July 16, 2012 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 1 comments
The ongoing dispute between the American Ultimate Disc League and the Connecticut Constitution is getting uglier as a resolution outside of court looks increasingly unlikely.
Late last week, the league informed the Constitution that they would be fined the maximum amount – $10,000 – for each game they missed during their self-determined suspension. After the team refused to pay, the league canceled the team’s scheduled game against Detroit.
Connecticut’s season, including the playoffs, is probably over. “If they don’t soften their stance substantially on the fines,” said Bryan Ricci, Owner of the Constitution, “I don’t see how were gonna play any more games.”
Could this be the end of the franchise as we know it? Ricci says there is no path forward for his team unless there is “dramatic change in the operating model of the league.” He suggests a new commissioner that must abide by strict bylaws with Josh Moore, the AUDL’s President, stepping aside to act as only a franchise seller.
Regardless of what happens on that front, Ricci says he will continue to fight the lawsuit all the way into court. That scenario appears likely as Constitution lawyers have not heard from league lawyers in over a week.
Although the AUDL has not responded to Ultiworld’s requests for comment, they did explain some of their views in the comments of a Facebook post on their wall. They wrote:
[quote]We told [the Constitution] prior to them suspending operations that they would have to pay restitution to Kentucky and Indy for not playing those games. They were told by the league that they needed to agree to pay those fines to those teams who they harmed by their decision by this past Wednesday at 5:00 or their game against Detroit would be a forfeit. They did not do so and instead put out a message that they were looking forward to playing Detroit, directly contradicting what the league had told them…You can’t choose when you are in and when you are out. Wanting to just play home games and not road games at the expense of other teams is not right and won’t be allowed. Instead, they’ve waged a PR war against the league and set us up to be the bad guy to tell them they can’t play the game, when they knew all along what the conditions would be.[/quote]
The Constitution maintain that the reason they suspended operations was due to the cost of fighting the league’s lawsuit, not due to travel costs.
Stay tuned to Ultiworld for more on the lawsuit later today.