Fallout begins from USATF decision to remove Vin Lananna, by Ken Goe/The Oregonian


by Ken Goe/OregonLive/The Oregonian

The way you feel about the USATF board of directors' stewardship of the sport in this country and the way it represents the organization's membership probably colors how you feel about the board's decision to put USATF president Vin Lananna on temporary leave.

The move was made Sunday when the board met in executive session in Albuquerque, and announced in a Monday release.

Lananna, remember, was elected by the membership in late 2016 by acclamation after several years of discord between the board and the rank and file. The USATF presidency is an unpaid position.

Lananna has been at odds with the board since his election. He apparently didn't help himself by failing to disclose to the board he had been contacted as part of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in its probe into the bidding processes of international sporting events.

To read the entire Ken Goe article: http://www.oregonlive.com/trackandfield/index.ssf/2018/02/fallout_begins_from_usatf_deci.html

RunBlogRun opines: I always find that, at least for my mind, to understand, or perhaps, to better appreciate contemporary situations, I like to refer to past events in World History. The level of partisanship between Lananna and the board was strong at the election. Steve Miller reminded the assembled masses at the 2016 Meeting that Vin was one member of the board, suggesting that his voice was one of many, not a lone voice in the wilderness.

The problem was this. After the Doug Logan purge in 2010, the board seemed emboldened, and perhaps, event saw themselves as saving the sport from that debacle. There was, or perhaps, again, it seemed that the Board would be incredulous over the assembled masses, also refered to as the members of USA Track & Field and their frustration with the decisions and lack of transparancy that seemed to permeate the board.

Trouble is, and I have noted this before, that the USOC loves USATF board. As Doystoveysky noted in the Grand Inquisitor chapter from Brothers Karamazov, " If we give them bread, they give us their souls." USOC wants medals, and they want a tough, small board that keeps the members in tow, hopefully figuring out the members currency and filling them up with goodies, free cocktail parties and a couple of pat on the backs. Problem is, the masses are much smarter now, and they seem a tad annoyed with USATF Board. For a group that professes transparency, there doth not seem to be anything transparent.

The removal of Vin Lananna, whether it is one day or four years, is a fascinating act of Board partisanship. Whether it is for the good of the sport remains to be seen. Does the USATF Board know things we do not? Perhaps they might want to explain themselves to the membership, who voted Lananna in by acclamation.

One problem with the vitriol between Lananna and the Board. The least of their worries is a DOJ investigation. In the scorched earth that will come from a battle between such partisanship, there will be many hurt and much damaged. Our sport can not afford much more damage.

Again, a good synopsis by Ken Goe, a keen observer of our sport.

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