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Friday, March 23, 2007

O(r)der in the court?

It's been a wild 24 hours for the Fort Vancouver Pioneers. Yesterday they received notification that Chris Kiminki, Kevin Mixon, and Axel Erasmie-Thor were suspended for the remainder of the season. I do not know the reason for Erasmie-Thor's suspension, but for Kiminki and Mixon, it was for Fort Vancouver paying their release fee (isn't that the definition of ransom?) subsequent to the folding of the Tilt. The release fee was required of about a dozen players alleged to have been sponsored by the Tilt, and had not paid their tuition out of their own pockets. I warned three months ago that there would be teams that picked up the tab to acquire the Tilt players, because (surprise, surprise) there were no further requirements or limitations on how and by whom the money was to be paid. The money passed the USAH/WSHL smell test months ago when these two were allowed to join the Pioneers, so I will leave to the reader to determine the purpose behind the timing of the current action. Seriously, did the WSHL bother to look at whose name was on the check?

So, this afternoon at 1PM PDT the Pioneers went back into court to seek a restraining order on this round of suspensions, and apparently also to appeal/overturn part or all of their settlement with the NorPac. My understanding is that the judge who heard the case will fax a ruling tonight.

Here's where I have a problem with Fort Vancouver's latest action. While I agree they (and the players) are being punished for violating the "spirit" of an unwritten requirement - and I suspect they aren't the only team that did, USAH bylaws require any legal action against them by member organizations be filed in a Colorado court. So at this point I'm left wondering if the judge in Washington had any jurisdiction in the first place (a likely rebuttal argument by USAH). Even if the judge rules completely in favor of the Pioneers, what's to keep USAH from attempting to enforce the sanctions once the team is in Michigan? Wouldn't a Federal Court be required to handle this interstate situation? Also, there's some question as to whether the Pios even bringing action subjects them to a status of "not in good standing," which USAH could then use as justification to pull the trigger and kill the Pios' trip to Nationals.

I don't have the answers. I'm not even sure I'm clear on the entire situation... but I hope to know more soon.

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Comments on "O(r)der in the court?"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:58 AM, March 27, 2007) : 

Good luck at nationals Jon Macwilliams, You deserve a title.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:46 PM, April 23, 2007) : 

Macwilliams is a slimebag.


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