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Kitchener Rangers considering legal action against Notre Dame and coach Jeff Jackson

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Old
03-15-2009, 07:34 PM
  #1
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Kitchener Rangers considering legal action against Notre Dame and coach Jeff Jackson

There was a big debate on these boards when Cam Fowler chose to play for the OHL Windsor Spitfires after signing a letter of intent to play for the University of Notre Dame. Last Friday, Jeff Jackson was quoted in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record in an article about Fowler. According to Jackson, Cam Fowler's father stated the Rangers had offered him a package worth $500,000. According to the Windsor Star, the Spitfires and Rangers consider the remark to be libelous and are considering legal action against Jeff Jackson and Notre Dame.

Kitchener-Waterloo Record
What happened to Cam Fowler?
Former Kitchener Rangers draft pick will be in a Spitfires uniform next season
Quote:
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson, the former Guelph Storm OHL coach, put the pressure on Fowler to make up his mind. He couldn't afford to save a spot for a defender who wasn't gonna show up.

Fowler, who signed a national letter of intent with Notre Dame last November, chose Windsor.

Jackson is certain the Spits made a "healthy" offer to nab Fowler, whose scholarship at Notre Dame would have been worth $50,000 a year.

"Mr. Fowler told me himself that Kitchener put together like a $500,000 package for him," Jackson said.

Perry Fowler denies that allegation.
Windsor Star
Spitfires may join Rangers in lawsuit
Fowler's dad says story complete lie
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The Kitchener Rangers are considering legal action against Notre Dame University [sic] and hockey head coach Jeff Jackson and the Windsor Spitfires might follow suit.

The Rangers issued a release Friday saying it had spoken to legal advisors about Jackson's libelous comments and said future litigation may ensue.

"It's a total, total lie," Perry Fowler said Friday.

Boughner said the club offered Fowler a full-ride scholarship for school, which is what an OHL club can offer.

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03-15-2009, 07:58 PM
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Not sure what kind of shot they have with a case like this. I assume if they gave him any money(even if it considerably lower then 500k) the case gets thrown out.

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03-15-2009, 07:59 PM
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Sounds like Jackson was a little jealous, and got a little stupid.

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03-16-2009, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by AddMan3001 View Post
Sounds like Jackson was a little jealous, and got a little stupid.
Agreed.

Jackson also knows that, up to this point, the NCAA has made comments OHL practices (and presumably the WHL and QMJHL) that the league has not responded to. He overstepped himself this time, pulling a ridiculous number out of the air.

http://www.kitchenerrangers.com/main...sp?newsid=1469

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The Kitchener Rangers have confirmed it has held initial discussions with its legal advisors regarding what Chief Operating Officer, Steve Bienkowski described as "libelous comments" made by Jeff Jackson, the Head Coach of the University of Notre Dame's Men's Hockey team.

"Mr. Jackson's comments are more than disappointing; they attack the integrity of our organization and the talented individuals that either have or currently work for us. Although our past practice has been to focus on operating a respectful and well run organization and ignore people like Mr. Jackson, a point in time comes when you have to stop just taking punches. Mr. Jackson's statements about our dealings with the Fowler family and financial package are not only untrue, it clearly indicates his ignorance of the happenings that occurred in attempting to have Cam Fowler join our organization after we drafted him in 2007.

Although Perry Fowler attempted to clarify his dealings with the Kitchener Rangers, we wish to expand on his comments. What was not disclosed was the specific limited interaction that actually took place between the Fowler family and the Kitchener Rangers. Perry Fowler was contacted by us for the first time on the day of the draft. He indicated at this time that his son's plans were to attend the US NDTP and ultimately play in the NCAA. Despite this he was willing to visit with us as a courtesy. He subsequently changed his mind and cancelled the meeting.

There were no subsequent meetings with Perry Fowler.

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03-16-2009, 09:06 AM
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What was Jackson thinking? Notre Dame is definitely going to get sued.

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03-16-2009, 10:02 AM
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I would think both parties would be advised to let this one go. Jackson didn't do himself any favors by throwing out that kind of figure without documentation, but let's not kid ourselves here: Fowler's being taken care of.

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03-16-2009, 11:30 AM
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From what I've heard is that the Rangers nor the Spitfires will drop this course of action.
Their main concerns is now that Jackson has sown the seed of thought into recruits that there is a goldmine to be had when there isn't.
They want to nip this issue for once and for all.

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03-16-2009, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
I would think both parties would be advised to let this one go. Jackson didn't do himself any favors by throwing out that kind of figure without documentation, but let's not kid ourselves here: Fowler's being taken care of.
Link?

