JACKSONVILLE, FLA. (January 23, 2012) The co-owner of the Jacksonville Bullies, the local North American Lacrosse League (NALL) franchise, says the team’s inaugural season will still move forward and start this September — despite legal action involving the Bullies and three other original teams in the league.
“There was a disagreement on the direction of the league and how it was run, which led to a split between those who are responsible for running the NALL,” says team co-owner Chris Milo.
Just before the new year began, four of the six NALL franchise teams made the decision to postpone the inaugural season to run from September through December 2012 to allow time for negotiations to continue with a national sponsor to televise the league’s games. Those teams also made the decision to end the league’s relationship with the acting commissioner and legal counsel. In response, on Jan. 5, the NALL filed a lawsuit and sought a restraining order against The Jacksonville Bullies and team co-owner Brett Vickers, along with the other franchises involved in the decision to move the season to fall.
The Charlotte Copperheads, along with their owner Graham D’Alvia, and Scranton, Pennsylvania team owner Jim Jennings were also name in the lawsuit. It is not yet clear on whose authority the NALL brought this lawsuit against its own members.
The Bullies organization and co-owner Brett Vickers are represented by Jonathan Oliff and Matthew Breuer of Foley and Lardner, LLP, who plan to file a response to the lawsuit by the end of the week.
Despite the current legal situation, Milo says he’s confident the legal issues will be resolved and that the Bullies will be playing in Jacksonville this September.
“This is a community-owned team, and while we might manage the office and team operations, the Bullies belong to the people of Jacksonville,” Milo said. “This is co-owner Brett Vickers’ standpoint as well.”
Meanwhile, the Bullies continue to visit local schools this week, and throughout the remainder of the school year, as part of their Bullies Against Bullying Campaign, where they have partnered up with Mental Health America of Northeast Florida to present the ‘Stop Bullying Now’ program to students. They are also continuing to host fundraisers to benefit local high school lacrosse teams — which are trying to survive 2011-2012 budget cuts implemented by the school board.
The Bullies held a training camp during the first weekend of January, where 31 players came into town and put on an intra-squad scrimmage for the public at the Community PedsCare Benefit Tournament in Ponte Vedra.
The organization is planning an exhibition game for mid-March against the Ireland National Indoor Team to be held at the Veterans Memorial Arena. This game will be free for all season ticket holders, and $6 for general admission.
Milo adds that season ticket holders will also still have their tickets honored when the season begins this fall, and expects to have a new schedule released in early February.