Since January, the USATF National Office and its volunteer Youth Executive Committee have been in a dispute about the selection of the vendor selected to provide registration services for the four (4) national youth championships in 2016. The parties were unable to resolve the dispute, which centers around the ability of the CEO to manage the commercial/business aspects of USATF. As a result of the inability of the parties to find agreement on this issue, USATF’s National Office, at the direction of its Board of Directors, initiated a grievance to seek clarity on the issue. USATF’s National Office has been proceeding in good faith during the course of the grievance process. The same cannot be said of the volunteer Youth Executive Committee as evidenced by:
The Youth Executive Committee’s repeated refusal to use the registration company selected;
Conducting secret meetings undermining the integrity of the championship qualification process;
Circulation of petitions and videos impugning the reputation of the selected vendor;
Encouraging the use of another registration system, creating chaos and placing thousands of kids at risk of not being able to participate in the national championships.
Because the volunteers’ actions exceeded the scope of volunteer roles and significantly impact the viability of the four youth national championship events, while affecting USATF’s ability to fulfill its obligations to its vendors and sponsors, on Tuesday, the USATF Board of Directors convened a conference call to discuss the legal and financial exposure USATF has already incurred as a result of the actions of the Youth Athletics Chair and the Youth Executive Committee that was outside their volunteer scope and authority. Without immediate action, the damage to USATF athletes, vendors, sponsors and reputation would be irreparable. Accordingly, the board as the fiduciary body of USATF voted, 11-1, to suspend the entire Youth Executive Committee and its chairman, Lionel Leach.
All 2016 USATF Youth events will continue as normal. Specific directions to USATF Associations for athlete registration have been sent directly to Associations.