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"Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

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"Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby iofj » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:54 am

As the commissioner of my fantasy football league comprised of personal friends, I have, as a rule of thumb, a very liberal policy regarding trades. However, a peculiarity has come across my desk lately that has become a divisive issue.

We are playing a standard 2-keeper league with an auction draft, hosted on ESPN. This trade was agreed upon by two teams:

Team A gets Clinton Portis, Robert Meachem, Brett Favre.
Team B gets Roy Williams, Anquan Boldin, Chris Perry, Tony Scheffler.
(Please keep in mind that this trade was proposed several days ago when knowledge about several players' status was much different.)

However, there is also a condition that while Team A has Cedric Benson, Team B can acquire Benson, when he so chooses.

I am confident that this is not collusion, one team taking a dive, or any kind of attempt at sabotaging the league. But Team A "holding on" to Benson for Team B, because he doesn't want to drop a player, seems unfair to me. I can not convince him of this, and because he has a brother and an impressionable cousin in the league, I believe they are predisposed to agree with him.

My questions are:
Is this common, or commonly disallowed?
Is this fair? Why or why not?

Thanks.
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby bungle613 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:03 am

Well, at least they were up front about it. I have never seen this in a league. I have seen conditions applied in regards to switching of picks "if" something happens but to leave a piece of a deal on the other owners roster to save a drop is a first for me.

Is it fair, not really but I will give credit for ingenuity. I think how I would resolve the issue is that I would allow it to happen and immediately take a league vote on implementing a rule that it can not happen. If it does not pass, which I would understand as it really should be offered to everyone for the remainder of the season, then as commish I would make it a rule for 2009.

Talk to the owners involved, expalin this is what you will be doing and say that you will allow it to go but the deal is only valid for the 2008 season. If the season or trade deadline passes while Benson is on the original owners team, then he reverts back to his ownership.
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby Script-Ohio » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:52 am

I'm not sure I have a problem with this. If you can trade players, and trade draft picks, and trade draft positions - why not a bench slot?
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby spodog » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:11 pm

I think it is a novel idea. I see no reason it is not fair. If I were the owner currently holding Benson, I'd want to put a time limit on this "right to acquire" however.

Basically, the 2nd owner has obtained an option to acquire Benson at a future date. All options should have some type of expiration date associated with them, just like a stock option or an option to buy in real estate does.

I'd say you should allow this, but suggest to the owners that an expiration date for when the option can be exercised needs to be established.
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby Dan Lambskin » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:45 pm

i dont like it. it's a unique situation and probably something that should be revisited in the off season, but if i was commish i wouldnt allow it...it's allowing a player to circumvent the bench rules

essentially he's trading player A and B for player C in week X, and then trading nobody for Player D in week Y

also: just becasue there isnt a rule against something doesnt mean it should be a rule
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby rmjones101 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:23 pm

As a Commish I wouldn't allow it.

The bench settings are there to ensure everybody has the same size roster. Allowing somebody to do this would give them an unfair advantage over other teams that don't have the same deal. And too, it's dangerously close to collusion. It may not be collusion in this instance, however it opens a gateway to collusion between players in the future.
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby LS2throwed » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:11 am

Explain more, what does it mean "Team B can acquire Benson when he chooses", so is he going to trade him Benson for a kicker one week? How would that even work, because if they do another trade at a later date where value matches up and he gets Benson then no biggie, but I wouldn't allow him to trade him Benson at a later date for scraps because of a prior agreement.


Also how did you come to find out about this agreement, did they announce it to the league?
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby iofj » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:41 am

LS2throwed wrote:Explain more, what does it mean "Team B can acquire Benson when he chooses", so is he going to trade him Benson for a kicker one week? How would that even work, because if they do another trade at a later date where value matches up and he gets Benson then no biggie, but I wouldn't allow him to trade him Benson at a later date for scraps because of a prior agreement.


Also how did you come to find out about this agreement, did they announce it to the league?


Team B can acquire Benson when he chooses. That's pretty much exactly what it means. If, next week, Team A decides he wants to start Benson, then he would simply acquire Benson and put Benson on his starting roster. Team A wouldn't get Benson for scraps; he simply gets Benson outright, as he gained this right as part of the trade.
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby mariners100 » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:26 pm

I have seen this happen alot especially when you are playing in a league where people are related to or at least know each other. I do not see it as cheating but I would also put a definite time frame on the trade. I would let it go for this year and strongly think about it as a new rule for 09. My only concern with trying to make it a rule is this... how can you prove it? Team A trades 2 players Team B trades 1 player. Three weeks later Team B trades Team A for one player... If the owners were smart they wouldn't announce the stipulation to the league and it might just fly under the radar..
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Re: "Hold-on" clauses - are they legal?

Postby TheMaizeAndBlue » Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:41 pm

I'm not sure if I completely understand what is going on, but from my understanding, Team B is extending his bench by one spot. Basically, he's using team A to call "dibs" on players. If I was the commissioner I would tell them to either include Benson in the original deal, or leave him out entirely. Bench spots are not a tradeable commodity.
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