Today I read Evan Lysacek's remarks that Johnny Weir, as not being "best of the best" did not deserve to tour with Stars on Ice. ???? Obviously SOI thinks Johnny is expendable - (most perplexing considering the mediocre - in elite skating terms - talent padding up most of the tour stops.) There seems to be no question that Evan and Johnny are the current top two US skaters. Later I read that Johnny completed the unsavory exchange by publicly calling Evan a rude and insulting name.
Now I read that Evan is flying around the country on free flexjet flights, which are transferring him between his, I'm sure, very lucrative DWTS and SOI gigs. We're probably talking in excess of 50K for each coast to coast trip.
The inequities and favoritism that I see in the figure skating world worry me. Most of it seems to be corporate driven (Smuckers making decisions that smack of discrimination in deciding who gets to skate in public and take advantage of the one existing US tour -- Flexjet deciding to favor one athlete with free coast to coast private jet flights).
In my opinion the USFSA needs to take control, set some standards and protect its athletes. What are the rules that should govern proper competitor conduct - especially public contacts with the media ? What commercial and sponsorship activities are appropriate for competitors? What sort of role should outside corporations have in the sport?
Corporations - Smuckers, for example, seems to be more influential than the USFSA - including control of communications to the mass audience. I'm thinking specifically of Scott Hamilton and his SOI alumni sidekicks Bezic and Wilson controlling the Olympic figure skating broadcasts.
I'm an outsider looking in. I have no personal knowledge of any of the participants and do not skate myself though I am a fan. But perhaps my viewpoint is valuable in providing feedback on how these events look to an outsider.
To me, the starting point and biggest problem is the invalidation of Johnny Weir's right to skate in a public tour - first because he was the only Olympian SOI left off the SOI cast list, and second Evan's public repudiation of his right to skate with SOI. SOI is the only current US tour and is the USFSA's "promotional" partner, marketing the USFSA and US skating during the tour. It has responsibilities that go beyond a private enterprise to treat the US skating team fairly and to represent the sport appropriately.
SOI should throw in the towel, and despite the bad blood that has built up over the last few months, invite Johnny to skate with the tour. Also, Evan and Johnny should publicly apologize to each other. These activities should be brokered by the USFSA, which has to retake control of its sport, publicly and privately.