USBC apparently takes first step in slashing budget By Dick Evans

    02/16/10

    Column

    ColumnistDickEvans.jpg Sometimes it hurts to be right.

    Through the mail Thursday, I got three issues of the Colorado Bowler News publication and I glanced at my stories -- because I often forget what I have written.

    My story in the December issue carried this headline:

    "USBC Faces Difficult Financial Times That Could Result in Drastic Measures to Save Money"

    Sadly, the day after I read my story again I got a call from bowling writer/super coach John Jowdy, who was in Reno for the USBC Masters tournament. The first thing he asked me was if I had heard about who had been laid off by the USBC.

    I said no and he named six or seven people. That same afternoon I was reading the BJI report on the Internet and in about the third section of the newsletter there were comments about the lay offs and a few names were mentioned.

    Since I have gotten no verification in the form of a USBC release, I am not going to speculate on the names listed.

    But I am sad for the USBC workers who were let go because of tough economic times.

    I predicted last April after the delegates turned down a USBC request for a dues increase that the USBC would have to come up with a drastic austerity budget before the 2010-2011 season in order to survive.

    "Survive" may have been too strong of a word but I watched in dismay as the old PBA went though a similar financial crisis in the late 1990s that led to three former Microsoft executives buying the money starved PBA in 2000.

    The old PBA may have survived if a few disgruntled PBA players had not brought a lawsuit against the PBA home office that wound up costing the PBA more than a million dollars back in the mid-1980s. As I recall, the law suit resulted in very few changes.

    I was hoping that an USBC austerity budget would not include having to lay off employees, many of whom sold their homes only last year to come to work in Arlington.

    In my December story in the Colorado Bowler News, I made some predictions about how the USBC, if forced, would tighten its financial belt.

    They were:

    1. Fewer dollars for investing in PBA telecasts especially when they pertain to women.
    2. Elimination of about one million dollars in order to televise the "Clash of Champions."
    3. Fewer meetings at all levels and the reduction of the size of all committees. Conference calls will become much more common and actual meetings much more rare.
    4. Reduction in participation in international amateur tournaments and maybe stop sending coaches and media people all over the globe.
    5. Eliminating the $50-a-day offered volunteers who attend a USBC meeting.
    6. Expensive dinners will be out and per diem allotments may be in for both workers and volunteers.
    7. A smaller presence at proprietor conventions, including Bowl Expo.
    8. Elimination of costly old favorites like buying a full table at the Women's Sports Foundation dinner and publishing magazines for the youth or even the adult USBC members.
    9. Not filling the jobs of employees who move on to other jobs or move out of town or retire.
    10. Continue to freeze all salaries.

    I may be the only person with this opinion, but I think the USBC delegates need to step up to the plate during this dire emergency and vote for an increase in dues next April in Reno. If the USBC dues were increased $10, that means you are only paying about 30 cents more a week.

    Get real, it costs $10 in many cities just to sit in on a two hour bad movie, and that does not include popcorn..

    I also think the old ABC and WIBC were the biggest give-away organizations in all of sports despite having the lowest dues.

    The old ABC and WIBC also had the greatest volunteers and it is time for them to come to the rescue of THEIR Sport.