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Report gives below average grades U.S. Olympic sports governing bodies

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A new study claims most of the governing bodies over U.S. Olympic sports are falling short. It is a first of its kind evaluation put together by researchers at C-U Boulder’s Sports Governance Center. If you give a grade equivalent to the governing bodies evaluation scores, researchers say the median is a "D".

The results were presented on Wednesday, at a sports governing conference in the Netherlands called, Play the Game. The U.S. study was based on another study a few years back that evaluated several international sports governing bodies. "This is the first time this exercise has been applied in a U.S. context and I'm sure some of these organizations aren't expecting to have a report card," Professor Roger Pielke, who lead the evaluation. He says the point is not to make the U.S. National Governing Bodies (NGBs) look bad, instead it is a baseline for improvement.

Researchers with CU-Boulder spent a year examining public documents and data from 22 of the more than 40 National Governing Bodies. The study looks at things like checks and balances, democracy, and transparency. There are 36 data points best understood by academics

The evaluation gives USA Track and Field the highest score of 79. In a classroom setting it is a C+ grade equivalent. The lowest score, 50, an F, went to U.S. Sailing. Most of the U.S. National Governing Bodies evaluated in the study were in the D and F range.

"The next phase is, we prepared a report that's going to go to each of the federations we've evaluated and say, here's what we found." said Pielke. It is a preliminary report and the plan is to ask the NGBs.to go over the information for their input on what looks right and what researchers may have possibly missed.

Pielke says the report is not about uncovering scandal. Instead the idea is to avoid it. "How they can improve and how they can step up."

A half dozen other countries did similar studies. The U.S. NGBs scored higher.

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