A last-ditch effort to save the Elite Cup for 2014 has failed and, according to some sources, was never going to succeed in the first place.
Clubs came together this week to discuss the option of adopting one of USA Rugby's suggested schedule formats, but even as some started to feel that such a schedule would work, it all fell apart.
One source said the league had been dead for a month, and wasn't coming back. What needed to happen was that Old Blue, Life, Boston, and NYAC agree on a schedule. However, the schedule that seemed to make the most people happy was untenable, because some of the clubs had already confirmed games on those days.
The teams will play their DI schedule, with Life cobbling together a schedule with non-conference games and potentially a play-in into the DI playoffs.
In September, teams from the West Coast started talks about creating a larger league that was separate from USA Rugby. Efforts were made by USA Rugby's Jim Snyder to keep those teams in the Elite Cup, and having some games double as Pacific Rugby Premiership games, as well.
Spooked by how it was all coming together, Seattle-OPSB washed their hands of the whole thing, and said they would remain with the Elite Cup.
In October, the PRP was announced as a league outside of USA Rugby's championship schedule, although some games would double-up as Southern California DI league games.
At that time, Seattle-OPSB stated their intention to join the Elite Cup. At around the same time, Metropolis out of Minneapolis also stated their hope to join the Elite Cup.
Also at that time, the dates of the World Cup Qualifiers, with the USA playing Uruguay in a two-game series, were settled as March 22 and March 29.
Also close to that time, USA Rugby submitted several options for a schedule for the remaining Elite Cup clubs.
Nothing was really done until December, when S-OPSB was not voted in, and Metropolis wasn't even discussed. The suggested schedules from USA Rugby were not used, and another put forth that caused NYAC to get upset and leave the league.
Saying that changes couldn't be made at short notice, Boston and Old Blue said NYAC was being unreasonable. Yet all the parameters for the season - who wanted in, when the Eagle dates were, and how the DI schedule affected it all - were known in mid-October. And yet the remaining Elite Cup clubs did nothing for two months.