Jump to content

Usoc Seeks New Ceo

Recommended Posts

Just saw a report that sports leaders in the US are demanding resignations at the USOC and want some 'house cleaning' - saw the report on another Olympic Games site.... not going to say which one because this one is WAY better! Looks like Streeter is on the way out - not that it's a major shock after last week!

I wonder who the USOC will go with to steer the ship in the right direction again - maybe Mitt Romney will step in if his Presidential dreams aren't keeping him too occupied.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They can demand it but do they have someone to put up? I mean Larry Probst's job, as chairman, is unpaid (the USOC only pays his expenses; his company, Electronic Arts, pays for his assistants)...so will two people like them step in?

That's really as stupid as changing Chicago for a 2020 bid.

Too bad, Anna Nicole Smith is gone. So who's got the big boobs to distract the DOM of Lausanne?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Streeter has already indicated that she will not seek consideration for the job, and the new CEO will be chosen before Vancouver, or soon after.

I think Probst may not stay in his position too long either.

Here is an article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-0...0,5049875.story

Streeter was really just interim.

I think Harvey Schiller is a name being floated about. Romney would be good.

I think the new chairperson must be strong in summer sports connections (especially in soccer); and the president must be someone strong in winter sports connections (or vice-versa). That should cover all bases then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe Romney's good administratively...but the org, needs someone with even a middling sports-connection background.

Is it possible to be one of the American IOC members? If the Americans want the SOG they need an insider.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the USA needs new IOC members. Anita DeFrantz seems like a nice lady, but not a big influence in the IOC. Didn't she get like 3 votes when she ran for President in 2001? And who's the other guy? Jim Easton? What's his story?

As for the USOC...What's William Porter "Billy" Payne doing these days?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why did Jim Scherr get fired?

Stephanie Streeter reminds me somewhat of Barbara Cassani who was the first Head of the London 2012 bid.Like Streeter,

Cassani (who was also American) was very good at the technical and business aspects of the bid but had no idea how to handle the IOC.Eventually she was forced to resign after the London bid was rated far behind Paris and Madrid and Sebastian Coe, who did have the necessary contacts with the IOC big boys (he was a long-time friend of Samaranch),was appointed to replace her.The rest,as they say,is history!

Perhaps it's high time the USOC did something similar!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It should be Doug Logan, the current CEO for USA Track & Field, for either CEO or Chairman. Read the following article/interview with him and tell me if you disagree:


On the record with Doug Logan

Tue Oct 06, 2009 By Joe Battaglia / Universal Sports

When Doug Logan was hired as USA Track & Field's new chief executive officer on July 21, 2008, he brought with him a wealth of experience both as an international businessman and executive in the sports and entertainment industry.

He began his career in the entertainment business as a beer vendor at Yankee Stadium while he was in college. He was the promoter of the first Arena Football League game in 1985. In 1999, he formed Empresario, LLC, a sports consulting firm that represented clients in North, Central and South America and Spain. In 1995 Logan was named the first commissioner of Major League Soccer, a position he held for four years.

In his time at USATF, Logan has been an outspoken advocate for the eradication of performance enhancing substances in sport as well as a champion for reform and accountability within the sports domestic governing body. In the last year, he was also a vocal promoter of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics.

In a candid phone conversation from his office in Indianapolis, Logan shared his assessment of Chicago's failed bid, suggested cultural changes within the United States Olympic Committee that could benefit future bids, and discussed the impact Chicago's loss will have on the sport of track and field in America.

What did you think about Chicago's bid proposal?

I've seen a lot of Olympic bids and I've got to tell you from the technical side of things, as a technical proposal for the Olympic Games in the age that we live in, it was superior. It was a superbly-put-together proposal, and technically I detected no flaws in it. I thought it was a great bid.

Of course, there are two sides of it. There's the technical side of it and the other one's the political side of it. I think it's with the political side of it that the bid was wanting.

When you look at how the voting played out, what is your opinion as to why Chicago got so few votes in the first round?

You read all of the post-mortems that have occurred in the last 72 hours and you can ride around in circles. My own perceptions are perhaps from a little-higher altitude than a lot of people are commenting on.

