I am titling this meeting - "Everything Old is New Again."

Keep in mind that the phone audience did not have the slideshow or the agenda which I think was wrong.  Keep in mind also that other than Keith, Devin and Steve, I could not hear anything at all said by the Board Members as to what questions were asked etc.  I am not sure if that was deliberate or poor planning.  At least the BOD members who were on the phone had the slide show and agenda for their benefit.

It is now December 11th and some terms come up for re-election.  Except that even knowing there are expiring terms and a pending resignation, there seems to be a lack of due diligence, urgency all that rot.  Thing is that the BOD members coming up for re-election – and that is the key word – RE-ELECTION – have to RUN AGAIN.  They have to be elected.  There has to be a call for candidates – which has not happened.

Granted they got the infamous list from the USOC.  I learned something about that list of independents, the USOC does not vet any of those people, does not talk to them, unless someone already knows them – Headhunters ask people they are working with, “Hey, want to add some resume bling with being with the Olympics?”  If yes, the name goes on the list. No article on the website. Nothing much.

So they got the list and they are thrilled to death that they found a replacement for the Audit Chair. HELLO – ONE HAS TO BE VOTED TO AUDIT CHAIR.  Now, they probably meant that this person is probably qualified to be Audit Chair, but really?  How about getting her elected first?


They are acting like the current Independents whose term expires 12/31/16 either decide themselves if they stay or if they go.  Really?  There is this thing called bylaws and specifically Section 7 of the bylaws.

Section 7.6.  Election/Selection.

The Board of Directors shall be elected/selected as follows:

a. Independent Directors.  The Board of Directors shall select Independent Directors, using procedures the Board deems appropriate and considering the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, from among individuals considered to be independent, as that term is defined in Section 7.7.

It doesn’t say – if you decide to just stay.  Some BOD members are excellent.  Others have caused the organization a little money to say the least – anyone remember Gitelman?  No one is guaranteed re-election. You have to run, even if it is your own board that votes.

Nominating Committees are supposed to re-evaluate even current BOD members to determine if they are still a fit for the organization. They might have changed jobs and don’t have as much time or frankly just did not do their due diligence, things like reading Safe Sport and bylaws and should not be recommended to continue.  But they just don’t get to decide that they just stay for another four years.

Granted the Independents on the BOD will no doubt re-elect themselves but once again, this seems to be a bit of self-dealing to say the least. 

Point is – who is following the bylaws?

Everything old is new again.  Self-perpetuation with no regard for the bylaws.

Because I am basically disgusted with the whole deal, in part that it didn’t even seem to matter that members participate – which is also in the bylaws – some of this will come off jaded.  I apologize ahead of time.

Guess what USAT is going to implement?:

Regional Training Centers!!!!!  Where have we heard that one before?  Every time it is tried the same problem interferes – many coaches will not allow their students to go because they are afraid the people giving the RTC training will poach their students.  Maybe they have come up with an answer for this.

On the positive side, there are five (5) colleges involved with TKD programs which all students to attend school and get degrees and still participate in the team.  Auburn, Michigan, East Tennessee, Princeton and Oklahoma City.

Remember several years ago the big buzz was a top coach who was going to recruit soccer and gymnastic athletes and give the rules and basics of Olympic style TKD and then turn them loose on the tournament circuit?  Well, here we go again.  We are going to follow the model from Great Britain where they hold open tournaments with all different martial arts and all they have to do is use the WTF rules.  They win, they get the team spot and all is wonderful.  Well, it worked with Arlene Limas, so we will see how that one goes. 

Every few years someone decides it would be really great to bring in the ATA!!!!!  And they are going to register their schools and learn our ways and participate as a Supporting Organization, or an Affiliated Organization – both terms were used interchangeably although they are two different membership types.  By Ted Stevens I think they have to be an Affiliated, but we will see since this has rarely gone beyond a school or two joining and sending athletes, although there have been a couple of ATA crossovers who have done well.

When Texas first began their reimbursement program, they told everyone the first event you bring – you get this amount rebated and each subsequent event will see a reduction in the percentage.  Apparently after years of USAT taking events to Texas, Texas decided to short pay an event sitting on the books as an Account Receivable for 2015.  They will be writing off $170,000.

One of the key points – COACH AND REFEREE TRAINING!!!!  That’s new?  One would think that this is down to a science by now.  Both of these are important and always should be a priority but why every year is it listed as almost a crisis? 

Over the last 18 months, USAT has spent $200,000 on legal fees.  USAT Attorney Stephen Hess noted that he does not get all of that and that he is on retainer. So while he was sitting in the meeting playing Words with Friends with his mother and beating her patootie, he was not on an hourly clock. I would venture a guess some of that comes from the lawsuit filed by the USAT members who filed suit against USAT for their handling of the Gitelman complaint that saw Marc Gitelman imprisoned for 3.5 years. I have written much about this in the past.  The USAT handling of this situation was beyond abysmal and completely preventable.  It would have helped if BOD members and others had read Safe Sport and the Sexual Harassment Policy posted on their own website – btw it is still there.  Refer back to my comments on the apparent automatic renewal of Independent BOD members.

Anyway, after two years of lawsuits, the USOC has decided to actually make Safe Sport work.  They have created an independent Center for Safe Sport – I may have the name wrong but you have the basic idea.  The USOC is requiring changes and commitments from the NGB’s regarding Safe Sport.

They will be posting proposed changes to the bylaws for review that are necessary to be in compliance with Safe Sport. Since I know no one knows, reads or cares about bylaws and the wording, I will it at that and let those interested get the actual changes from the website.

Personal note, I sat there and listened in wonder to these changes.  Maybe it is because I have been so invested in this case since it came to my attention that I personalized it more than it should have been.  I could see the Gitelman case in every change and how if that it been handled with the changes, there would be no lawsuit.  Sadly I also know that the vast majority of BOD members, new or re-elected or current will truly read the new program in any depth.  This is also something that never changes.

Membership is at 14,000. 

There is no Secretary General which leads to another problem.  Will you be surprised to know that USAT is viewed as an ATM and gets no respect internationally?  Everything old is new again.  I heard this a lot in the last ten years since USTU became USAT.  They want people on WTF committees and on the WTF BOD. Again – been there. Same plan.  Why not just execute it?  One of the problems is no Secretary General who is already in tight with the WTF. Same old Same Old..

Lots of goals and some cheerleading but I could not get excited about much of any of it but the Safe Sport changes.  Been there, heard it before.  As I told my daughter over and over through the years and before Nike was using it – “Just Do It. Don’t tell me, just show me.”