Grievance Rejection Buys Disabled Team Time

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Park City, UT, Mar. 10--The 21 athletes who filed agrievance against the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA)for deciding to cut the U.S. Disabled Ski Team loose from its governancegot word yesterday that grievance had been rejected by a USSA JudicialCommittee. But though the committee ruled the USSA had not actedincorrectly, it did nullify its September vote because the USSA board madethe decision without a quorum of its acting directors. Now, the USSA mustvote on the matter again with a full quorum present at a future meeting.Organizers aren't sure that vote can be placed on the agenda for theboard's next meeting, March 25, so it's likely it won't come up until Mayor even September. As a result, athletes are reportedly optimistic and willlobby board members to keep the team within its fold.

The team was to have been separated from the USSA to form a "separate butparallel" organization by May 1 to set up its own ski-specific governingassociation to take full advantage of grants and funding opportunities,said the USSA. But the athletes maintain that timing was poor and would setdisabled programs back years in development just as they face anotherseason before the Paralympics in 2002.