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Air Force Academy Leaving Varsity Cup

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Air Force Academy Leaving Varsity Cup

Air Force played in both DIA and Varsity Cup post seasons last year. Michael Geib photo.

The US Air Force Academy men's rugby team has announced it will withdraw from the Varsity Cup.

In a long release authored by Joseph Cox and Jeff Ulmer, the team cited financial and competitive factors for the decision. 

The chief reason for the change, said the release, is that changes in club sports team funding at the Air Force Academy has increased travel costs for the players significantly. The Academy regulations state that a competitive sports club team's "activity must hold a nationally sanctioned Regional/National Championship and entry into the championship must be earned through progressive competition (i.e., through league/conference play, etc.).”

That description clearly describes USA Rugby's DIA, a national championship open to all in that division, and decided through conference play and playoffs. The Varsity Cup is an invitational post-season.

Cox and Ulmer also stated that the decision is not based on wanting to avoid any specific tams.

Air Force played almost every top college team last season, including Cal, BYU, Life, and Saint Mary's, and, they said, "our team’s opinion is that there is no real difference in quality. Additionally, we assessed that most D1A second-tier teams are at least equal, if not better than, all the Varsity Cup second tier teams."

In addition, Cox and Ulmer cited confusion within Varsity Cup management as an additional reason they are displeased with that comptition.

To read the announcement in its entirety, go here. (Link repaired)