USA Team Handball Constitution Crisis

A lot has happened since I [link=/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.6]last wrote about this topic[/link]. The new Bylaws (the Constitution) was passed by the membership by a vote of 211-23 and the Board of Directors voted to remove President Hurdle by a vote of 19-5. Of course, the legality of both of these votes have been called into question. What is not uncertain, however, is that the USOC has stopped providing funding to the USATH and has filed a formal Legal Complaint against USATH.
[link=/request.php?1]USOC complaint[/link] (2.77 mb PDF)

Also, worth reviewing is a USATH report that was done earlier in July that addresses some of the issues in the complaint.
[link=/request.php?2]USATH report pertaining to the USOC complaint[/link] (553.91 kb PDF)

As part of this new handball website, I’ve conducted interviews with Matt Van Houten, the Athlete’s Advisory Council Board Member and Mike Hurdle, the current or former President. These podcasts are available on the website and I encourage those with a stake in the future of USA Team Handball to take the time to listen to both interviews.
[link=/request.php?3]Interview with Matt van Houten, December 2005[/link] (12.29 mb MP3)
[link=/request.php?4]Interview with Mike Hurdle, December 2005[/link] (13.51 mb MP3)

After having read the USOC complaint and conducted both interviews, I am personally struck by how what appears to be some small differences of opinion has turned into a grand canyon divide. Maybe, I’m just naïve, but I think this whole crisis could be solved simply by taking the following steps.

1) The Board of Directors should acknowledge and accept the result of the 211-23 vote on the By-Laws. This is a very clear signal from the membership that they approve of the new By-Laws and they want the bickering to end. (Yes, there was a misleading note on the website, but everyone also knows (or should know) that we have a small membership base which is well informed by this and other websites.) The new constitution should be put in place. All claims concerning the legality of the vote should simply be dropped.
2) The President needs to acknowledge that the 19-5 vote by the Board of Directors to remove him from office also sends a very clear message. The Board of Directors were either duly elected or appointed to their position. One of the key roles that a President has is to work with the Board in the governance of the sport. This Board has clearly stated that they have lost confidence in the President.
3) The President also needs to acknowledge the seriousness of the USOC Complaint and the need for USATH to effectively address USOC concerns.
4) As the main point of contention is the leadership of USATH in the interim phase until new elections, the simplest solution is to install an interim leadership that is acceptable to the Board of Directors, President and the USOC. Certainly, [link=]Dr Leroy Walker[/link], a former USOC President who has already indicated a willingness to fulfill such a role, would be a strong candidate. I’m sure that there are others which could also be acceptable to everyone.
5) With alternative interim leadership in place, the President should then resign. Everyone can then thank him for his service to the sport. (either sincerely or with sarcasm)

Now without going into detailed analysis of this proposed resolution it should be evident that it would require some give and take from both sides. After having interviewed both Matt and Mike, though, I have the impression that this or something similar is acceptable to both parties. Perhaps, the Hearing Panel, rather than focusing on decertification, can lead us toward a resolution. Regardless, let’s get our USOC funding back and get the lawyers out of the process.

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