Editor's note: The post is reference this letter sent out by USATF: http://www.letsrun.com/news/2014/12/message-usatf-board-directors/ Let's break this bull$hit down piece by piece.
Very few organizations in our everyday lives are “pure democracies,” where decisions are made by a straight popular vote. At USATF, we vote for our officers and leaders via democratic means, but it is through a delegate system.
First, sure we live in representative democracies all the time. Guess what? When those representatives fail to reasonably reflect the will of their constituents, they are removed from office by popular vote.
At the next annual meeting, Stephanie Hightower will be removed from the office of President by a 2/3 vote of the member delegates. Watch and see.
And while democratic institutions such as governments have governance as their sole function, USATF also functions as a business. Our governance therefore is a combination of governance and business principles, under the USOC charter.
This a stupid statement. Goverments are always businesses. No government has governance as their sole function.
The real point, however, is that nowhere in Chapter 36 section 220503 of the US Code does it say the purpose of the USOC or its governing bodies is to run a business. Moreover, the USOC and its goverrning bodies are expressly prohibited from "engag[ing] in business for profit." 36 USC 220507.
In fact, the primary responsibility of a national governing body is to "develop interest and participation throughout the United States and be responsible to the persons and amateur sports organizations it represents;" (35 USC 22054(1), emphasis is mine).
In other words, the national governing bodies are commanded NOT to act like businesses. This is precisely why the cozy relationship with Nike is so troubling for so many who love the sport.
Change is difficult for any organization. It is especially difficult when it involves long-serving officials. In 2015, there will be significant, structural change at the IAAF – with their leadership, with their direction, vision and politics. This is a different era and a different time. We think Stephanie Hightower provides us with the best chance to move forward as part of that change.
First, who is the "we" here? Clearly, "we" doesn't mean USATF members because clearly they don't agree. Clearly, it doesn't mean Max Seagall and the national office because you made it clear that Max "had and has no role, and no vote, in the selection of our IAAF representatives."
So, this "we" can only mean the "Board" of the USATF.
If this is correct, this entire letter is a piece of crap and, worse, an admission of guilt.. The primary purpose of the USATF Board (by their own bylaws) is to "Establish policies to enable USATF to achieve its purposes and perform its duties." But, these policy decisions--by the rule of US Law--must "reasonably reflect the views of the athletes." (36 USC 220524(3)).
Whilte they attempt to sugar coat this with the statement that "Leaders are charged to lead and to make difficult choices," the Board of USATF--in direct contradiction of US Law--is out to serve its own purpose not those of its members or athletes. And, to make it hurt, they outright ADMIT it. Look again:
We think Stephanie Hightower provides us with the best chance to move forward as part of that change.
If the "we" in this sentence means the Board (and it could only mean the Board), then the "us" refers to the Board. Replace the pronouns and see how incredibly brash this statement is:
The Board of USATF think Stephanie Hightower provides the Board of USATF with the best chance to move forward as part of that change.
Unbelievable. This is exactly what they mean. They voted in the best interest of the Board not the members.