The perspective that I have is one that is based upon having been an individual that was, first of all, raised in a multicultural family. I was raised bilingual. Besides speaking English and Spanish, I also understand enough Italian and understand enough French to get the general gist of what people are saying to me. While I can't converse in any of the two languages, I understand them a little bit. I also was a CEO of a Mexican-owned company based in Mexico City that did work in Mexico and Central and South America so I know what the business norms are in other countries and how people function and operate effectively there, the differences in customs and ways of doing business. In Mexico, I got a real sense of true feelings of people outside of this country. I've done business in Central and South America and Western Europe and I know what it is like to deal with people from other countries, at least in a private commercial sense. I think that gives me a platform from which I can make the following statements.

I think that as an institution, the United States Olympic movement in general, and the USOC specifically, does not have either the tools or the knowledge of what it takes to operate globally in today's day and age. The lesson that was a hard lesson for U.S. corporations to learn once they started to operate on a global level, but apparently we didn't learn it as the business of sports. We are still conducting business in a parochial, provincial way, and I think that when it comes time to compete politically on a global basis we are powerless. We don't know what to do or how to do it.

That's just a general observation. I will back that up with several specifics.

I am bilingual and have had the opportunity to run two major sports. In both sports I have been involved with running at the CEO level, soccer and now track and field, the fact that I could speak, read and write Spanish was an immeasurable help to me and the organization that I represented. Yet, in neither case was it part of the criteria for my hiring. No one said, ‘Language is a plus,' or, ‘We will favor candidates that speak, read or write two languages.' They sort of fell into it like, ‘You speak Spanish? Oh, that's nice.' And then went on to something else. As a nation, as a society, we do not value languages. We do not value people who speak multiple languages. I will bet everything that I have in the world that the leadership of all three other delegations spoke multiple languages. The leaders of our delegation did not. They spoke English. I would also venture to guess that in this search for a new CEO that the USOC is going to go through, the position description will not mention languages. A ‘second language is preferred,' or ‘a second language is a positive,' anything. It will be silent to them. The criteria of having worked globally in business will be silent to them because we don't value that, we don't see that as a plus.

As a consequence, we have people that don't recognize the importance that other countries place on relationships. We are a nation that is famous for having people try to go do business in a foreign country get down to business before the menu has arrived at a lunch meeting. There is no sensitivity to the fact that the relationship is far more important than the subject matter to be discussed, and far more enduring. It becomes enduring at a time and place when some people are thinking favorably when they're going to vote for you. We want to say, ‘Wait, we've got this great proposal here. Here it is and this is why we're superior to everybody else. And by the way, we're speaking in English and we're the best.' There is a hubris that is attached to it that - and I've seen it from the other side having worked overseas - the American way of doing business is looked upon as rude, is looked upon as uncivilized and is looked upon as arrogant. If we're going to do business in a global climate, we have to wise up to that.

I will tell you that major multi-national companies, who know what they're doing, have wised up to it and have leadership that is in tune with that as people who travel. Here's another example.

Our national organizing committee, the USOC, is ensconced in the mountains of Colorado. Go check out the travel logs. They don't go anywhere. You go to them, they don't come to you. They don't come to my office in Indianapolis much less to Lausanne. They don't go to worldwide events.

Go ask the leadership, and I use leadership in a collective way, what national and international events they have been to. Did they go to August's World Championships in Europe? No. Did they go to Rome? Did they come to Berlin? Larry Probst did come to Berlin, but he went to meet with the IOC executive committee and pull back on the network. They don't go out there and mingle. They don't realize that the work of sports is out there. They're much more concerned with what's happening in that castle in the mountains. They're very inwardly focused rather than externally focused.

All of a sudden every four years or every once in a while there is an opportunity to bid for something that shows that you are communing with 200 other nations and they wonder why they're treated like strangers. Because they are strangers. The cultural problem is much larger than a specific individual or a specific element of a bid or anyone of a number other of things.

