You are here
Since news broke of the business practices of PRO Rugby and owner/CEO Doug Schoninger last week, the American rugby community has circled its wagons. The clearest evidence of its mobilization is the money raised to cover PRO's outstanding bill with a non-profit restaurant.
Plates is an extension of the Saint John's Program for Real Change, an organization which serves homeless mothers and their children in Sacramento, Calif. Residents of the homeless shelter work at Plates to gain experience and skills in the workforce. PRO's Sacramento Express ate there for months, racking up a bill of $7,510.34, which Schoninger refused to pay, despite PRO’s own paperwork guaranteeing players lunches on days they trained.
When word of his debt spread throughout the rugby community, Men's National Team captains Todd Clever and Blaine Scully, both from Northern California, jumped into action, starting a crowdfunding page for the rugby community to help cover the deficit. Others shared a link to the organization's website, as well, to spark giving.
People from all corners of the community pitched in, including several who are owed money by Schoninger himself. Even USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne and his wife contributed. At the time of publication, Clever is reporting that the rugby community has raised over $11,000 for Plates.