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  • #16
    Originally posted by Barto
    ...
    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.
    Wow! That sounds like the old AAU talking. 'YOU VILL FALL IN LINE!!!"

    You may think that winning medals is what this is all about; I think it's about a bunch of talented individuals who should be able to have some (even if not complete) control over how they make their livings.

    They're the ones with the marketable skills; they're not chattel.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by gh
      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 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.>>
      I'm not so sure that Phillips will always be in Stephanie Hightower's camp. She clashed with Brooks Johnson at times on the old Board. And Ken Taylor may be an independent voice. He has served on the USATF Audit Committee and knows all about the recent High Performance spending controversies.

      Doug Logan may have a couple things going for him. One is that unlike recent USATF Presidents, Stephanie Hightower has a fulltime job in the outside world which will give her less time than a Bill Roe or Pat Rico had for USATF matters. Another thing is that the USOC seems to be supportive of Doug Logan. They were not amused when Craig Masback left, and probably would have the same reaction if Doug Logan did.

      In any event, I am not so sure Stephanie Hightower is looking to do battle at this point. We will hope she means what she said during the campaign.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by gh
        Originally posted by Barto
        ...
        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.
        Wow! That sounds like the old AAU talking. 'YOU VILL FALL IN LINE!!!"

        You may think that winning medals is what this is all about; I think it's about a bunch of talented individuals who should be able to have some (even if not complete) control over how they make their livings.

        They're the ones with the marketable skills; they're not chattel.
        Marketable or not - a potential medal in the long jump should be no more valuable to USATF than a potential medal in the discus. Track and field is NOT a professional sport. Semi-pro at best - even in Europe, if you took away the government subsidy of federations subsidizing athletes then the whole "professional" side of the sport collapses. To sell magazines you need stars. I understand that; however, you do not need to create stars if you are USATF. That has been the problem for the last 30yrs, the desire to "create" stars instead of let the stars create themselves.

        Comment


        • #19
          This has zero to do with selling magazines; it has to do with elemental human rights. That's the angle I'm coming from.

          Comment


          • #20
            ps--I don't disagree with your contention that the sport is largely "semi-professional." In other countries, where the federation/government provides significant subventions, then more control can be expected. But in the U.S. environment where it's largely every man for himself, then the athletes deserve even more control over their lives, not less.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Halfmiler2
              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.
              Some of the votes for Dee were votes against Hightower more than they were votes for Dee. I don't think not having her on the Board is going to be _that_ divisive for the organization.

              Comment


              • #22
                I find it interesting and politically reprehensible that Evie Dennis is on the Board. She chaired Hightower's election & committed Ethics violations in the process (which were ignored, making the idea of ethical leadership a moot point), yet somehow was also allowed to be on the Diversity Comm to pick the Nominations Comm which in turn picked her to be on the Board.

                Smells like horse [email protected] to me! It seems that as much as things have changed, they remain the same.

                Comment


                • #23
                  [quote="gh"]Analysis from a longtime USATF follower (who obviously had very strong feelings going into the whole process):


                  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 ...


                  I think Steve Miller is the key guy. Now USATF has somebody who knows how to pull in big-money sponsors. He has been my choice to lead/run TAC/USATF going back to the mid-1990s.

                  Steve Miller side with people? I think people can get in his way or get out of his way, but the outcome will be the same.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by gh
                    ps--I don't disagree with your contention that the sport is largely "semi-professional." In other countries, where the federation/government provides significant subventions, then more control can be expected. But in the U.S. environment where it's largely every man for himself, then the athletes deserve even more control over their lives, not less.
                    I did not mean to say that one country's athletes are more or less "professional" than any other country's. I meant to say that even in Europe where we like to think of track and field as being a big time pro sport, it is not truly a self-sufficient professional sport. Without federations subsidizing athletes the whole "professional" side of the sport collapses. I believe that far too much energy is expended trying to make track look like a pro sport in the US when it really is not, never has been, and probably never will be.

                    As for the athletes, they have as much control over their lives as they wish, but not if you want to put a USA on your chest. If you want to wear the uniform, then you will follow the rules put in place by the NGB which they believe will produce the most medals. USOC's big problem with track is how far we have veered away from this philosophy.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      And my big problem with the USOC is that they seem to think that track exists solely to provide them with medals!

