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Commission Decisions (Right or Wrong?) HELP!

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Commission Decisions (Right or Wrong?) HELP!

Postby hongandrewp » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:55 pm

I'm a commission of a 10-team league and I would like some opinions about whether or not I overstep my boundaries as league commissioner. This is a strange situation, so I am hoping I can get some good opinions here. It’s LONG, so I appreciate it if you make it all the way through. However, as league commissioners, we know how hard our jobs can be.

PRE-SEASON
- A friend of mine (team 1) introduced 2 other "friends" (teams 2 & 3), for whom he spotted cash to enter our league. He paid their league dues and we were off.
- One of the rules of the leagues since the beginning of the season was that teams would be fined additional money if they didn't change out their rosters from week-to-week.

MID-SEASON
- However, one of the teams (team 4) had not changed out his rosters for 3 consecutive weeks (racking up around 3/4 of the original buy-ins in fines), and after repeated warnings and no responses (his team was not doing well and had bared the brunt of some harsh injuries), I took control of his team in order to maintain the integrity of the league. I informed the league after dropping some insolvent players and adding players to his roster that I would be observing ESPN's weekly rankings to determine which players to start for his team. There were no objections to this until after the regular season.

TOWARD THE END OF THE SEASON
- Two weeks before the final week of the season "team 1" asked by about playoff scenarios and tiebreakers. I mistakingly told him that "division records" would take precedent over "head to head". Frankly speaking, I misspoke about this and it was the exact opposite. However, this was clearly written out in the league rules on ESPN.
- That same week, "team 1" tried to make a trade with "team 2" (a team out of playoff contention) with an unbalanced trade. Team 1 would receive - Steven Jackson, Plaxico Burress for Santonio Holmes, Brandon Pettigrew, Christian Ponder, and Vincent Brown. "Team 2" had Phillip Rivers with Fitzpatrick and Sanchez available in free agency. In any case, "team 2" would have been trading away his top running back and receiver and getting nothing in return. In response, I vetoed it because I thought it was fishy.
- Rather than resending a more balance trade offer, "team 1" complained to me that he was "getting screwed" and that I was on a "power trip".

FINAL WEEK OF THE SEASON
- Final week of the season. "Team 1" is in competition with another team, "team 5", for the final playoff spot. "Team 1" is playing against "team 4", whose roster I forgot to switch out - leaving in Flacco for Brees. "Team 1" ends up losing against "team 4", and finishing with the same record as "team 5"- but since "team 5" beat "team 1" earlier in the season - "team 5" makes it in the playoffs.
- “Team 1” goes on a tirade against me. He claims that, first, because I misinformed him about the playoff scenarios that he played his team differently than he would have against the “team 4” in the final week of the season. He goes onto claim that because I vetoed his earlier trade that he lost points (even though Steven Jackson and Plaxico Burress had awful weeks in the final weeks of the regular season). Finally, he claims that “team 5” with whom he was battling for the final playoff spot got a “free win” against “team 4” (the team I took control of) in an earlier week. (After calculations, even if I had switched in the best players from “team 4” that week, “team 5” still would have won.)

AFTER THE FINAL WEEK
-“Team 1” drops all of his players except 2, to the free agent pool. I immediately kick him out of the league without warning – since he was out of the playoffs and was obviously not going to contribute positively to the league.
- He “Team 1” then goes on another tirade about how I overstepped my bounds as commissioner. I explained very clearly to him that dropping all of his players constitutes an “I quit” as it’s a clear attempt to undermine the league.
- Team 1 then goes onto ask for not only a refund of his money, but both of his “friend’s money”. It suddenly becomes apparent to me that he was either in collusion with his friends or that he was in fact playing as both of those other teams. Regardless, none of the three teams (1, 2, nor 3) will make it into the money (as we are in the final week of the season).

*whew* That’s it.

