Friday, December 6, 2019

USA Rugby v NSCRO: National Financial Foibles?

If you'd like to get the feel for what happens when a tornado hits a carnival when the clowns are just emerging from their vehicle, read on:

- FYI: there are half dozen NSCRO colleges in our regional grouping (union) and three of them are in the Denver area: Colorado School of Mines, Regis University and University of Denver - 

NSCRO Response to USA Rugby Financial Difficulties

December 4, 2019
To the Members of NSCRO:
The National Small College Rugby Organization would like to issue a response to the recent letter written by USA Rugby to our members regarding their 2019 financial difficulties and projected challenges in 2020.
USA Rugby identified massive overspending on High Performance – predominantly for the Men’s 15’s National team – as well as continued spending on legal fees related to two high-profile lawsuits in which USA Rugby is the defendant. This comes after years of previous financial mismanagement and an emergency multi-million dollar loan from World Rugby. Refer to the USAR letter at
These unbudgeted costs and overspending along with repayment of money previously borrowed from World Rugby have led to significant “cash flow” challenges for USA Rugby, which USA Rugby states they working to correct by implementing “staffing changes and cost reductions of projected activities and projects scheduled this year”.
Unfortunately, USA Rugby has become delinquent on paying significant monies collected for and owed to numerous “3rd party partners” including NSCRO. For 2019-20, NSCRO implemented an annual $15 per player membership fee (in lieu of a club fee). This was collected by USA Rugby in addition to their own membership fees as part of their Enrollment System. To date, NSCRO has only received partial payment from USA Rugby for money which should have come directly to our organization after each player registration. NSCRO was recently informed by a USA Rugby executive that these funds have been used to help alleviate their “cash flow” challenges. We, as well as the entire US rugby community, are deeply disappointed by their actions. The Rugby Congress is presently addressing this serious breach of trust with the USAR Board of Directors.
While USA Rugby’s delinquency has led to some financial hardship for our organization, we wanted to express to our membership that NSCRO remains fully committed to fulfilling our mission of fostering both on and off-field growth and development of small college rugby, its clubs, players and coaches. We plan to continue to offer top-level competitions, small college national championships, national all-star opportunities, as well as recognize club and player accomplishments.
In order to alleviate this financial hardship, and to ensure continued operation and growth of our organization in the future, the NSCRO Board of Directors is aggressively taking steps to:
1) Accelerate payment to NSCRO of all past due fees that USAR collected on behalf of NSCRO.
2) Take greater control of future NSCRO registration cash flows to prevent future misuse of funds.
3) Lessen our operational dependency on USAR's registration platform.
Despite these unexpected challenges, NSCRO will stand even taller as leaders who serve the best interests of our members. We will be open to engaging potential partners that share our desire for sustained growth and a better future for collegiate rugby. We hope you will stand with us as we move forward in the coming months to building a stronger organization.
Please direct all questions by email to
With you,
Steve Cohen - NSCRO President and CEO

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