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The seating of the 11-person College Management Council is the first step in building USA Rugby’s new collegiate machine. The idea is to put the college game in the hands of those who know it best; college coaches, former coaches and former players.

In the hierarchy of the college game, below the Council will sit four committees: Women’s Strategic, Eligibility, Men’s Competitions and Women’s Competitions. The makeup of the committees have not all been released (only the Women's Strategic has) but they're expected to be by week's end.

What will be these committees roles as they get going?

“The Eligibility Committee will be looking at what our college eligibility rules are, and once that study’s done they’ll obviously be presenting to the management council for discussion,” said USA Rugby Collegiate Director.

“The Competitions Committees will be responsible not only for getting our brackets filled each year and that sort of thing, but they’re going to look at how we run our championships.

“The Women’s Strategic Committee is kind of a different animal in that they’re going to be working on potential restructure of the women’s game as well as working on the emerging sports initiative, so we’ve just got a lot of things going on right now.”   

These committees will also be the recipients and processors of complaints, waivers and requests from the college constituency. If a college player wants to apply for an eligibility waiver, his/her request now goes to USA Rugby’s newly formed College Eligibility Committee, instead of to USA Rugby's overarching Eligibility Committee.

If a committee decision is appealed or protested, it moves to the Management Council, and if need be, can go outside the college branch altogether to the Rugby Committee or the desk of CEO Nigel Melville.

While the committees are getting acquainted and looking over current policies and procedures, the Management Council will be busy with its own charge.  

“A big part of the strategic plan was coming up with a way to share best practices across college level. That will be a big part of the discussion obviously,” said Bell. “The best practices thing is going to start with (the Management Council), because we don’t have a direct best practices committee, so that’ll probably be one thing they’ll be working on right away.”

Each committee has its own charges and separate to-do lists, so be sure to check back with RUGBYMag.com over the coming days as we try to get you more information on how your college game is changing.