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Chairman Will Chang and Rob King announced their resignations from the USA Rugby board of directors Thursday. This leaves the board with just two at-large members, freshman Barbara O’Brien and Robert Kimmitt, following a rash of resignations.
Chang and King follow Dean Barrett and Chad Keck on their way out the door as USA Rugby tries to bounce back from financial woes surrounding Rugby International Marketing, the troubled for-profit subsidiary created by the board.
If Chang’s announced exit sounds repetitive, it is. At the end of April, Chang announced his plan to retire following next month’s 7s World Cup. That wasn’t soon enough for many in USA Rugby’s congress, though, as an effort to recall Chang, Keck, Kimmitt and Jeremiah Johnson was to result in a vote for their ouster Monday.
Chang finally got the message, and instead of being left alone to celebrate the hosting of America’s first World Cup, an event he had a heavy hand in bringing to fruition to be held in his backyard, he’ll have to watch as a civilian like everyone else.
Kimmitt is expected to resign in short order, while Johnson may well end up being voted out. If he is, it will be by the body he’s meant to represent, as he serves as Congress’ representative on the board.
If Kimmitt and Johnson do exit, that leaves just O’Brien, Todd Clever and Phaidra Knight, the independent athlete representatives, on the board. Some in congress have lobbied for a transitional board, which would see a small number of temporary board members help guide the union through September, when permanent replacements are expected to be seated.
There was some pushback on this plan by the incumbent board, which was part of the reasoning behind petitioning for the recall of those involved in the failures of RIM.