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USOC hearing panel report

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  • #21
    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.
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


    • #22
      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.

      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.
      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


      • #23
        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..... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
        [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


        • #24
          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!" [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] ) - 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.)
          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


          • #25
            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. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img] & [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
            co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


            • #26
              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!

              co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


              • #27
                I believe AB himself admitted that one of the problems was that he came from "west of Upperville, VA"...

                YIKES - a COWBOY??!!!


                • #28
                  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.


                  • #29
                    This just arrived in my e-mail in box --


                    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.
                    "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


                    • #30
                      My eyes crossed and glazed over.

                      Could you, in your usual cogent way, put this into simple words for my simple mind?
                      -- * > hoopoe
                      Procrastinate NOW
                      Introverted Since 1957


                      • #31
                        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.]
                        http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                        • #32
                          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
                          Linda Allen


                          • #33
                            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. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
                            "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


                            • #34
                              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.
                              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                              • #35
                                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.


                                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 [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] 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. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]

                                ****Bulletin Board Goddess****
                                Congratulate me! My CANTER cutie is an honor student at Goofball University!


                                • #36
                                  Deal with it? Sorry, Beezer, that would be the professional and mature thing to do. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
                                  "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


                                  • #37
                                    OYE FREAKING VE!!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]
                                    \"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E


                                    • #38
                                      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!



                                      • #39
                                        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.


                                        • #40
                                          Sounds like a frighteningly real scenario, Bostonian.

                                          co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!