The Southwest Rugby Conference (SWC) will not seek a bid into the USA Collegiate Rugby 15s Championships in 2014. By unanimous vote of its Member Clubs, it was decided that an alternate competition for post-season play would be pursued. The SWC has agreed in principle with the Allied Rugby Conference (ARC) and the Lonestar Rugby Conference (LRC) to participate in a four to six week, cross-conference championship competition (Texas Cup) that will take place during the month of April 2014, which will culminate in crowning the Texas Collegiate Champion.
This decision is based upon many factors, but primary has been USA Rugby's unwillingness to include all of Collegiate Rugby Conferences and Clubs in their prioritization of championship qualification, as well as the inequitable assignment of travel by USA Rugby as a direct consequence in recent years. Many other factors have directly contributed to this decision as well, but all are directly associated with USA Rugby's recent policies regarding the required formation of Collegiate Conferences and their subsequent unwillingness to provide any assistance to conferences, such as the SWC who wish to enforce the commitments made by their members.
USA Rugby allows clubs to transfer conferences without cause, even if in violation of their agreement(s)/commitment(s) and even if not in good standing with the Conference. This is allowed by USA Rugby even when such movement would penalize the remaining Clubs who are in full compliance. These policies and decisions are direct contradictions to the published rules for such. All of this, along with USA Rugby's "hands off" approach to assisting and/or administrating Collegiate Rugby Conferences has resulted in a situation that places SWC members in a position to consider such a drastic move, but one that that is seen by SWC Member Clubs as clearly in their best interest for the 2013-14 competitive cycle.
With this decision, the SWC is now able to direct its full attention and resources to the Texas Cup that will allow it to maintain the same high-level of competition within the conference and create added competition from the Allied and Lonestar Conferences, thus maintaining old rivalries and creating new rivalries within the State of Texas and including the University of Oklahoma.
SWC Members will continue to be USA Rugby members and comply with USA Rugby rules, policies and standards. SWC members will evaluate their goals and desires at the close of the 2014 Spring Semester. Hopefully, many of these issues will have been resolved and would allow SWC to again seek a USA Rugby 15s National Championship in the near future.