Monday, December 17, 2007
Hope for the AMA?
At long last, it seems the much-needed winds of change are starting to blow at the AMA.
It was major news this December when new AMA head honcho Rob Dingman started cleaning house at AMA headquarters, getting rid of longtime AMA fixtures Greg Harrison and Bill Wood. The firings led to a series of outraged employee letters, emails, and other attempts to promote the removal of Dingman from power -- most notably the resignation of former AMA president Ed Youngblood from the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Ambassadors and Promoters Committee.
Now Dingman has responded publicly via the AMA website, and I have to say that -- despite his tactics -- I'm pretty much in support of the new guard's efforts, at least as an active AMA member and otherwise casual observer. Here are a few examples of why:
"Earlier this year, I was named chief executive officer of the AMA. Honored as I was to be entrusted with the leadership of the AMA, I quickly came to realize that I had returned to a much different organization than the one I had left just eight years previously. The AMA’s core mission had become diluted because it had taken on more than it could reasonably accomplish. Today, the AMA attempts to be a rights protector, publisher, member services provider, sanctioning body, promoter, entertainment firm, event management company and sports sponsorship and marketing outfit. The AMA has never had the appropriate resources or infrastructure to be all of these things."Finally, somebody gets it. I can only suspect at this point that Mr. Dingman is a regular reader of the Superbike Blog.
He goes on to say:
"Success in the AMA’s racing endeavors has proven elusive because the AMA has mingled its role as sanctioning body with its role as series promoter. This has confused and frustrated the motorcycle racing community and as a result, the AMA has regularly found itself at the center of racing controversy. This has caused the motorcycle industry not to support the AMA to the degree that it could. This lack of support has impeded the AMA’s ability to grow to its full potential and has therefore kept the organization from being as effective as it could be executing its core mission: pursuing, promoting and protecting the future of motorcycling."Say what you want about this guy, but he's right on the money. The AMA has been a disgrace as a sanctioning body over the past several years, and Dingman's point is a significant part of the reason why.
I'm all for giving Rob Dingman a real shot at rebuilding the AMA, and if removing the people who turned it into an institution, rather than an organization, need to be removed to accomplish that task -- more power to him. My continued involvement as a member pretty much depends on it.