The Committee on Sports for the Disabled met April 16-18, 1999, in Colorado Springs. Prior to this meeting the seven Disability Sports Organization members (DSO) of the USOC came to Colorado Springs to participate in a one-day retreat. This retreat occurs bi-quadrennially. The COSD meeting was held in conjunction with this meeting.
Since the DSO Retreat preceded the COSD meeting, there were some issues needing attention by both groups. This produced some redundancy in the information conveyed. The agenda for the COSD meeting, like all those before it, was aggressive. In an effort to be brief, highlights of key issues covered by both meetings are presented here.
Note: Recently, as a result of recommendations in response to the Special Bid Oversight Committee, the USOC adopted several internal policies. Among these was an 'open meetings policy.' As a result, the COSD meeting along with all USOC Committee meetings, including the USOC Executive Committee meeting, were open to the public. This afforded the DSO members an opportunity to sit in on COSD business.
Special Committee Appointment
In October of 1998, the Amateur Sports Act (ASA) of 1978 was amended to more fully incorporate Paralympic and elite disabled athlete language within the breadth of the revised Act. As a result of this legislation, in March of '99, USOC President Hybl appointed a Special Committee on Vertical Integration and Funding to examine inclusionary measures. This group has the task of devising recommendations for vertical integration in keeping with the recent amendments to the Amateur Sports Act (now officially titled: The Ted Steven's Olympic and Amateur Sports Act) and outside funding to support any integration effort. The Special Committee on Vertical Integration and Funding is being co-chaired by Evie Dennis (chaired the 1991 USOC Task Force on the Disabled) and USOC Vice President Paul George.
The Committee was provided information from USOC's Disabled Sports Services Department. A Conceptual Report, which included a comparison of program analysis (Olympic versus Paralympic) and vertical integration conceptual methods, along with a Technical Manual, were provided as background information for Committee members.
The Committee was split into two sub-groups, one focusing on Funding and one on Vertical Integration, both being asked to fast-track their efforts.
The Funding sub-group, led by USOC Secretary Andy Kostanecki, has initiated action on procuring outside funding for this enterprise. In cooperation with the USOC, the Special Committee produced a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit proposals from outside entities with expertise in developing government appropriations. This RFP was positioned on the USOC web site and closed on April 30. The USOC is now reviewing the applications and will look to engage an agent for this purpose in the near future
The Vertical Integration sub-group, lead by AAC member Joe Walsh, is examining various options and recommendations provided from many sources, including the DSOs; USOC staff; NGBs; volunteer leadership; athletes, and at-large participation. Its task is a daunting one. In an attempt to provide assistance to this group, the COSD commissioned a DSO working group consisting of representatives from all DSOs to come up with recommendations. The working group is led by Lee Todd from SOI. They are to report their recommendations within 30 days.
Inclusion on the Athletes Advisory Council
For many years the DSOs have sought athlete representation upon the USOC's Athletes Advisory Council. Recently, it appeared that they were, indeed,, about to gain representation; however, efforts again seem to have stalled.
At the USOC BOD meeting in Phoenix last year, the AAC in conjunction with the NGB Council presented a resolution to the USOC on the Definition of an Athlete. It was a two-part …