USA news August 28, 2014

USACA mulls dropping CEO post

The USACA board is moving to eliminate the ICC's administrative requirement for a chief executive from its constitution in what is being presented as a cost-cutting manoeuvre by multiple sources.

USACA waited until the end of May before posting an advertisement seeking a new chief executive following the February announcement of Darren Beazley's resignation from the position. However, sources have stated that the USACA board no longer wants to have the position as a requirement in its constitution and is seeking to have the mandate removed.

Although USACA has accepted applications for the position, sources have stated that the search to hire a replacement for Beazley has been frozen until league presidents come to a vote in late 2014 or early 2015 on whether to keep the requirement in the USACA Constitution.

According to the ICC's administrative requirements for Associates Members, countries must have an administrative structure that includes a minimum of two full-time or one full-time and two part-time paid staff members. As part of this, a "full-time chief executive/general manager" is mandatory as well as either a full-time development manager or two part time administrative development or staff officers.

Multiple sources have stated that after USACA's experiences with Beazley and Don Lockerbie, they did not feel it made sense to commit such a sizable chunk of their ICC funding and membership revenue to a single position. USACA's 2010 tax return shows that Lockerbie received $176,000 in salary not including other compensation including a travel allowance. Beazley's total compensation including salary was roughly the same. When it came to securing sponsorships, the source stated that Beazley's accomplishments barely broke even with his salary and compensation.

"The board felt that the past CEO did not bring enough as far as a return on the investment," the source told ESPNcricinfo. "The previous CEO's total compensation was in the neighbourhood of $200,000 including travel and relocation expenses to move his family from Australia. With so much money invested in one person, he should be bringing in at least a million dollars in sponsorship but with cash and trade agreements such as free kit, it was approximately $250,000."

If the USACA eliminates the CEO position, it will not be in violation of any ICC regulation if it has another major administrator running things, something which the source said might be on the cards. "The CEO position was proposed to be removed from the constitution and instead add a general manager and staff. The board members decided that they're more comfortable with having more administrative staff instead of directing all of their resources to one person. Investing so much resources into one individual, the return wasn't worth it."

USACA's 2012 tax return showed that they received $378,000 in revenue, with just under $300,000 of that money coming from the ICC. A similar amount of revenue in 2013 would mean that USACA used more than half of their revenue to pay one employee.

Beazley was responsible for recruiting several national team sponsors and facilitating a pair of hosting agreements with the city of Indianapolis and the Amateur Athletic Union to conduct national tournaments. However, both of those agreements fell apart in 2014 with Indianapolis terminating their hosting agreement and the AAU cancelling the USACA U-17 National Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa after zero players registered by the deadline. Several of the sponsorship agreements Beazley secured in the summer of 2013 were one-year deals and it is unknown how many of those sponsors will remain committed to supporting USACA beyond the original contracts.

USACA had also stalled the process of hiring a CEO after Lockerbie was let go in November 2010. It had delayed the search for a replacement until being prodded by ICC Global Development Manager Tim Anderson midway through 2012, with Beazley being chosen in December 2012. At the time, the board had faced a reprimand from the ICC over the failure to have a CEO and proper elections by their constitutional deadline, which resulted in ICC funding being withheld.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna

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