January 10, 2013 by Sean Childers in Livewire, Opinion with 0 comments
One thing perhaps overlooked amidst the AUDL reshuffling is the connection between the new AUDL ownership group and the lawsuit settlement with the Connecticut Constitution.
The whole chronology fits nicely into a legal-psychological narrative: The lawsuit and disagreement was likely a negative-value proposition from the start – both sides lost money as games weren’t played and negative publicity emerged. Josh Moore was clearly a polarizing figure and, with a sense of distaste and feelings of unfairness on both sides, it’s tempting to push the legal claims as far as they can go.
Bringing in new investors changed the situation in at least two ways. First, a group of outside investors is likely to look at open legal claims more economically rather than personally. With lofty goals and a new long-term vision, the new investors probably hoped to just settle the lawsuit as quickly as possible and move on with their bigger plans. Second, it makes the dispute less about Moore – the Constitution is negotiating with a group that inherited, rather than created, the situation. Finally, the creation of a new league (MLU) offered the Constitution a potential exit path but also a reason to get the lawsuit settled soon.
What’s less obvious is what comes next – though the narrative may still offer some hints there. We know that Ricci is now an executive officer with the MLU, so joining that league is probably his first choice. But why hasn’t it happened yet? The best explanation is that MLU is more luke-warm on the proposition of adding the Constitution. But Ricci says that the Constitution are committed to playing somewhere this season.
With the new AUDL leadership, perhaps we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of each side (Constitution and the AUDL) letting bygones be bygones and joining together again – especially if MLU ends up having a New York team instead of a Connecticut one. While still admittedly low chance, this might be the most tantalizing prospect for the disinterested Ultimate fan: Not only would Ricci be occupying an awkward conflict of interest position, but he might also be the one person with enough connections in both leagues to initiate collaboration or consolidation discussions sometime in the future.