Meeting of Palmetto Rugby Union Board of Directors
October 29, 2005
President Bill Bell called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM in the Cherrydale Alumni House on the Furman Campus. Those present included Michael Honeycutt, Craig Norton, Lionel Grebert, John Meyers, John Roberts, Tucker Mabry, Dan Marino, Jason Jackson, Bill Bell, David Doser and John Hoeman.
Teams NOT represented at the meeting included: USC men and women, Lander and Augusta.
Bell opened the meeting by talking about a high school league that was getting underway in Augusta and about efforts in the Low Country to form teams. Roberts mentioned that St Joe's, a private school in Greenville , had formed a team. Bell said that he had offered some help to Augusta folks who are forming a league there. He emphasized the importance of High School rugby….noting the successful organization in Tennessee and how it has helped the UT team grow stronger. A good deal of discussion was generated about HS rugby. All agreed that because of the rivalry nature of high school, HS would be the best avenue to generate growth. Bell , a SC native, said if Hillcrest got at team then Mauldin form a team, etc. etc. Roberts emphasized that it was important to have mature people form the teams. A poorly-organized start might leave a poor taste in the school's mouth and doom future efforts. Most agreed that there are also turf wars with FB coaches, insurance issues to combat. No motion was made, but the group generally agreed that HS rugby would be top priority in the years ahead and that the Palmetto Union would do everything it could to foster growth in this area.
Report from the treasurer:
Bell reported to the group that John Graham, the former treasurer of the union had moved to Virginia . Graham forwarded the account information to Bell before leaving. John Roberts, former treasurer of the union, has agreed to resume his duties. Bell is still waiting for a “signature card” from the bank to sign the account over to himself and Roberts. Owing to some good stewardship, the Palmetto account stands at $3,136.00 with no debts. Motion was made to make dues for members teams remain the same for 2006: Total is $850 which includes $425 for South, $350 for Palmetto and $75 SERRS. The motion carried. David Doser, a representative from Greenville , was present. He explained the dues structure of the Georgia Union, which is somewhat different from Palmettos and based on CIPP membership. The end result: member dues for GRU and PRU teams are about the same.
John Myers said that there were no red cards handed out last spring and this fall. He said this is very unusual and our small union should take pride in this fact. He said the union members generally get along real well, are coached to play clean and enjoy good sportsmanship.
Sweet 16 event
This April Columbia and Palmetto will be host the USA Rugby Sweet 16 event. This is a premier event of USA rugby and the group commended Jeff Smolka (member of the USA Rugby BoD for helping to bring this event to the Palmetto Union. A good deal of discussion was generated about how our small union could help facilitate this event and make it a success. Bell said the union's success in hosting past events is a testament to our strong organization Roberts added that within the past eight years, the Union has hosted the RS college play-offs six times, the LAU play-offs last year, the DIII championships last year, several summer 7s qualifiers, men's play-off events. Palmetto was also a finalist for the USA HS National championship event this year. The Sweet 16 event is another “feather in the union's cap”. All agreed that every team should be represented at the April event and should volunteer folks. Because union funds are not substantial John Roberts said any contribution the union could make would not be substantial. He said that the best way the union could support was to provide bodies as volunteers. With the biggest impediment to volunteerism being money, Roberts suggested that the Palmetto Union funnel its contribution to providing lodging and transportation costs for Union volunteers to attend the event..and perhaps to purchase t-shirts for volunteers. The measured carried.
Bell emphasized the importance of clubs supporting referees. Meyers explained the referee system and how referees are graded. He said there are several high level refs in Palmetto and that Palmetto has an unusually large number of refs for union our size. But there is a need for more. The union discussed ways to strongly encourage clubs to sponsor a referee. A rule requiring each club to sponsor a ref was discussed but not adopted because members felt it would heavy-handed. Instead of a stick approach the group adopted a carrot approach. Bell motioned that Palmetto offer to fund a portion of the first time referee training fee for Palmetto members who attend clinics. Bell said that union could likely pay for 25-50 percent of the clinic fees. How much the union could pay would be determined on a case-by-case by President and Sec/Treas depending on the checkbook balance and cash flow. The measure carried.
John Roberts, who has coached the all-star team for two years, will coach the team this year. He announced the squad which includes 8 furman players, 6 citadel, 6 usc and 2 coastal carolina players. He said the team would be announced officially after the finals of the Palmetto tournament. He thanked the teams for their support and talked about the progress the program has made in two years. In 2003, the team won it' first game in more than a decade, going 1-1. Last year the squad beat NC and lost by one point to Fla. Palmetto is the smallest union, has no DI team and only one DII team, so these accomplishments are no small feat.
Bell said that John Graham, the former Palmetto President, had organized and updated the Palmetto Rugby webpage for the past three years on the CCU network. Now that he has left, the site has not been updated. The union needs a new page. The group discussed the pros and cons of paying a private company to run the site and update it. John Roberts offered to develop a site and host it on the Furman network. He said that he was not planning to leave the university anytime soon and could update the site. Bell motioned that the Roberts be the Palmetto webmaster. The motion carried.
Bell said the union has grown in organization and scope and should have a spring meeting. The group agreed that a spring meeting would be held to coincide with volunteer efforts associated with the sweet 16 event. Bell and the group also talked about ways to boost attendance at the meetings. All expressed disappointment that USC men and women, Augusta and an officer with the Charleston men's team were not in attendance. Fining members for not attending was also discussed though it was agreed that to do so next year without warning would be unfair. Bell and the group agreed to strongly encourage members to attend the spring meeting. If attendance does not improve it would be addressed in the future.
Election of officers :
John Meyers was nominated as Discipline chair. The motion carried.
TD Maze, Lander coach, was nominated to continue as Collegiate Coordinator. All agreed that Maze, a professor at Lander, had done a great job last spring updating scores, and
being a liaison to the teams. The motion carried.
A motion was made to combine the secretary and treasure positions into one office. The motion carried.
John Roberts was nominated to be sec-tres. The motion carried.
Bell was nominated as president. Bell said that he would likely be deployed to Iraq for a six month tour and would do his best. The motion carried.
A vice-president was not voted on. Bell said he knew someone with the Charleston team that was interested in serving as VP. A motion was made for Bell to circulate the name of a VP nominee to the BoD later this fall. The group would vote by email. The motion carried .
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.