 231-6662 Web site: www.equestrian.org
              NEWS RELEASE
              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
              September 23, 2002

              HEARING PANEL ASKS U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE TO WITHDRAW ITS DECISION AGAINST
              USA EQUESTRIAN
              Panel Seeks To Reopen Hearing On The Governance Of Equestrian Sports

              USA Equestrian, the national governing body for equestrian sports in the United States, learned late last Friday that the United States Olympic
              Committee was asked earlier last week to revoke its recent decision adopting the Report and Recommendation of a USOC hearing panel, and to reopen the hearing on the current dispute over the governance of equestrian sports.

              Last year, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) asked the USOC to decertify USA Equestrian as the national governing body for horse sports in
              the U.S. After a hearing last fall before a panel of five USOC board members, the panel recommended that unless USA Equestrian and USET agree to some new structure for governing the sport, the position of national governing body would be declared vacant. The Board of Directors adopted this Report and Recommendation as the official decision of the USOC on August 2, 2002. After repeated refusals by the USET to engage in
              negotiations, USA Equestrian formally asked that the dispute be resolved in a public hearing before the American Arbitration Association, as provided by federal law.

              Upon reading the Demand for Arbitration filed by USA Equestrian on August 30, the USOC hearing panel and the USOC General Counsel's office have
              determined that the serious issues raised by USA Equestrian "should be considered in the first instance by the USOC, not by arbitrators selected by the AAA." Accordingly, they have submitted a resolution asking the Board of Directors of the USOC to withdraw its August 2 decision "as if it had never been issued." The USOC Board will vote on this request by mail ballot due on September 25, 2002.

              USA Equestrian is evaluating the proposed resolution and its potential impact on the pending arbitration and related litigation. A copy of the resolution can be reviewed on the USA Equestrian web site at www.equestrian.org/EquestrianGovernance/index.asp.
              ENDS

              Comment


              • #8
                Not surprising, though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  just when you think it can't get anymore rancorous, nasty and idiotic....we had always donated generously, but them days are gone forever. The usoc and the uset are an embarrassment.
                  www.judyreenesinger.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I won't be renewing my USAEq membership or sending any donations for a LONG TIME, precisely because these childish whiners can't play nice and do what's in the best interests of horse sports. I hope they hear me and the others who are "talking with their checkbooks". [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]

                    I say give a representative from each foolish, selfish party a can of silly string and let them have at it...last one standing wins! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                    "If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
                    www.deltawave.homestead.com
                    www.seeliecourt.homestead.com
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This whole pantomime has the makings of a great TV soap opera along the lines of "Dallas". It's all about ego, power, privilege and influence. Everybody seems to have enough money to keep hiring lawyers, so money per se is not the issue; preservation of tax deductions may be.

                      The "good old boys and girls" of the USOC, or perhaps their paid help, have realized, finally, how exposed they are, having played fast and loose with their own bylaws and the Amateur Sports Act. They can't schmooze the Federal Courts in quite the way they can other institutions. The risk of losing control is now quite high.

                      It's my opinion that this maneuver is an attempt to keep the issue out of Federal Court. In my "Theory of a Quiet Life" some regulatory and oversight authorites prefer not to get involved in contentious issues and would rather somebody else solved these kinds of problems. By appearing conciliatory the USOC may be hoping (or may petition) that the Federal Courts will kick the issue back to them (the USOC). Much of the legal system operates on precedent and this is the first case of this kind (NGB bun fight) to get this far. If the Federal Court establishes the initial precedents for this case a whole bunch of other cozy arrangements the USOC may have will be up for challenge.

                      I am not a lawyer, I am only a cynic
                      [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] !

                      [This message was edited by His Greyness on Sep. 23, 2002 at 03:13 PM.]
                      ------------------------------------------------------------
                      But all the finest horsemen out—the men to Beat the Band—
                      You’ll find amongst the crowd that ride their races in the Stand

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My impression from the whole thing is that it's USET and USOC who aren't playing nice... If I understand what Portia reported, the USOC is now wanting to do what USA Eq. asked them to do months ago but wouldn't because it wasn't in their (USOC's) interests. Now that there has been a request for arbitration, which would remove control from the USOC, it IS in their best interests to address USA Eq.'s concerns.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by beameup:
                          The usoc and the uset are an embarrassment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                          And USAEquestrian isn't? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I find it incredibly revealing that in this new resolution the USOC hearing committee admits "The report and recommendations of the Hearing Panel and the decision of the USOC Board of Directors to adopt those recommendations were issued on the assumption that there would be a negotiated resolution between USAE and USET. It now appears that such a resolution is not likely."

                            Hello? Since when was it ever the Hearing Panel's job to assume there would be a settlement and to issue an order designed to force that to happen? Their job was to examine the merits of the dispute and decide the issues presented based upon the facts and the law. They now basically admit they failed to do that and want some kind of do-over. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                            The following sequence of statements and admisstions is also very revealing:

                            They first point out that "The Hearing Panel did not limit its decision to ruling on the Challenge submitted by the USET, but also considered the dispute as if a Complaint had been filed against USAE under Article VII, Section 1 of the USOC Constitution."

