The Connecticut Constitution Debacle: The Story So Far
By: Ryan Saba
Yesterday, the Ultimate world was stunned as news broke that the Connecticut Constitution, one of the top franchises both in wins and attendance in the AUDL, was going to indefinitely cease operations. The reason, according to Constitution CEO Bryan Ricci, was the fact that a TLA (Territory License Agreement) had been signed before the start of the season that spanned a radius of 100 miles around the Connecticut franchise (essentially meaning no franchises could exist within 100 miles of the franchise). In May 2012, however, Ricci claims they were made aware of the sale of franchises in both New York and Boston (both are within 100 miles of Hartford, CT). Ricci then claims the league filed suit against the team, forcing them to hire lawyers and pay legal fees that they say they cannot afford. Due to the overwhelming legal fees, the team decided to cease operations indefinitely until the situation is resolved.
Josh Moore, the president of the AUDL, disputes Ricci’s story, claiming that the Constitution’s ownership was made aware of the expansion teams when originally joining the league, and that the expansion of the league to include 16 teams in the Northeast was part of the original agreement. The league, after learning that the Constitution were planning to pursue legal action against the league, filed suit “to request judgment as to their radius being enforceable given that they had agreed to the teams previously”.
Personally, I doubt the TLA didn’t include the expansion teams already planned in New York and Boston; the league has been all about expansion since it began, and not having teams in hotbeds such as New York and Boston would be foolish. In addition, though I’m no legal expert, a quick examination of the written TLA should resolve the dispute: If the written TLA has the terms that Mr. Moore claims are in it, then the Constitution are clearly at fault and can do nothing. If the TLA doesn’t include the expansion terms and instead the Constitution’s leadership learned of the terms either a) verbally, or b) after the TLA was signed, then it looks like the league will be at fault and will likely have to cancel plans for the New York and Boston franchises. The league’s ability to grow and become successful will become severely impeded if they cannot expand to major ultimate hotbeds such as New York and Boston.
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