The third thing I will say about Brazil's bid is that Lula's strategy was brilliant. It was a brilliant strategy to align himself with the Africans. He had a very simple message. I think the bid was won on the basis of one slide and it was the one slide that showed the world and showed where all of the Olympic Games have been in the past and it showed a huge void in South America and in Africa. On the basis of that one slide, I think he won it. The strategy of pushing votes to Tokyo, which apparently occurred, to knock us out in the first round, was brilliant. We weren't very brilliant.

At the end of the day, I think all of those chickens came to roost and I think we should not be surprised that we did as poorly as we did.

Do you feel these factors are common denominators in New York's failed bid for the 2012 Olympics as well, and will these issues continue to hamper future U.S. bids unless cultural changes occur?

Absolutely. And it will be with the next bid as well. Until we wise up, until we decide, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We don't have much influence with the IOC, period. Why?' Because we're not out there doing the necessary politics to become important people in the IOC. Anyone who says we have any level of importance in Lausanne doesn't really know what the hell is going on. We don't play the game internationally because we don't have the tools to do it. On top of that, we have a culture that we somehow feel is unimportant.

I was quoted accurately in several commentary pieces saying it is a really easy way to say no to the United States because there are no consequences. There are no consequences of losing your foreign-aid dollars. There are no consequences of the U.S. suddenly cancelling arms shipments to your government. You're still going to get satellite television. You're still going to get the Disney Channel. You're still going to get ESPN. There are no consequences to your country, and it's a secret vote.

At the end of the day, every IOC delegate knew that voting for Brazil and against Chicago was going to cost the entire Olympic movement money. The calculus was, ‘Do I dislike them enough to pay for it?' At least last week, that's what they chose to do.

When you look at the level at which U.S. athletes perform internationally and how serious this country takes its sports, it seems that proportionately we have very little influence within the IOC. Is that strictly because we don't play the political game or know how to properly play the game?

No. Part of it has to do with one country, one vote. And it has to do with the same problem we face at the United Nations. It has to do with the fact that our dominance is also our Achilles heel because people wind up resenting us for taking so many medals and so they need to win in some other way. So they find other ways to win. With it being one country, one vote where there is a great skew away from those nations, we don't even get our due for being one country for some of the reasons I have identified. The dynamics are set up for, on a regular basis, being turned down. At the end of the day, it's predictable that this is going to go on. I think there are some ways that we can change the way we are culturally to mitigate some of it, but some of these problems are systemic and are going to exist regardless of what we do. I think it would be of great benefit to us to have leadership that could understand some of what was going on, leadership that would have relationships with other heads of sport in other countries. Forgive me for saying this but I don't think we have relationships with anybody else.

Skip Gilbert has said that he believes wholesale changes are needed at the USOC. What is your opinion?

Let me go on the record as clearly not advocating changes at the top. Some of my brethren have called for resignations or firings or removals and I'm not one of them. I'm pretty old-school and I was raised to respect the office as well as the individual. It's not my place to tell the USOC board what to do or to be involved in any way suggesting that leadership should change.

In the last few days, the USOC has been portrayed as ‘The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.' If you could outline some prerequisites that you would have for new hires within the USOC leadership, what would they be?

If I were taking a blank piece of paper and would be creating the profile for the ideal leader, whether of the Board or of management or both, I would say that there are some places where I think we've got some failings.

There is a failure, at least with contemporary leadership, to recognize that this is show business. This is not making widgets. This is not manufacturing. This is not the corporate world as many know it. This is show business. Much like a media company like ABC or Disney or any other media company, sports in this country is show business and sports world-wide is show business and that requires a certain amount of magnetism in leadership that isn't necessarily a requisite of the business world. This whole concept of it's got to be run like a business is true, but much like NBC Universal or ABC/Disney/ESPN it's a very public business and so not only can you not hide from the spotlight but you have to devise a strategy to embrace the spotlight and to prosthelytize. So I think that in either of those two posts, or both, you need prosthelytizers. I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to whether we have them at the present time.

