Paul_Tagliabue_cropThe Colorado Springs-based U.S. Olympic Committee is turning to a seasoned veteran in an attempt to fix what many believe is a rapidly declining organization.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue (left) has been tapped as the chairman of an independent committee that will study the USOC board and figure out what can be improved (via The Associated Press). The board has been under increasing criticism over the last few years, most recently after Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics failed.

The board reportedly forced out CEO Jim Scherr in March and replaced him with board member Stephanie Streeter (via Now, yet another CEO must be found before February’s 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Denver Post’s sports blog calls Streeter’s hire “disastrous,” saying she ignited a revolt of the national governing bodies last summer before announcing she would step down.

Meanwhile, the AP also reports that the El Pomar Foundation, one of Colorado’s largest charities, ponied up $3 million to help keep the USOC headquarters in Colorado Springs. The money is part of a $13 million requirement to fund the first phase of $53 million in improvements, which include upgrades to the Olympic Training Center, new USOC headquarters, and buildings for a number of national governing bodies.

The rest of the $13 million is due to the USOC by November 18 and will come from the city issuing certificates of participation, a form of lease-purchase arrangement that allows cities to take out loans without asking voters.