Posts Tagged ‘Steve Penny’

“Loyal athlete signers”

June 13, 2008

This month’s IG editorial by Paul Ziert is about how USAG president Steve Penny has made some major errors recently.  Error number one was about how Steve organized the USAG post-olympic tour but failed to sign Shawn Johnson, Paul Hamm, and Morgan Hamm.  They signed with a rival tour run by Mike Burg.  He also doesn’t have Nastia who hasn’t signed with anyone.  Since he doesn’t have the biggest stars, this nullifies his contracts.  

Ziert writes:

Hence, Burg will now do his tour in the 30 cities reserved by USAG with the athletes that USAG claims it created with no financial gain to the federation other than a possible sanction fee, which isn’t even required.  and most of the loyal athlete signers will get much less or possibly nothing from tour money.

I have two issues with this.  First, just because USAG claims they created the athletes doesn’t mean they actually did.  The athletes, their families, and their coaches are the ones who did all of the work to get to the top with no help from USAG.  I will never understand why people think they owe USAG something for their success.  USAG didn’t get Shawn’s parents to take her to Chow’s instead of staying with the coach who thought she had brute strength but no talent.  USAG didn’t get Paul and Morgan’s dad to harrass Stacy Maloney into training them to greatness.  USAG certainly did not pick up the tab when it came to 6+ years of training expenses before these athltes were even on USAG’s radar.  USAG doesn’t do a damned thing to help these athletes when it matters most, yet they “created” them.  That is total crap!  

My second issue with this is the use of the phrase “loyal athlete signers”.  I don’t appreciate the dig at Shawn, Paul, Nastia, and Morgan.  These guys have worked hard and they deserve to get the most for their talents.  It has nothing to do with being “loyal” to some organization that hasn’t done anything for them anyway.  And how does Ziert know that these other athletes are loyal as opposed to simply being too scared not to sign.  How many of these athletes worry that not signing would hurt their Olympic chances?  

Penny used some serious arm-twisting to get many of the athletes to sign binding, exclusive contracts before anyone even knew they were going to Beijing.  He succeeded with all except the four I mentioned above.

I’m glad USAG got pwned.  If they had offered fair packages to the above athletes, they would be signed.  Instead they want to lowball the athletes and pocket the money so they can pad their own salaries.  

::UPDATE::

It’s MIke Burg,  not Mark Burg.  I don’t know why I put that there.  

I didn’t know Steve Penny had triplets

April 8, 2008

Steve Penny is president of USAG and according to this article about how dangerous gymnastics is, he has three-year-old Triplets. 

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-medicine/2008/4/8/i-was-one-of-those-gymnasts-in-the-er.html

Gymnastics is as dangerous as Ice Hockey, by the way.  They used to put it in terms of being as dangerous as football.  So now I’m wondering, what’s more dangerous?  Ice Hockey or Football? 

::Update::  Here’s a vid that talks about the study.