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  • USATF Names New Board Of Directors

    link now on front page

  • #2
    I still don't understand the concept of bringing in all these "outsiders," but I guess if that's what common business practice dictates to have an effective board, I can live with it.

    My only gripe with the constituency of the Board is the same as I had with the HP Audit Panel that came up with the 10 Commandments: there's nobody there who makes their living on the professional track & field circuit.

    Kastor is a roadie (totally different pay structure), Dunn is a walker (no pay structure) and Thurmond is a woman thrower (which means by definition that while she gets to make some money at WAF, she is de facto excluded from the European Circuit).

    If these people are going to be making recommendations (and trying to enforce them) about European competition between the Trial and the OG (and maybe by extension in the future, the WC), then there should be somebody there who's actually living that lifestyle and understands what's involved first-hand. That's completely absent.

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    • #3
      Hey, with Willie Banks and our own BobH, what's not to like? 8-)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Marlow
        Hey, with Willie Banks and our own BobH, what's not to like? 8-)
        What the hell DOESN'T Hersh do? :P
        There are no strings on me

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        • #5
          What the hell DOESN'T Hersh do?

          He doesn't measure road races!
          Never seen him on a bike out on the roads. :shock:

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gh
            Thurmond is a woman thrower (which means by definition that while she gets to make some money at WAF, she is de facto excluded from the European Circuit).

            If these people are going to be making recommendations (and trying to enforce them) about European competition between the Trial and the OG (and maybe by extension in the future, the WC), then there should be somebody there who's actually living that lifestyle and understands what's involved first-hand. That's completely absent.
            Aretha made big bucks throwing a frozen turkey last fall :lol:

            But seriously, I think you are underestimating her. While her event is generally absent from the very biggest European meets, there are still European meets that do have it, and she's been to Europe plenty of times. She's been on three Olympic Teams. She's also a really great person.

            I think she'll make a fantastic addition to the Board and will have more insight than you think about the relationship between European competition vs domestic.

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            • #7
              I'm not underestimating Thurmond at all, so please don't try to put words in my mouth. She's a wonderful woman and has had a notable international career.

              She has also not had a career on the mainstream European Circuit, and there's no way around that. (I repeat, it's not her fault; she's a woman thrower; the opportunities aren't there.) Her exposure to Golden League meets is the Berlin GP of '05. Period.

              Her financial well being does not depend on competing in the biggest meets. Yet those are the athletes who are expected to win virtually all the medals. They need to be represented beter.

              I'd be quite happy to keep Thurmond and toss one (or more) of the suits.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dkny
                What the hell DOESN'T Hersh do?

                He doesn't measure road races!
                Never seen him on a bike out on the roads. :shock:
                If you can get a picture of Hersh on a bike, it might be T&FN cover worthy material.

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                • #9
                  I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Hill’s desire to see an athlete on the board who makes their living “on the circuit”. I believe the reason the US has failed to live up to our potential when it comes to medal count is a preoccupation with those who make a living on the circuit. We have tended to do very well in the events where a person can support themselves on the circuit right out of college. However, this only includes the 100m, 200m, 400m, 400H, 110H, LJ, and HJ – less than half of the total number of events. Where we have underachieved is in events where it typically takes several years after college for Americans to develop into world class performers. We certainly have the talent pool to develop athletes in these more technical events; however, I believe our preoccupation with “those who make their living on the circuit” is what has prevented our resources from being directed toward those events where we could increase our medal count.

                  The USA will win medals in the sprints and hurdles whether USATF assists those individuals or not. We would win medals more often in the 4x100m with a team of quality also-rans who skip the European circuit because they are not making much over there anyway. If we are to increase our medal count and position in the world it will be because we spend resources on events where we are not currently winning. The medals we are winning now are not in any way linked to what USATF has done for the sprinters and jumpers who are winning them.

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                  • #10
                    The concept of "assistance" is nowhere to be found in my statements. If you want a focused talking point, look where I mentioned that the HP's recommendations include limiting competition between the OT and the OG. That's taking away the living of those who are most likely to win medals; those who are thus affected should have more say into such a plan. Whatever event they are in, and that certainly includes a significant number of field eventers.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gh
                      ... and Thurmond is a woman thrower (which means by definition that while she gets to make some money at WAF, she is de facto excluded from the European Circuit).
                      I've heard of the shot put, the discus throw, javelin throw, and hammer throw, but haven't heard of the woman throw before. Looks like it's not contested on the Euro Circuit. Maybe it's Scottish, would I see it at the Highland Games? What's the WR?

