In light of the uncertainty in which we find ourselves, in the spirit of optimism and looking forward, we wanted to express our position and provide a brief update on USA Rugby and the USA Rugby Task Force.
Over the last few years, our members and leadership have expressed concerns with the finances and operations of USA Rugby. We began rebranding D1A under the College Rugby Association of America in order to have a platform to survive the scenario our game now faces. Our main goals have always been to create the best possible experience for our student-athletes, keep commercial resources in the collegiate game and to create opportunities for our members to engage their academic institutions, parents and alumni.
As reported, USA Rugby will be filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows for a possible reorganization. Given the 2019 financial woes, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other operational difficulties, USA Rugby is faced with an insurmountable deficit and is now forced to take unprecedented action.
There is hope that USA Rugby will see its way through this process. It is our desire that our union will be able to reorganize and offer third-party liability insurance, a registration platform and perhaps other services in a cost effective and truly collaborative manner. Our intention is to remain members of the National Governing Body, as it always has been. It is in our collective interest to have a thriving National Governing Body to represent us and unify our mutual interests.
In the interest of solidarity, support and to provide certainty, the College Rugby Association of America (CRAA) while home to D1A, is prepared to expand to include any and all college divisions and competitions, while allowing those divisions or other conferences to govern themselves.
After its reorganization, if USA Rugby is not able to offer third-party liability insurance or any other services, CRAA has contingencies in place and is ready to provide the necessary foundational pillars for college rugby to survive and thrive in America.. With this the potential benefits of offerings from CRAA are, but not limited to, the following:
- Work with a group that is committed in supporting and working with a healthy national governing body;
- Divisional governance over seasonality, eligibility guidelines and management;
- Fees based on core and ancillary services offered, which will be clearly outlined
- Coordination of playoff dates and locations;
- Opportunities for exposure via the FTF (For the Fans) and other CRAA broadcast relationships;
- Potential opportunity to work with MLR Officials and the Advantage Referee system currently utilized by D1A and NIRA;
- Opportunity to participate and join an experienced group that has coordinated multiple conference and national championships while promoting the good of collegiate rugby for more than ten years.
It is important in times of uncertainty to stand together, arm in arm as a community to work to grow our game. We want to wish all of our members and their families well during these difficult times. We hope to see you on a rugby pitch soon.