The Olympic Club Shooting Team
On April 8th, 2015, I was in the office of Athletic Director, Gary Crook, when I was informed by him through our conversation, that the Athletic Committee, and The Board, had terminated our status as a team sport by vote in February 2015. I was completely surprised, as neither myself, my Team Commissioner, Peter Llama, nor my fellow Shooting Team Deputy Commissioners, Matthew Huey and Michael Bolechowski, had been informed of a decision that had now been made over two months ago. When I asked Gary what this re-classification meant, he meant that our team budget was now dissolved, that our current Athletic memberships (the are 4 people we currently have as Athletic members; 2 the Committee agreed upon this year alone, and have gone through the Admissions process, only to see the rug pulled out from under them) and that we would be on par with sports such as strength and fitness, yoga, etc. As a result, he informed me that the Shooting Sports would “never receive one more dime from me” , which in my opinion, as well as my fellow members who I have talked to on this subject, has effectively terminated a team that has been part of this Club’s history since inception in 1860, contributing 2 Hall of Fame members in the short time the Hall of Fame has been setup.
At no time during this process, were we as Commissioners informed, allowed to speak at any meeting prior or post decision, given any chance for rebuttal on this process, and have been verbally denied an appeal of this decision by the Chair of The Athletic Committee. When all Shooting Sports (Rifle, Pistol, & Shotgun) were rolled into one team in December 2013, we as Commissioners were all given the chance as a team to speak before the Committee in the months beforehand. This time around, that process did not take place. We were also informed by the Committee Chair at that time, Carl Hansen, that the consolidation had taken place within a day of the vote, and told verbally that we had an opportunity for appeal; this event of notification did not happen this time as I found out by the Athletic Director some 2 months after the vote had taken place, and only through casual conversation; if I had not asked yesterday, then this would vote still have been a secret today.
I feel this process has been highly unethical and flawed for the following reasons
Lack of Transparency; Especially in the time when we as members were just asked to complete a member survey on our club for the future of this club
Lack of Due Process; for the reasons outlined above
Potential Bias and/or Conflict of Interest of individuals comprised in the parties involved; We have not been given a tally of the vote for the committee, nor the tally of the Board of Directors who voted in favor of the measure. Based on public knowledge, I feel that certain members of the Board of Directors should have recused themselves on any vote and/or confirmation of the meeting minutes on the topic of Firearms.
Potential for Ageism/Sexism; many members of my sport are over the age of 55, and still very much competitive on the state/national level. For example, Mike Dunia is in his 8th decade, and will be part of the US National Team at the ISSF World Championships (which takes over for the IOC in non-Olympic years) at Camp Perry, Ohio this Summer. We also have quite a few women and Juniors participating as well.
In summation, by launching this formal petition, we the Shooting Team, and any fellow Olympians who sign on to this petition would like to ensure that the process was done properly according to our bylaws, and will accept any outcome determined by the Board and Standards Committee at this time.
We would also hope that this petition will help the Board and Athletic Committee reconsider their decision, and in doing so, include any Shooting Team Commissioners, who are considered the subject matter experts for their team
I feel that if proper procedures were not followed, and are allowed to stand, then any Team at the Olympic Club is subject to this treatment.
All I am asking for is fair treatment under the eyes of the law of the Club, and the United States, which supersedes our laws. Furthermore, by signing this petition, please do so knowing that you are free from any retribution under our Bylaws.