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                      • #12
                        gh is not advocating filling all 15 board postitions with 110m hurdlers. It's pretty clear that he simply thinks there needs to be some representation of athletes active on the European Circuit, and it sounds like there's zero. That just doesn't make sense.

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                        • #13
                          The three active athletes ( Dunn, Kastor, Hill-Thurmond) were picked by the athletes at the convention and were known for the last two months as were Stephanie Hightower and Bob Hersh. The other nine names are new today: three independents and six nominated from the constituent groups. Each constituent group nominated at least three names and then the Nominations Committee made the final picks - and in some cases clearly not the constituent groups' top choices.

                          A few initial observations.

                          1. The choice of Steve Holman as one of the three independent Board members (along with Seigel and Wickens) is curious. He is a very bright guy but the former Athletes Advisory Committee Chair of USATF which doesn't seem very independent. Wickens, by the way, served on the USATF Foundation and was an independent member of the USATF Restructuring Task Force so he has some knowledge of the organization. He is a former distance runner from Bucknell.

                          2. Steve Miller is apparently the member from the coaching constituency instead of an active coach being chosen.

                          3. Ken Taylor is the pick from the officials constituency and would seem to be the likely choice as the next Treasurer.

                          4. Willie Banks is the pick from the "grassroots" constituency - he was nominated by Masters Track & Field. Not picking Dee Jensen who was the top pick from both the Associations and Officials seems like a lost opportunity to unify the organization. She did receive 48% of the votes for President.

                          5. Elizabeth Phillips got the nod as the LDR person over Bill Roe and Joe Vigil.

                          6. Evie Dennis was an obvious choice from High Performance and Kim Haines from the Youth constituency. Evie's presence should enhance the USATF relationship with the USOC.

                          7. The 15th spot has to be named yet by the organizational members: NCAA, NFHS, RRCA, etc.

                          8. The final group is heavily weighted toward the elite side of the sport. Only Haines, Phillips, and Taylor have much of a background locally. Stepahnie Hightower should have no problem being named as Chair by the Board unless she wants to defer to Evie Dennis. It's hard to say who the pick will be for Vice Chair - maybe one of the independents or Evie. And the pick for Secretary may be anybody's guess.

                          9. Doug Logan should have a better time of it working with the fifteen than Craig Masback did a Board of double the size.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gh
                            The concept of "assistance" is nowhere to be found in my statements. If you want a focused talking point, look where I mentioned that the HP's recommendations include limiting competition between the OT and the OG. That's taking away the living of those who are most likely to win medals; those who are thus affected should have more say into such a plan. Whatever event they are in, and that certainly includes a significant number of field eventers.
                            Why should they "have more say"? The job of the governing body is to govern, not appease. Make decisions in the best interests of winning medals - not keeping anyone happy. The athletes need to be on the team if they want to keep on earning in Europe. They will fall in line if they have to.

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                            • #15
                              Analysis from a longtime USATF follower (who obviously had very strong feelings going into the whole process):

                              <<I am not very positive about the new Board. The 15th member will come from those six 5E member organizations (NAIA, NCAA, etc.). Probably a coach. I hear the NCAA is not happy about the possibility
                              of not having a Board seat.

                              The problem with this group once you analyze it is the possibility that a majority will side with Hightower over Logan. Logan is somewhat questionable but Hightower is a disaster.

                              You would hope the Board would side with Logan, his shoot first and ask questions later approach not withstanding. And I don't think there is any possibility that Logan and Hightower can work together.

                              Steve Miller is the key guy. He is former Nike Exec. who wanted the CEO position in the past and didn't get it. He will side with Hightower over Logan. Evie, Holman, Phillips, Taylor, Kastor, Thurmond and maybe
                              one other will all support Hightower. It is a Board made in heaven for Highower.

                              Logan is trying to move fast because he has the USOC pushing him, he has no past loyality to the current constitutent structure, and he isn't getting any younger. Hightower who will definitely be the Chair will fight Logan on many changes. This will lead to him leaving and open the door for Miller.>>

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