SBD/January 17, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

North American Lacrosse League's Teams Seeking To Split Into Two Separate Leagues

The new indoor North American Lacrosse League “has split into two separate leagues, but it likely will be up to the courts to decide which side keeps the name,” according to Laurel Pfahler of LACROSSE MAGAZINE. Four of the league's six teams “voted Dec. 31 to fire commissioner Tony Caruso and announced they were moving to a fall season.” A federal judge on Friday “signed a temporary restraining order to prevent those parties from saying the winter season -- which was set to begin Jan. 19 -- has been canceled.” Caruso, whose original lawsuit was dismissed in New Jersey State Superior Court, Chancery Division, said, "We have every intention of fulfilling our obligation to our fans. We will play our season as planned, which was previously agreed upon by our teams." Caruso said that the winter league will now begin Saturday and consists of three teams -- the Kentucky Stickhorses, the Lehigh Valley Flying Dutchmen (made up of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Shamrocks and Hershey Haymakers) and the Boston Rockhoppers. Jim Jennings, owner of the Shamrocks and Haymakers, said that he “believed that ‘majority rules,’ thus when four teams voted Caruso out, he no longer had authority.” He said that the decision to move to the fall “was unrelated.” Jennings: "We're going to be announcing a national television contract soon, and that was the big reason we decided to move to the fall because our TV partner wanted us to play during that time period. Four teams wanted to move to the fall and two teams didn't. In our league, it's majority rules, so we decided to move to the fall." Jennings said that he and other owners “voted Caruso out because of ‘a multitude of issues’ that he didn't want to elaborate on, and the four fall teams are trying to gain back control of the website and league name” (LAXMAGAZINE.com, 1/16).
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