I'm quite confident Fowler has been offered an attractive education package. But from what I've read, the Notre Dame package came with a big price tag attached as well. What's the difference?

Jackson pulled a ridiculous number out of a body orifice, while offering statements as fact (when there is no such fact). Both statements put the Rangers/Spits in a bad light (as well the Fowler family).

I'm betting that Notre Dame isn't too pleased with this situation, and it ought to do wonders for their recruiting program for kids deciding between the CHL and their school.

I'll be very surprised if the Rangers let this slide.

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03-16-2009, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_Girl View Post
Link?

I'm quite confident Fowler has been offered an attractive education package. But from what I've read, the Notre Dame package came with a big price tag attached as well. What's the difference?

Jackson pulled a ridiculous number out of a body orifice, while offering statements as fact (when there is no such fact). Both statements put the Rangers/Spits in a bad light (as well the Fowler family).

I'm betting that Notre Dame isn't too pleased with this situation, and it ought to do wonders for their recruiting program for kids deciding between the CHL and their school.

I'll be very surprised if the Rangers let this slide.
First of all, there's a lot of public posturing here by both sides. What's the truth? Probably somewhere in the middle. Neither you or I really know the truth, although I would think you'd have a more vested interest in the CHL side. I could care less either way. Jackson's bitter, and rightfully so. He lost out on a PRIME recruit. That doesn't make his behavior right-but I'll reserve judgement until either side can be exonerated.

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03-16-2009, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Cornell View Post
From what I've heard is that the Rangers nor the Spitfires will drop this course of action.
Their main concerns is now that Jackson has sown the seed of thought into recruits that there is a goldmine to be had when there isn't.
They want to nip this issue for once and for all.
Are you saying that top notch junior eligible players aren't given a financial incentive beyond the education package?

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03-16-2009, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
Jackson's bitter, and rightfully so. He lost out on a PRIME recruit. That doesn't make his behavior right-but I'll reserve judgement until either side can be exonerated.
It will be interesting to see this play out, assuming that it goes any further.

The part that I find a little ironic is that Kitchener couldn't get Fowler to report, and now are being dragged into this whole charade. I'm sure there's some bitterness on their end too.

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03-16-2009, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
Are you saying that top notch junior eligible players aren't given a financial incentive beyond the education package?
Not even close to saying there isn't some incentive beyond the education package. Some players are given an extra year(s) to their package. Some are given a long time frame to start to use the package. Maybe some players will be given a job that pays, just like a normal student requires.
But $500,000.00?.....Fowler would've jumped over backwards while signed the Rangers/Spitfires contract.

PS..are you saying players on scholarships are never given more than what the NCAA allows?

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03-16-2009, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ward Cornell View Post

PS..are you saying players on scholarships are never given more than what the NCAA allows?
Absolutely. Every school has a team of compliance officers and it's watched over very closely. Kellen Briggs was suspended a couple years ago for a few free drinks.

Jeff Jackson basically called out Kitchener for something everyone knows every top CHL team does, and now Kitchener is pissed that they're going to have to pay the next kid just as much money. The CHL is a joke when it comes to regulating that stuff, because they don't care as long as it results in good hockey players.

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03-16-2009, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by WesternCollegeHockey View Post
Absolutely. Every school has a team of compliance officers and it's watched over very closely. Kellen Briggs was suspended a couple years ago for a few free drinks.

Jeff Jackson basically called out Kitchener for something everyone knows every top CHL team does, and now Kitchener is pissed that they're going to have to pay the next kid just as much money. The CHL is a joke when it comes to regulating that stuff, because they don't care as long as it results in good hockey players.
So Kitchener is going to pay out $500,000 to the next kid? Uh huh. If that were the case, Kitchener would be on the hook to pay several million out every year, and hide those payouts somewhere in their financials. Give me a break.

Jackson called Kitchener out because he's ticked at losing Fowler and he spoke before thinking.

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03-16-2009, 02:16 PM
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I am sure these charges will go about as far as Brian Burke's did when he filed tampering charges for Lowe saying "You don't want to pay Corey Perry, trade him to us, we will gladly take him".

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03-16-2009, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternCollegeHockey View Post
Absolutely. Every school has a team of compliance officers and it's watched over very closely. Kellen Briggs was suspended a couple years ago for a few free drinks.

Jeff Jackson basically called out Kitchener for something everyone knows every top CHL team does, and now Kitchener is pissed that they're going to have to pay the next kid just as much money. The CHL is a joke when it comes to regulating that stuff, because they don't care as long as it results in good hockey players.
I had no idea that CHL teams were so profitable they could afford to pay $500K to players every year.

