The Michigan Daily and The Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League (O.H.L.) have settled out of court for a libel lawsuit that began earlier this summer. A July 2nd article reported from an anonymous source that Jacob Trouba, who committed to play at Michigan, was offered $200,000 from the Rangers to forgo his college career and instead play for the Major Junior team. Such an offer, if true, would have violated the O.H.L.’s rules regarding impermissible benefits.
The Rangers, who have had over 100 alumni play in the NHL are owned within the Kitchener community. Because they are not a privately held company the external accounting firms handle their financial statements and present them annually to season-ticket holders. One could assume that a $200,000 disparity would have been hard to disguise.
Organized sports clubs continue to grow their reputation as shady, immoral, money-hungry organizations. Though the Kitchener Rangers were ultimately able to restore their own reputation, the average sports fan no longer needs much evidence to be convinced of foul play. From the college to professional ranks, both individually and team, allegations of cheating in sports will continue to increase directly alongside the tremendous revenues the leagues rake in. As a sports fan, I only hope additional teams and players are able to clear their names in the future.