“In a land of bleating sheep and braying jackasses, one brave and honest man is bound to create a scandal.”-  Edward Abbey

I’ve got a stud runner issue.  The runner has had membership in our USATF Nebraska Association for around 18 months, joined right after graduating college.  But drats, the runner has moved to a neighboring state.

As a member of the USATF Elite Development Club Council I am intimate with the Rules that I helped craft concerning this conundrum.  These rules apply across the board with USATF Clubs, not just EDCs.  They were written, in part, to prevent a problem that was rampant back in the 90s of putting together “teams” that had no geographical or historical lineage.  These “teams” would show up at national championship events, meet for the first time, win the prize purse, and never meet again.

I’ll summarize for you.  If an athlete has been a bona fide member of an association and the same club for three years they can be grandfathered in and can legally represent the old club regardless of residency.  A  good example is Tom Nichols with LRC Racing.  He has kept his membership current in Nebraska while living in Colorado.  And has represented LRC for the required 3 year minimum.

One more caveat.  If the athlete moves to a neighboring (or even further outlying) state that does not offer an LDR program and club system, they may choose to remain with their previous club.  Or, if the athlete has always resided in a state that offers nothing for their development they may petition to join another state’s program.  I call this the “Aubrey Baxter Rule” because I lobbied my colleagues hard to get her accepted onto Team Nebraska even though she lived in South Dakota, with no support at all.  My petition was granted and remains the standard.

Back to my stud runner that just moved back to their home state of Iowa.  The athlete competed for and represented a USATF Nebraska club for less than the 3 year minimum.

It won’t make me any more popular than I already am but it is my charge to keep an eye on such things.  And you may not like it but I hold every athlete/team to the same standard, my own included.

So I’ll keep my notes on who’s who and who’s where and who’s entering what and who’s representing whom.  And won’t tolerate any shenanigans when it comes to USATF Championships, local, regional, and national.  Somebody has to do it, for the good of the whole.

That’s the Truth.  Scandalous I’m sure.