CLA pon­ders na­tional team man­agers’ de­mands

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES EX­AM­INER SPORTS DI­REC­TOR

The chair­man of Canada’s na­tional lacrosse teams feels the Cana­dian Lacrosse As­so­ci­a­tion is freez­ing out the man­agers who steered Canada to its great­est era of suc­cess.

The CLA is­sued a re­sponse on Nov. 1 to signed Oct. 22 let­ters from Canada’s four-man na­tional team man­age­ment group and na­tional men’s team play­ers with three de­mands.

Chair­man Dean French, men’s di­rec­tor Dave Hunt­ley, women’s di­rec­tor Gary Gait and in­door di­rec­tor John Moura­dian re­quested im­prove­ments to na­tional team in­sur­ance cov­er­age, the res­ig­na­tion of two CLA board mem­bers and no changes to the na­tional team poli­cies and guide­lines agree­ment cre­ated in 2012. If those de­mands are not met by March 31, the men say they will re­sign.

The Ex­am­iner has ob­tained a copy of the CLA board’s re­sponse sent to the man­age­ment group and na­tional team play­ers.

The CLA ac­knowl­edged re­ceipt of the man­age­ment group’s let­ter stat­ing, “You have raised sev­eral points which war­rant se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion and there­fore re­quire the ap­pro­pri­ate at­ten­tion be­fore pro­vid­ing a for­mal re­sponse. We trust that you will ap­pre­ci­ate that we want to make the best de­ci­sion for lacrosse in Canada.”

The board states it has been re­view­ing the na­tional team pro­gram for the past year “with the ob­jec­tive of com­ing up with a plan that will help the pro­gram ex­ceed its cur­rent suc­cesses.”

In the past five years, Canada’s U19 women’s team won its first ever gold medal and the se­nior women’s team its first silver medal at world cham­pi­onships. The men’s pro­gram won its third world field lacrosse ti­tle, the U19 men’s team a silver medal and the in­door men’s team won its third con­sec­u­tive gold medal.

It marks the most suc­cess­ful five year stretch in na­tional team his­tory.

“We are all thrilled with the suc­cess on the field/floor how­ever we all agree that im­prove­ment off the floor has to be

ad­dressed so that we can serve our play­ers, coaches and vol­un­teers bet­ter,” states the board’s re­sponse.

The CLA states it will con­sider the man­age­ment group’s three de­mands at its next meet­ing this week­end.

“At that time we will be con­tin­u­ing with our thor­ough re­view of the pro­gram and eval­u­at­ing how we can best serve the lacrosse com­mu­nity. Your po­si­tion will be given se­ri­ous thought and once we have a com­pre­hen­sive plan we will pro­vide you with our for­mal re­sponse,” states the re­sponse.

French said from 2010 to 2015 he was in­vited by the CLA board to its AGM and semi-an­nual meet­ing to pro­vide a na­tional teams’ re­port. The CLA AGM is set for Fri­day through Sun­day and this will be the fourth meet­ing in two years that French said he’s not been in­vited to at­tend, even though the CLA’s na­tional team poli­cies re­quire a re­port from the na­tional team’s chair­man.

The man­age­ment group worked with the CLA to come up with their 2012 agree­ment and if the CLA is work­ing on a “com­pre­hen­sive plan,” as it states in its re­sponse, French said it’s in­con­ceiv­able the man­agers of the na­tional team would not be in­cluded in the process.

“Just like out play­ers and coaches, I’m grate­ful for the con­tri­bu­tion that Gary Gait, Dave Hunt­ley and Johnny Moura­dian have made to lacrosse as play­ers, coaches and now as lead­ers of Team Canada. There is a rea­son why they are all in the Hall of Fame,” French said.

“If this was hockey, and you al­ready had Wayne Gret­zky, Mike Bab­cock and Scotty Bow­man lead­ing the na­tional pro­gram, I don’t think you would redesign Team Canada with­out con­sult­ing them, if your in­ten­tion was to keep them in­volved.

“These guys are pre­pared to re­sign over un­re­solved is­sues fac­ing na­tional play­ers and our sport. They have earned the re­spect and trust of our play­ers and coaches over the years and it’s hard for me to see them treated this way.”

The man­age­ment group re­quested CLA pres­i­dent Joey Har­ris and di­rec­tor So­hen Gill re­sign so the CLA could be­gin the process to re­gain its Reg­is­tered Cana­dian Am­a­teur Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion (RCAAA) sta­tus.

The Canada Rev­enue Agency re­voked its RCAAA sta­tus in 2010 for the CLA’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in a $60.7 mil­lion gift­ing pro­gram the CRA de­clared an “abu­sive tax shel­ter.” In 2012, the CRA in­di­cated any­one on a board when RCAAA sta­tus was re­voked must be re­moved for the or­ga­ni­za­tion to re­gain its sta­tus.

With­out the sta­tus, the CLA lost its abil­ity to is­sue char­i­ta­ble tax re­ceipts which French main­tains ham­pers the na­tional team’s abil­ity to at­tract spon­sors and do­na­tions. Two weeks ago, na­tional team play­ers an­nounced the cre­ation of the Na­tional Lacrosse Team Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. They are re­quest­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the CLA board.

The board stated in its re­sponse it will have no fur­ther com­ment prior to their next meet­ing.

SUBMITTED FILE PHOTO

From left, Peter­bor­ough's Erica Evans, Katie Dono­hoe and Al­li­son Da­ley show off the silver meals they won with Team Canada at the 2017 FIL Rath­bones World Cup of Women's Lacrosse in Guild­ford, Eng­land on in July.

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