USA Rugby is not out of the woods just yet, but the trees are a little less densely packed now that the NGB’s reorganization plan has been approved by its creditors and the Delaware Bankruptcy Court has signed off.
But it wasn’t easy. Two entities—National Collegiate Rugby and promoter Bill Tatham—lodged objections to the plan. They then signed off when USA Rugby made some adjustments.
While USA Rugby did get past two objections to their reorganization plan, it wasn’t without the NGB being forced into some changes.
NCR’s objection came down to this: They took issue with USA Rugby seemingly including NCR teams in the NGB’s future membership roles. NCR is running its own membership process and is acting independent of USA Rugby. Therefore, stated NCR in its documentation, USA Rugby shouldn’t be claiming they will be receiving membership funds from NCR teams and players in the future.
USA Rugby changed the wording of its plan, excluding NCR, but they did not appear to significantly change their expected membership list. Note, as USA Rugby CEO Ross Young stated in his interview with the RuggaMatrix America podcast, you can be a NCR member and a USA Rugby member at the same time (you just have to pay dues to both).
NCR also wanted to opt out of a release of liability on USA Rugby. Basically this meant they did not want to promise not to sue. NCR officials point out that USA Rugby used NCR dues money that should have been funneled back to NCR for administrative expenses—that could be basis for a breach of contract claim. NCR officials said they aren’t interested in suing, but a university or a team might be, and they didn’t want to sign anything to prevent that.
Tatham, meanwhile, represented by his company Professional Rugby, also asked out of the release. He also wanted language in the plan that specifically said that Professional Rugby would retain the rights and intellectual property that it had paid for with the rights fee Tatham’s company has been paying annually for about 10 years.
Source and contuniation: https://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/whats-next-usa-rugby
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