The second thing is having a knowledge of what the sports world is all about. I have been in the world of sports for many, many decades and I have seen many, many people come and go who say, ‘Hey, it's no different than selling shoes.' And those people are no longer there. It's a business with its own Rolodex and sets of relationships. It's a business with its own rules of how one deals with one another. All of my adult life has been involved in the business of entertainment and sports. I can pick up the phone and can bind anybody you want on a phone call without a piece of paper on my good name for $10 million, $20 million, $30 million. Before I put the phone down, I can make a deal at that level because people know me and know my good name and somebody coming in from the outside cannot do that. It's not that it's rocket science. It's a business with its own anomalies and its own culture that is not prone at a real high level to allow someone else, despite what the sparkling resume might say, to get involved in the fray until he or she earns their spurs. I would want somebody with a good Rolodex within the sports media/entertainment world.

The third thing shines a light on glaring deficiencies we have of people we have are not conversant with and knowledgeable of doing business on an international basis. I'd want to have somebody who has some level of international credentials, who has that degree of sensitivity.

The fourth thing is that I would look for someone who really, truly has an understanding that it is not an inwardly-focused business but an outwardly one. There's got to be a picture window on the world and the sport and whoever it is has to be facile and comfortable with playing that role.

I'll throw a fifth thing in. It really helps to have someone who is really a sports fan, someone who really, really loves sports and is passionate about sports in an authentic way. By that, I mean Olympic sports. I don't mean somebody who spends Sunday afternoon watching the NFL. I mean somebody who has a little understanding of international soccer, a little bit about swimming, a little bit about winter sports, but who is at their very root is a sports fan who understands not only the business of sports but the spirit-lifting element of competition at the highest level.

You've stated that you are not an advocate of heads rolling at the USOC. Since becoming CEO of USA Track & Field you have spoken a lot about the need for their being accountability at the leadership. In your opinion, who should ultimately be held accountable for the failed Chicago bid?

The people with the biggest pay checks right at the top of the bid. I love Pat Ryan and I admire Mayor Daley because at the end of the day, they will sit down and assess not necessarily the bid but how they pursued it and they are paying the price now. They are being held accountable for a failed bid that they vested their energies and passions in for four years and, in the case of Pat Ryan, wrote some decent-sized personal checks to.

Does the accountability go right up to Larry Probst and Stephanie Streeter?

I can only say that in my own personal set of values, if I would have been in their shoes I would own responsibility for it. Yup. This is a game of brick bats and bouquets. If you're there to take the bows, you've got to be there to take the boos.

How does Chicago losing the 2016 bid impact USA Track and Field?

Money. Basically, money. I've quantified it, and I quantified it in advance, what Chicago meant to us in incremental revenue over the course of the next seven years. For me, it was about $10 million. Is it going to make my runners run any slower? No. Is it going to make my vaulters jump any lower? No. Is it going to impact our development programs? Well, $10 million ain't cheese. It would have been meaningful. Can I pick that up in other ways and in other places? The answer is yes. At the end of the day, it was money. Relatively speaking, is it a big loss for us? No. But as a citizen of this country and part of the Olympic movement in this country, would Chicago have been meaningful? The answer is yes.

That $10 million would have gone a long way toward your stated goal in Project 30 of $30 million funding by 2012. Considering the current health of the economy, how much more difficult did reaching that goal just get and where do you go from here?

I can't pull up a percentage and even find some difficulty in putting words against it. Is it more difficult? The answer is yes. How much? I don't know. I just have to be more nimble, get up a little earlier in the morning, work a little later at night, and be a little more creative. I don't know how to quantify it.

Does the Olympics going to Rio instead of Chicago in 2016 pretty much rule out the possibility of the U.S. hosting the World Championships?

It does have some consequences in that potentially the venue in Chicago either the year before or the year afterward might have made a whole lot of sense as a building block. Does it impact that specific goal that I've got? I think yes, and in a pretty meaningful way. I'm going to have to really scramble to find other potential venues where (Chicago) would have been a pretty logical place to go.

When you spoke to members of the Track and Field Writers Association in Eugene this summer, you weren't prepared to name a city or location that you had in mind as a host, but it seems apparent that you were really banking on Chicago being that city.

