The purpose of this letter is to discuss the USASF’s letter dated April 10, 2013. Growcheer.org applauds the USASF for responding to our proposal and initiating a self-improvement process. We would also like to thank everyone who offered invaluable insight and suggestions into our proposal, provided ongoing support and raised issues on their own to the USASF that we hadn’t even considered.
YOU were the impetus for the USASF to begin addressing many of the important (and long overdue) issues that have been plaguing the all-star cheer for years. Now that you’ve “got the ball rolling,” we are hopeful that the USASF will run with it. To be sure, in these busy times, it is imperative that we collectively work with the USASF to ensure that these issues remain at the top of their agenda, so that meaningful, timely progress can occur in our sport.
With that, we respectfully submit the following comments to the Board of Directors of the USASF:
USASF: A 501c status is used primarily for organizations that receive donations, which the USASF does not.
Growcheer.org: While this is a factual statement, Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) provides for organizations that are “organized and operated to foster national or international amateur sports competition.” With rare exceptions, all other national governing bodies for US sports are organized as 501(c)(3) organizations and operate with full transparency to its members. Furthermore, the ability to accept donations is a positive aspect that could serve to generate additional revenue for the USASF, strengthening its financial position and reducing the cost of participating in Worlds for its members.
USASF: The corporate structure is controlled by the USASF Board of Directors and could be changed if the board decided it was in the best interest of the members.
Growcheer.org: We suggest that the Board conduct a third-party administered survey that objectively outlines the advantages and disadvantages of the existing structure and a 501(c)(3), and let the members decide what is in their best interest.
USASF: …it is obvious those bylaws could be improved upon. But remember, when written there was no reason for a formal set of complete statutes. The bylaws made all of the original board seats permanent in order to assure the organization stayed true to its mission. They also required a unanimous vote to change the bylaws. This stipulation is probably not ideal today.
Growcheer.org: We agree 100% with the USASF’s statements that their bylaws could be improved upon. Despite the USASF’s original intentions in establishing permanent Board seats, we believe the mission of the organization should be guided by its members, not a couple of for-profit companies. Successful organizations need to be able to adapt to change, and certainly all-star cheer has undergone significant change since the USASF’s inception nine years ago. Although not specifically addressed in their letter, we urge the Board to put aside their self-interests for the good of the sport and to eliminate permanent Board seats and the unanimous vote provision. We believe that making these changes are, by far, THE most important steps the USASF can take to ensure that the sport of all-star cheer continues to grow and meet the ever-evolving needs of its members.
USASF: This [the Varsity loan] has been an incredible benefit to our organization and members, and it would have been impossible for the USASF to survive without it.
Growcheer.org: While we acknowledge Varsity’s support has aided the USASF, the admission that without it the organization would have ceased to exist altogether is alarming, especially given the sport’s growing popularity over the past decade. This brings into question the validity of the USASF’s business model and/or the financial competence of the Board. Growcheer.org, comprised of management teams of diverse, complex business enterprises, would be willing to work with the USASF gratis in this area in an effort to improve the operating performance of the organization. The USASF’s pledge to publicly disclose their complete, audited financial statements in a few weeks will be an excellent starting point.
USASF: We look forward to working with our entire community to insure we continue to build an even stronger and more effective USASF.
Growcheer.org: Again, we congratulate the USASF for taking this historical step. Growcheer.org’s sole purpose is to do its part to effect positive change in all-star cheer. In this spirit, we offer our services to the USASF and pledge to keep members focused on these important issues by keeping the conversation at the forefront.
GK Elite Sportswear, L.P.
GTM Sportswear, Inc.
Nfinity Athletic, LLC