And this begs the question, why doesn't every top OHL draft pick just say they're going the NCAA route to get a big payday? Hell, even if its just $50K it would be worth it wouldn't it?

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03-16-2009, 02:22 PM
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Didn't Kane (or maybe it was Crosby) get a portion of the ticket sales for every game he played at?

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03-16-2009, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dre2112 View Post
Didn't Kane (or maybe it was Crosby) get a portion of the ticket sales for every game he played at?
...No

But in a general reply, in the CHL, after having all these rules in place for decades with thousands of players (some very happy and some very peeved) that there hasn't been one player that has come out and voiced there "perqs" that they have received...or didn't receive. One would think that at least one player would've confessed by now in a momrnt of weakness. Once agin like i noted above, I'm sure there has been some upgrades to the education packages for some players but all contracts are filed and approved with the leagues. Is some under tables done?...probably...but this $500,000.00 is idiotic to the extreme.
If a CHL team can afford that amount than ND can afford $50,000,000 to a player.
It's nothing but sour grapes on Jacksons part.


Last edited by Ward Cornell: 03-16-2009 at 02:30 PM.
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03-16-2009, 03:47 PM
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And this begs the question, why doesn't every top OHL draft pick just say they're going the NCAA route to get a big payday? Hell, even if its just $50K it would be worth it wouldn't it?
Do you realize how many do that already?

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03-16-2009, 04:54 PM
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John Calipari allegedly told a recruit not to select St.John's because Lou Carnesecca was a very sick man.

Lane Kiffin telling a recruit not to attend South Carolina because he'll be pumping gas for a living.

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03-16-2009, 04:58 PM
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Didn't Jackson coach Guelph, and didn't a top American player(dustin brown) show up in his first season? Then Ryan Callahan, another American player? Coincidence, or hypocrisy?

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03-16-2009, 04:59 PM
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Jackson's intent was to lay down the belief that a high end prospect like Cam Fowler only chose the OHL because of a large 500k pay out. Others have whispered that it was due to academics and he had no choice but to take the OHL route. Both arguements are simply a way to burry one's head in the sand and not face the light of day.

Being familiar with the OHL, I can tell you that Jackson's comment was way off the mark. Fowler chose Windsor because he came to the conclusion that the OHL was his best option for developmental purposes. The only thing Windsor offered him was a full education package and nothing more.

Everything that I have heard states that Fowler did indeed have the marks to enter Notre Dame if he so desired.

NCAA people are upset because they are losing top end American recruits to the CHL and that is what this all is about.

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03-16-2009, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternCollegeHockey View Post
Do you realize how many do that already?
Some players absolutely use the NCAA card to get a) the chance at a better education package from the OHL, and b) a better chance at being drafted by a team they prefer. That opens another whole ball of wax, and one best left to a separate discussion.

There are also a lot of players who lean towards heading stateside, but keep an open mind with respect to the OHL. While not specifically "using the NCAA card", it's as much an issue for the NCAA as it is for the OHL.

I'm not as familiar with scholarship packages from the US -- are they all the same, or are elite recruits offered more than an average player? Are the scholarship packages offered affected by the competition from the CHL for that player?

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03-16-2009, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlie_Girl View Post
Some players absolutely use the NCAA card to get a) the chance at a better education package from the OHL,
It must be noted that the OHL standard package is the minimum...not the maximum. That's what everybody gets hung up on!!!
Some recruits (American) can request which University which he may want to enroll at even though the tuition could be 3x or greater than someones else's choice....books may be included for some and not for others.

I don't see how everyone thinks the CHL are rolling in dough to hand out these types $500,000 offers. Heck some teams draw only 1500 fans per game.

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03-16-2009, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Cornell View Post
...No

But in a general reply, in the CHL, after having all these rules in place for decades with thousands of players (some very happy and some very peeved) that there hasn't been one player that has come out and voiced there "perqs" that they have received...or didn't receive. One would think that at least one player would've confessed by now in a momrnt of weakness. Once agin like i noted above, I'm sure there has been some upgrades to the education packages for some players but all contracts are filed and approved with the leagues. Is some under tables done?...probably...but this $500,000.00 is idiotic to the extreme.
If a CHL team can afford that amount than ND can afford $50,000,000 to a player.
It's nothing but sour grapes on Jacksons part.

$500,000 is a bit crazy, but as far as the CHL teams having the money. . . is it not true that a CHL team gets $200,000 from the NHl for a first round draft pick? This would allow them to "sweeten the pot", and entice top prospects. i also think I heard that Pat Kane was offered $250,000 to go to London Knights. Not sure if all this is true, but if it is the case, you can see where teams would get some extra incentive money.

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