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Competition Shutdowns Force CRAA Commissioner Furlough

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Competition Shutdowns Force CRAA Commissioner Furlough

Kevin Battle presenting Life University's Ryan Rees with the D1A Final MVP award in May, 2019. David Barpal photo.

College Rugby Association of America Commissioner Kevin Battle has been furloughed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Battle has been Commissioner of the top men's collegiate competition, D1A for several years. He was paid through USA Rugby, but when USA Rugby filed for bankruptcy they stopped paying him as they did all contract workers. Despite the fact that CRAA team dues to USA Rugby were supposed to pay Battle, CRAA picked up the slack and funded the position through July. 

His job changed somewhat as CRAA expanded to bring other competitions under its umbrella during USA Rugby's implosion and restructuring this year. With Battle's role centralized and more concentrated on managing competitions, it became evident that he would have no competitions to run in the near future.

"The only fiscally responsible choice that the Board had was to furlough the commissioner role," said CRAA VP Teshay Flowers, who added that the Executive Committee will be managing the day-to-day issues within the CRAA.

That is how it will be until college rugby is close to return-to-play, which is still very much up in the air.

The move is not really a surprise as with no games being played, and potentially no funds coming in from teams that are not playing games, paying someone to oversee those games seems unwise. Battle has been at the forefront of the growth of D1A.

There's no word on whether Battle would return to the position once college teams get back on the field, and whether USA Rugby will renew the contract in conjunction with CRAA.

CRAA currently oversees Men's D1A, Women's D1 Elite, Women's D1 College, and a large percentage of the Women's D2 college conferences that play in the spring.