                      I fear they want to run the whole sport to that end, making it meaningful for 1 week every four years and who cares what happens the rest of the time.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by polevaultpower
                        Originally posted by Halfmiler2
                        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.
                        Some of the votes for Dee were votes against Hightower more than they were votes for Dee. I don't think not having her on the Board is going to be _that_ divisive for the organization.
                        You misunderstand my larger point. The day after Stephanie Hightower was elected President , the various constituent groups had to vote on their three nominees to send up to the Nominations Committee. The Officials Committee voted Dee as their top nominee for the officials member on the Board, and the Associations Committee voted Dee as their top nominee for the grassroots member on the Board. Yet the Nominations Committee passed her over twice. That will look like very bad form to a lot of people.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MJR
                          I find it interesting and politically reprehensible that Evie Dennis is on the Board. She chaired Hightower's election & committed Ethics violations in the process (which were ignored, making the idea of ethical leadership a moot point), yet somehow was also allowed to be on the Diversity Comm to pick the Nominations Comm which in turn picked her to be on the Board.

                          Smells like horse [email protected] to me! It seems that as much as things have changed, they remain the same.
                          Amen to that. Dennis has no business being on the board, and the fact that she is is indicative of 'same old same old'. The wild cards are the three people we've never heard of - I assume they were pushed by the USOC and will be in his camp.

                          If the Hightower faction wins, the sport will continue to suffer. Logan is the only hope right now.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            OK, I confess. I'm responsible for Willie being on the board.

                            Seriously (for once). 8-)

                            Details here:
                            http://masterstrack.com/blog/005376.html

                            K E N

                            K E N

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Barto, I appreciate your honesty but you are dead ass wrong. It is a professional sport. It is mindsets, and approaches such as yours that keeps the sport in flux. Federation and governmental subsidizing has zero to do with the "professional" aspect of the sport.
                              The sport became professional the minute the money came form under the table to the top. Since that time we have struggled with the mental concept. And we have struggled with the reality of the economics. Most prevalent being, the most attractive events get the most attention.
                              What GH is getting at is something I have noticed and argued about for years now, lack of respect and representation on the business end for the sprint events. Think what you want about the sport, the reality is the 100, 1500, and high hurdles are the glamour events. As for the US we are a sprint and hurdle nation, but on the business side the sprints and hurdles get pushed to the side. So here we stand with the USOC strong arming USATF over medals, sorry, GOLD medals and relay GOLD medals, and there is not a single representative from that side of the sport on the board.
                              This is not a new phenomenom. It is fairly consistent throughout the hierarchy of USATF/TAC/AAU. And gh is right. We are not a federation/governent subsidized sport, so thos circuit races loom huge for these athletes. They have a right to have a voice on the board and not have their futures or earning ability dictated to them by a board of non peers.
                              This is a song and dance that is tiresome. It is not about the board, it is about money. It is about power, it is about the Olympics. I see some of you pouting about Logan is our only hope. Horse crap. Logan will destroy this sport if he does not have track people to balance him out. His fresh approach has some merits but do not confuse yourselves into believing his ideas are wholy correct. They are not. He set up an audit panel that excluded anyone involved with the current system he said. but it was untrue. He excluded anyone involved on the track side of the system, but not the office side.


                              I do find it interesting that many of you have drawn lines in the sand. And some of you are involved in the process. Do you not see you are doing nothing more than perpetuating the problems of the past. New regime, new board, new chairman, new president, new CEO, yet there you sit pigeon holing folks before anything has started. Look in the mirror next time you start characterizing folks. I do not agree with Logan but I am giving him a chance. What we had got us here, now it is time to evolve again and grow. We need to make serious moves to ensure that Barto recognizes us as a professional sport. Seriously. This thing has been sold as a change from the infighting, ok so let's stop the infighting. Give love a chance as the song goes.
                              Logan is a check and balance against the old regime, and vice versa. I just wish the money makers had more voice in the room, a direct voice.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Track and field will be a viable professional sport when we pay the losers to show up and play. Until then sorry, semi-pro at best. Without the subsidy that other countries' federations provide to the athletes the whole sport collapses. Period - end of story.

                                If you think there is a market for track meets with only sprints and hurdles, then go promote that type of event. You would soon find that Europeans would not buy it and neither will enough Americans to make it fly.

                                Comment

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