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NSCRO Confirms Separation Plan

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NSCRO Confirms Separation Plan


The National Small College Rugby Organization has announced plans to further separate its operations from USA Rugby.

NSCRO already operates its own league structures and championships, and starting this coming fall, will also operate its own dues and insurance model.

The plan to make this move predates publication of USA Rugby's financial and organizational problems, but those problems certainly didn't make NSCRO doubt they were on the right track. According to NSCRO President Steve Cohen, the process began last fall because the organization was "dissatisfied with dealing with USA Rugby," said Cohen. "We've been relying on USA Rugby for funding, and we wanted to work on creating a more independent model."

Currently, USA Rugby collects dues of NSCRO players and teams, and then forwards a portion to NSCRO to essentially pay back NSCRO for the fact that NSCRO does all the work in managing that competition. But late last year, USA Rugby was late in paying that money due to a cash flow crunch. That money was eventually paid, but the significant delay spurred NSCRO to stay on course with a separation.

Independent Operating Model

Under this independent operating model, NSCRO will handle all registration and provide insurance to members starting with the 2020-21 season.

"We are confident that we can deliver an insurance solution that is equal to or better than the current policy," Cohen said in an announcement to members. "Also, we are actively working with a technology provider to develop a new registration platform for our members. Under our new strategy more investment will go into the growth and development of current and future teams."

Organizational Structure

What all of that means is likely more dues money directly to the NSCRO organization, and an end to volunteer organization. That means NSCRO will need to pay for a CEO, a men’s director, women’s director, a development officer, and marketing and membership staff.

New Open Division

The additional big development for NSCRO is that it's going to expand out of the Small College landscape. Starting in the 2020 fall season, NSCRO will start an Open Division for rugby teams from larger school who like what NSCRO is doing. The Open Division would be a competition where small college's could move to if they want without leaving the NSCRO umbrella. 

"There'll be no change to the small-college championships," said Cohen. "Its not a concept we came up with; they came to us."

This will happen for both men and women, and could well expand NSCRO's list of teams significantly, and will likely prompt a change in NSCRO's name.

All of this will mean that NSCRO will now take in the dues and work a deal with USA Rugby on what financial support NSCRO sends to the national governing body. The announcement made it plain, though, that it is USA Rugby's burden to prove that it is worth it.

"We will consider financial support in proportion to the services and value that it brings our members."