Spineless Hoskins beats hasty retreat

Sport24 columnist Tank Lanning (File)
Sport24 columnist Tank Lanning (File)

One could almost smell the burning rubber, such was the hastiness of the Italian army like retreat beaten by SARU and their president Oregan Hoskins in the face of the latest development in the enquiry into their CEO Jurie Roux.

READ: SARU did not interview its own CEO!

A provisional report compiled by auditing firm KPMG alleges that Roux used Stellenbosch University money to fund Maties rugby club.

A report that Hoskins has known about since at least August 2014 given that he actually reneged on a confidentiality agreement with the university in order to show Roux a copy.

A report that SARU's general council knew about when they unanimously approved the 5-year extension of Roux’s contract as the CEO in September last year.  

"Jurie Roux has been an outstanding CEO of SARU and we are very happy to have extended his contract with the organisation," said Hoskins.

"SARU has made major progress since he was appointed in 2010 and we look forward to continuing to grow the game with Jurie as the operational head for the foreseeable future.”

"We were made aware of certain allegations (against Roux) and we have interrogated them. We are satisfied with the explanations that Roux has given to us,” continued the president.

Yet when the report was made public last week, instead of backing his CEO like he has done previously, he was straight into survival mode, issuing a statement distancing himself from Roux’s initial appointment.

“The appointment of the SA Rugby CEO in 2010 was handled entirely by an external, independent recruitment company,” said the statement.

In fact, not one of the candidates was interviewed or had any other type of engagement with SA Rugby officials before the appointment, and the first time Hoskins met Roux was on the latter’s first day on the job!

Imagine being president of a company and not being involved in the recruitment of your CEO!

That in itself is an issue, but given the general council and president’s knowledge of the KPMG report on Roux when they extended his contract in 2015, not being involved in his initial recruitment is inconsequential. In fact, the statement smacks of a yellow bellied retreat in order to protect one’s own gravy stained tie!

Whatever happens to Roux (and let’s not forget that the KPMG report remains provisional (rather than final) 4 years after the event, and that despite the police having been asked to investigate, there is yet to be a criminal charge pressed), is this really the man we want as president of SARU?

What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

And perhaps more importantly, what happened to backing your team-mate when the going gets tough?

Tank Lanning is a former Western Province prop, current editor of the all new www.vodacomrugby.co.zawebsite that allows you to rate the SA players, and vociferous Tweeter from @frontrowgrunt.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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