A continuation of James Donaldson’s contestation of his unjust removal from the NBRPA Board of Directors.
I know it states in our bylaws that we need to have a Board of Directors, and I believe it’s according to most nonprofit statutes. In most States that you must have a Board of Directors.
Board of Directors and Officers
Duties, Powers and Rights
Section 1. Duties and Powers of the Board of Directors. The business affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall have supervision, control, and direction of the affairs of the Corporation, its committees and elected representatives; shall determine its policies; shall actively pursue its mission; and shall supervise the disbursement of funds. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to employ a paid chief executive officer to manage the day-to-day activities of the Corporation as outlined in Article 5. The Board of Directors may vote to change these bylaws as described in Article 7, except that no provision of these bylaws with respect to the authority of the Professional Members may be modified or amended in the absence of approval by a majority of the Professional Members.
Section 2. Number and Eligibility. The Board of Directors shall include up to 12 directors elected by the Professional Members, which shall include the officers noted in Article 3, Section 5; and may include two additional directors, one of whom may be appointed by the National Basketball Association and one of whom may be appointed by the National Basketball Players Association. A Professional Member shall be eligible for election and to serve on the Board of Directors provided he or she is a member in good standing whose membership dues are current at the time of the election; and, furthermore, has fulfilled the requirements to become a Platinum-level member or to obtain such status within one year of his or election. A majority of directors will be independent directors as set forth in the New York Nor-for-Profit Corporation or any amendments thereto, specifically lacking material business relationships to the Corporation and lacking material business and family relationships to the President and staff. The Board of Directors may, by resolution, determine additional qualifications. By adoption of these bylaws, the Board of Directors is provided the necessary authority to take such measures as needed, including adding additional temporary board positions, to ensure a smooth transition. Terms and election procedures are described in Article 4. The President, as described in Article 5, shall serve as an additional ex officio, non-voting director.
But, with that being the case, and us going through an election process right now to determine new oncoming Board of Directors, the question still comes to mind, why do we, the NBRPA, even have a Board of Directors?
In the seven years, I was a board member, I’ve seen it routinely that the decisions of the board and the direction of the board were taken over “hijacked” by a small handful of board members, who conspired to keep everything secret. Not only away from the NBRPA members, but also away from most of the other board members. This small intimate “inner circle” is called, the “executive committee”, and it is them, who more times than not, will make decisions on behalf of the board, supposedly come back to the board with “recommendations”, but those recommendations are already determined and very much counted on to pass through.
One of the things I point out in my letter to the Board of Directors, is that with board members such as Dwight Davis, being able to go off and on his own, and negotiate the buyout settlement agreement for former CEO/Pres., Arnie Fielkow, without any board involvement, brings me directly to my point.
Why even have a Board of Directors?
In another much more recent incident, board chair, Spencer Haywood, took it upon himself to negotiate and sign off on the employment agreement for our new CEO/Executive Director, Scott Rochelle.
Both of these incidences are obvious and blatant violations of the policy and procedure and bylaws of the Board of Directors. Of course, the members never know about these things, and a board member, such as myself and a couple of others, are definitely in the minority, and so our votes really are not enough to overturn anything or even contest anything. So, members are left with the impression that the board came up with and passed through a resolution or agreed-upon a contract settlement, but that’s not true, because of lack of full board involvement.
Also in the past, several years ago there were several payouts to employees, who filed different types of employment issues against the NBRPA, and were paid out and were paid a sum to settle and go away. I’m still in touch with some of these folks, and so I know the details about it.
Again, is this what we want to be done with the monies that we received from the NBA to be able to run our organization this way?
You new board member candidates who are running for seats on the board will never have your voices heard. If you are not in the majority camp and agreed to “go along to us to get along” or “be paid or receive something, in order to play”. Globetrotters and WNBA members, you might as well not even have a Board of Directors representative on the board, because that’s just not what we are all about (and the NBA defiantly doesn’t want it’s financial support to us used solely for Globetrotters or WNBA members) as far as taking care of all former professional basketball players. Sure we will dribble a few little crumbs out your way, to keep you pacified and hopefully satisfied, but if you looking for more than that, it won’t happen.
Scholarship monies should be greatly increased for the children of our proud members who excel enough to move on to University levels and should receive a nice portion of funds for scholarship monies to go towards her tuitions.
I’ve been fighting this fight for a long time, and I realize now that even though I am “technically” not a board member (at least for the moment), what has “been done, has been done” and I’ll continue to be a membership advocate for our members to enlighten you on to our various processes, and to why things are not as they appear.
You’ll continue to get reports from our CEO/Pres., about the “better than ever. Status and performance” of the NBRPA. And, the new “relationships that have been formed”. But don’t believe it. Most of that is just in talk, and not in any type of contractual agreements.
You members, as is your association, should demand an audit of the NBRPA so you can see specifically where the monies come from and where they go.
So, as another election cycle comes and goes, I feel for those who join the board who are not going to “play along” and you get on the board for “genuine” agendas to serve the members, I feel for you that you will be shuttered off to the side, just like I was doing most of my seven years as a board member. The only way they found to finally silence me as far as being a board member, was to unjustly remove me from the board.
But that won’t silence me, I’ve got notes and letters from all seven years that I’ve been a board member and recent relevant board information, that I’m more than happy to share with any of you who would like to contact me and we can discuss and talk about it.
All the best to you, my brothers and sisters,
NBRPA member and “technically” former NBRPA board member,