USA Boxing Being Forced To Restructure

After a disastrous Olympics in which no U.S. male boxer medaled, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has mandated that U.S.A. Boxing, the governing body for amateur boxing in the U.S., restructure or be cut off from future funding.  The AIBA, which is the international governing body for amateur boxing, also briefly suspended U.S.A. Boxing after certain comments were made by U.S.A. Boxing’s president.  The current situation in U.S.A. Boxing is certainly undesirable and needs to be remedied.  Perhaps the United States can learn from what other nations are doing in their respective boxing programs and restructure themselves accordingly.  Perhaps a more business oriented model might also help cure some of U.S.A. Boxing’s woes.

Other nations, like the United Kingdom, have vastly improved their amateur boxing program.  One of the improvements they made was using funds from a national lottery to fund their best amateur boxer’s expenses, allowing them to focus on training rather than also having to maintain a job in addition to training.  In the U.S., although the top amateurs do get a living stipend, it is not enough to fund their expenses.  Changing this situation would allow U.S. boxers to compete on a more level playing field with boxers from other nations.  There are certainly numerous ways to raise funds for this expense, and other national teams’ structures should be looked at in determining what would be best for the U.S.

The U.S. may also wish to enlist the help of corporate attorneys and others skilled in corporations law in restructuring U.S.A. Boxing to make it a more viable organization.  Part of the problem is that most local U.S.A. boxing organizations are staffed by volunteers who are not always as skilled or attentive to their tasks as one may want them to be.  Although U.S.A. Boxing will continue to be largely a volunteer-based organization, changes can still be made to make it more viable.  U.S.A. Boxing can be structured to be more successful if the right people are willing to help.

Should U.S.A. Boxing enlist the help of other nations with successful boxing programs in restructuring theirs?  What kind of professionals and others would it be a good idea for U.S.A. Boxing to enlist in helping them to restructure their program?

One comment

  1. I think one issue that this comment sheds light on is the amateur status of athletes. The rules that govern amateur athletes are so strict that in one recent case, they forced Olympic Gold Metal winner Missy Franklin to give back t-shirts and paraphernalia given by teen idol Justin Bieber. http://ca.omg.yahoo.com/blogs/north-stars/usa-gold-medalist-missy-franklin-sent-back-her-183220492.html. While I am not an expert in the amateur rules for athletes, I know that they are strict as to what athletes may accept from individuals as gifts, and also any compensation they can receive for their sport. The idea is that the sport still remain their passion and hobby, and not their job. The incentive of money ruins their amateur status. I agree that this needs to change. I agree with the premise that we need to have these rules, but not as strict as they are presently. In circumstances such as the ones that Louis highlights, they take away from the success these boxers can have on the biggest of stages.

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