                            A few paragraphs later, that is followed by: "Given the likelihood that USAE and USET will not reach a resolution, and in light of certain issues raised in USAE's demand for arbitration, in consideration of the fact that a Complaint against USAE by an athlete has subsequently been filed, and in light of the fact that it is in the best interests of the equestrian athletes that the matter be resolved quickly, it is the view of the Hearing Panel that the USOC should attempt to resolve this dispute."

                            Finally, they recommend that the USOC withdraw the order as if it had never been made, reassert jurisdiction, and reopen the hearing. Then the immediately make a point of stating: "In the meantime, the USOC Membership and Credentials Committee will remain free to perform its obligations with respect to the sport of equestrian, as with all sports." Then the resolution itself pointedly states that "the Resolution shall not be interpreted to limit or restrain the proper functioning of the USOC or the USOC Membership and Credentials Committee in accordance with the Act and the USOC Constitution and Bylaws."

                            Translation:

                            We really screwed up when we tried to turn this thing into a Complaint rather than a Challenge in the final order, and ordered them to try to create a new organization. We had to do that, because the remedies we were allowed to come up with in connection with a Challenge are very clearly spelled out in the Sports Act, and we went waaaaaay beyond them. We couldn't just make the USET the NGB outright because it was in such bad financial shape and had such problems even we wouldn't try to get away with that.

                            So, it's pretty clear that we're going to lose big time in this arbitration, since there isn't much question that we didn't bother to follow the law. But now, Gunter Seidel (who rides for Dick Brown, USET Treasurer), has very conveniently filed a Complaint and the Membership and Credentials Committee (contrary to its stated policy that it will not pursue a compliance review while an NGB Challenge is pending) has started a compliance review based on that Complaint. So, if we jerk this thing out of arbitration and out of the court, and we stall the Challenge long enough, then the M&C Committee can do the compliance review and issue an order based on the Complaint that does what we want to do, which is try to put the screws on USA Eq and put the power in the hands of our friends at the USET.

                            Of course, that's just my personal cynical opinion. I could be wrong.
                            "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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by yd:
                              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by beameup:
                              The usoc and the uset are an embarrassment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                              And USAEquestrian isn't? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                              <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                              Well, I'm not embarrased by USA Eq. Your Mileage May Vary! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                              USOC: "Oh, you meant for us to READ all those documents you faxed and mailed? We must've put them in our other pants."
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                is blowing in George Steinebrenner's ear. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                                They both have baseball and USOC in common after all.

                                And God knows, the USOC could use some financial bailing out.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Why doesn't somebody start a RICO (Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations) action against these clowns? Donations raised from the public appear to be being used for purposes far different from those given during their solicitation. Or does every horse in international competition now need to be accompanied by a lawyer as well as a groom? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
                                  ------------------------------------------------------------
                                  But all the finest horsemen out—the men to Beat the Band—
                                  You’ll find amongst the crowd that ride their races in the Stand

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    since the request for arbitration came from USAeq they would have to be the one to withdraw it, and even if the USOC reversial left some of the issues moot it seemed to me that there were more than just those in the request. the arbitrators will have to examine each issue to see if it can be ruled moot. or is this old hunter barkin up the wrong tree? where is the spell check when ya need it!
                                    more hay, less grain

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      OK! slowly now.

                                      USET files a complaint to the USOC says that USAE is not in compliance because they signed the agreement the USET insisted they needed.

                                      USET decides they're on a roll so they change it to a Challenge to be NGB.

                                      USOC holds hearings and gives no response but finally they say you have to have a 50/50 deal between you and dump all your officers and Directors and play nice. And, they say that this is not a Challenge but a Complaint again.

                                      USOC confirms this is their position.

                                      USAE went to Arbitration and also requested that the FEI continue to recognize them to keep the status quo in that USAE is now nad has been the NGB, the USET went to the USOC whined and cried ao the USOC said OK! we will send you the money directly we won't make you go through the NGB.

                                      USAE went to court to get a restraining order against the USOC because that would not maintain the status quo.

                                      USOC says OOPS! we better go back and straighten out the record so we don't look like jerks. This time we'll get it right and......what?

                                      Does this mean new hearings once again? I note the time is of the essence for September 25, 2002 which suddenly is only 48 hours notice for their Board to decide to void everything and re-step the steps.

                                      We still don't know if the New Jersey Court is satisfied with the compliance of the USET under New Jersey Corporate law! That case I think has been renewed and is pending.

                                      USET adds to the court case that Alan Balch can't be a member of the Board of the USET because he has a conflict of interest. And, we don't know if the USET complies with the law, has the money or what structure they may be planning to put in place.

                                      Does this make anyone but me feel that something is really rotten in the manure pile?
                                      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Portia, I think you might be right on the decision to keep this out of the federal courts -- do you know if they did arbitrate it, if they'd run it under JAMS or the AAA? Both have provisions to seal the proceedings. Granted, federal courts do as well, but there's been alot of recent hostility to sealed documents in the federal courts (see, e.g. Baxter Int'l, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 02-2039 (7th Cir. July 16, 2002)).

                                        Comment

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