Why Is The USOC Requesting Section 8?
Hello gymnastics community -
Why Is The USOC Requesting Section 8?
The USOC has informed our Board of Directors that they plan to implement Section 8 which de-recognizes an organization of its status as NGB. I have met with Sarah Hirshland, the president of the USOC, a few times and it was communicated to me the USOC believes USA Gymnastics will suffer from the legal problems associated with the lawsuits from the survivors which will, in their opinion, hurt our High Performance Teams. I believe this to be a strategic move on their part to appease our critics and congress for the perceived lack of progress we have made as an organization to solve our public image problems. If the USOC takes on the task of managing our HP Teams USA Gymnastics will still be facing the challenges of litigation from the survivors.
Our Board has two options: 1) give up the NGB status voluntarily, or 2) respond to the USOC they feel we should remain the NGB. In the case of option two they must prepare to explain why USA Gymnastics should remain the NGB. I’m not sure how long this takes. At some point in the future USA Gymnastics could apply to become the NGB again.
If the Board chooses Option 1 then the USOC will take over responsibilities of managing and funding the High Performance Teams for all of our Olympic sports: Women’s artistic, Men’s artistic, Trampoline and Rhythmic. The USOC gives approximately $2M annually to USA Gymnastics to fund all the HP Teams. High Performance Teams, on the women’s side, is defined as Development camps and the National team. The USOC money goes to pay for things like camps, competition expenses such as travel, hotel, meals, national team member financial support and other related things for all our disciplines. The money does not pay for office salaries or other expenses related to our Junior Olympic programs.
I believe the USOC is not aware of the complexity of operating our HP Teams. Our coaches as well as many of our young gymnasts participate in both JO competitions and elite competitions. USA Gymnastics has been committed to fund our HP Teams with money not included in the USOC budget. In other words it requires far more resources to run our teams than they know.
- USA Gymnastics funds all premier events, such as American Classic, US Classic, and US Championships as well as qualifying events for other disciplines.
- USA Gymnastics markets these events and administrates the organization of the events, including hotel contracts, transportation, food, staffing, etc.
- USA Gymnastics coordinates with the local organizing committees and volunteers to help run our events.
- USA Gymnastics communicates with FIG regarding international meets, deadlines for competitions, and negotiates hotel, transportation and security.
- USA Gymnastics communicates with the parents of the Development athletes and National Teams and that’s just the women’s side.
There is more but the point is the USOC will struggle to manage what we have established over the past forty years.
What Happens Now?
The Board of Directors wants to hear from coaches, athletes, parents and club owners regarding this critical decision. Now is the time you should communicate with the Board of Directors what you want. Do you want to fight to preserve our status as the NGB for gymnastics or do you want to relinquish it? I am encouraging you to share this information with the parents and athletes in your gym so they can also communicate with the Board of what they want.
Here are the emails for the Board of Directors. Share it with anyone and everyone but communicate NOW - TODAY if possible!
Chairman: Karen Golz, Independent - firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice chair/Secretary: David C. Rudd, Independent - email@example.com
Treasurer: Stefanie Korepin firstname.lastname@example.org
Lois Bingham, Independent email@example.com
Kittia Carpenter, National Membership – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn Carson, Independent email@example.com
Ivana Hong, Athlete Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Brent Lang, Independent email@example.com
Steven Legendre, Athlete Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dylan Maurer, Athlete Director – email@example.com
Staci Slaughter, Independent firstname.lastname@example.org
Justin Spring, National Membership – email@example.com
Julie Springwater, Independent firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimberly Till, Independent email@example.com
Kevin White, Advisory firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all that you do to support the athletes dedicated to our elite programs.
High Performance Team Coordinator
Work hard. Work smart. Everyone has value.