MY QUESTIONS FOR OTHER COMMISSIONERS:
-Did I act within my bounds taking control of “team 4” after repeated messages, emails, warnings and with the rule about keeping the league’s integrity?
-Was I wrong in vetoing a trade that was clearly one-sided?
-Was I wrong to remove “Team 1” from the league after he dropped all of his players?
-After misspeaking to “team 1” about tie-breakers scenarios, what should I have done? (I apologized for misspeaking, but I also mentioned that these rules were clearly outlined in the rules).
-What would you guys have done in the situations? Did I act within my bounds, overall?
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Re: Commission Decisions (Right or Wrong?) HELP!

Postby chargersdiehard » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:41 am

1. If the rules clearly state when a team is considered "abandoned" then you were clearly in your rights to take over the team. You went above the call by attempting to contact the owner about his status before taking that step of removing him from the league. I'm assuming that once you took control he never contacted you to get his team back so that shows you made the right move.
2. As for the trade that is a tricky situation. I have never vetoed a trade and would never veto a trade unless I knew that there was collusion involved and luckily for me I have never had to make that decision. However, in your situation team 1 paid team 2 entry fee meaning that even if there was no collusion there could have been a "waive of re-payment" to make the trade. But the trade itself, even though you felt it was unbalanced, appears to be one that I would have allowed without the "entry fee" issue hanging in the balance.
3. As for dropping team 1 from the league. That would be based on the rules of the league. If you have a integrity clause than I would say you had every right to drop him for that move. But there is not enough in your post to make that determination.
4. You know what they say, "always go with what is in writing". A verbal statement can not overwrite the written rules of the league. I always tell my owners when they ask a question. Look at the by-laws. That is the bible when it comes to the rules.

Because of team 1 paying the entry fee for the other two teams you were set up for an issue if one team was fighting for money and the other two were not. That's just not a good situation to be in.
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Re: Commission Decisions (Right or Wrong?) HELP!

Postby Hags888 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:59 pm

hongandrewp wrote:MY QUESTIONS FOR OTHER COMMISSIONERS:
-Did I act within my bounds taking control of “team 4” after repeated messages, emails, warnings and with the rule about keeping the league’s integrity?
-Was I wrong in vetoing a trade that was clearly one-sided?
-Was I wrong to remove “Team 1” from the league after he dropped all of his players?
-After misspeaking to “team 1” about tie-breakers scenarios, what should I have done? (I apologized for misspeaking, but I also mentioned that these rules were clearly outlined in the rules).
-What would you guys have done in the situations? Did I act within my bounds, overall?


1. Yes, absolutely. If a team owner hasn't made a move in 3 weeks, and isn't responding to messages and emails, it's fine to assume they have quit. And as long as it's written in the league by-laws/constitution that you will take over any abandoned teams, then it's fine. Since you obviously asked the league about it and they agreed to let you do it, then you were totally in the right there.
2. I probably wouldn't have vetoed the trade, but then again I have a league that watches trades like hawks and they can vote to approve or deny any trade. This year they actually vetoed a trade among themselves so I didn't even have to do anything about it (the trade was Cam Newton for Jay Cutler, after he was injured). If your league isn't one that reviews trades, then I think it makes it a little better, but in terms of pure value, I think the trade was balanced. It was just really unfair because it was a 2 for 4...and the 4 were all pretty useless. I probably would have let it slide, knowing that one guy was getting screwed. It's part of the learning process for inexperienced players, and I don't like to deny someone who successfully negotiated a deal in their favor.
3. It sounds like the guy was sour grapes to begin with, and I think he was just hurt that none of the 3 teams he paid for made it in the money. The guy was trying to place the blame on you, and I think he was wrong to do it. He has no one to blame but himself. If the guy is going to release his entire roster, DURING THE PLAYOFFs, that's grounds for removal IMO. And speaking of, I'm going to put something about that in my own constitution right now! :)
4. Nothing to do there but apologize. The rules are there, and he pretty clearly was too lazy to look them up himself. I wouldn't feel bad about it.
5. Outside of the trade veto, I probably would have handled the scenarios in a similar manner. One of the best lessons here is to ensure that you have an ironclad constitution. It doesn't have to be so specific as to cover every possible issue, but it does need to be general enough that it can handle most any situation.
SKOL VIKINGS!
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