There were four potential avenues and that was one of them, but probably the easiest to accomplish. It has left me with three far more difficult choices.

And you're going to continue moving forward with the three potential host cities?

Yes, absolutely.

How important is it for the vitality of track and field domestically that you work through those three possibilities and find a legitimate locale for the World Championships to be held in the United States?

If I remember the words I used in Reno last December, I think I used words like we will not be taken seriously as a major player in athletics until we host one of these. I think that that still falls true. I think that we wind up with the best team in track and field and athletics on a regular basis. It becomes harder and harder for us to continue to dominate, but at the same time, within the politics of the sport itself, it is extraordinarily important for us to have relevance with our international federation. It's an important ingredient and that's why I will continue to vest my energies to seeing that this happens.

As the head of an NGB, when an American city loses an Olympic bid, does it diminish the prospects for your sport, and Olympic sports in general, within the United States and how so?

I think you get a bit of a boost post the hosting of the Games itself. We had some plans, which I don't really want to make public because certain elements I pledged some confidence in, with regard to what we were going to do in the lead up to a Chicago Games that are now not feasible. We were going to, hopefully, put some plans in place where we could slingshot on that success. That's not possible any longer. It's a missed opportunity. There's no denying it.

From the standpoint of the heads of the NGBs, it sounds like your jobs just got a whole lot harder. Is that accurate?

Yeah, I think that's fair to say. I think there's two ways of looking at it. I don't know that we've got a harder job. We've got no easier job. It would have made our jobs easier, but we've got tough jobs anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the USA needs new IOC members. Anita DeFrantz seems like a nice lady, but not a big influence in the IOC. Didn't she get like 3 votes when she ran for President in 2001? And who's the other guy? Jim Easton? What's his story?

As for the USOC...What's William Porter "Billy" Payne doing these days?

i was not impressed with Jim Easton either. How long has he been an IOC member for?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree 100% with Doug Logan.

I remember watching Chicago's presentation being surprised that they didn't speak a word of Spanish for example. I am not naive enough to think that it would have changed anything but it just shows that the US has a long way to go to reconnect with the Olympic Movement.

As for Billy Payne, the Atlanta Games being not regarded highly by the IOC Members (as unfair as it may be), it wouldn't be the brightest idea to restore USOC status within the Movement. Romney would be a much better choic should he want to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very good assessment. But I am not sure that the resentment would exist if the politics side was better handled. For the IOC, it looks like the Americans are trying to run an Olympic Movement of their own instead of being part of an international effort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thing about having clout in the IOC. Well, just supposed the US got one in there...and of course, our person in there started sending things the way of the USOC...then of course (s)he would be with criticism of "favoring" the US, etc.

I really think we should just hijack the next IOC session; declare a coup d'etat...and that's that. Quick and dirty. Take no prisoners!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think we should just hijack the next IOC session; declare a coup d'etat...and that's that. Quick and dirty. Take no prisoners!!

Hilarious!! And what kind of special force would be used for that? They would be forced to listen to the top 50 speeches delivered by Prince Albert?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About Logan, he wasn't the head of USA Track and Field when all the doping scandals went down was he? If not, then he would seem like a good choice.

Logan seems good, but he is kinda well along in years. Would he want this job? Dick Ebersole (NBC) is shooting his mouth off with his candidates; and he might know what he speaks of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
Blackmun to be new USOC chief executive

January 5 - Scott Blackmun is set to be unveiled as the new chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), insidethegames can reveal.

Blackmun, a former acting chief executive of the USOC, has been chosen ahead of Chuck Wielgus, the chief executive of USA Swimming, and will be formally introduced by chairman Larry Probst at a press conference in Colorado Springs tomorrow.

The 52-year-old is currently a partner at law firm Holmes Robert & Owen, who have offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, where he specialises in sports and entertainment.

Blackmun will replace Stephanie Streeter, who has been the acting chief executive since Jim Scherr was controversially forced from his position in March.

He was formerly the USOC's general consul and acted as its temporary chief executive in 2000-2001.

He will be the tenth chief executive the USOC has had since 1988.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...