I've been out of town for the past week, so I've not been able to get back to you before now.
I really don't know what happened in the communication between you and local DYB officials, but can only tell you, as I already have, what they told me and our Board of Directors. As I told you before, NEP had no room to maneuver because your ruling was presented to us as a final position; that description of your position sounded perfectly consistent with what you wrote in your letters, presented by you to us as RULINGS.
You need to appreciate the fact that our Board of Directors had a motion to leave DYB on the floor last month and defeated it overwhelmingly -- it did not vote to leave DYB on the 11th without feeling it had no choice. I saw the letters you faxed at about 6:30 PM on the 11th for the first time when they were brought before me, our Rules and Compliance Director, and our Player Selection Director by a DYB National Board Member, the DYB Florida State Director, and two DYB District Directors; our regularly scheduled Board meeting began at 7:00 PM and we continued to discuss your correspondence. Maybe you told Charlie Kirkland that your rulings weren't reflective of your final position and maybe you didn't -- to have included such a sentiment in the same letters in which you made your rulings might have been appropriate (and more convincing at this stage). Again, with your position presented to the Board (and to me) only ten days and one Board meeting before the beginning of our season, NEP was out of time and options. If there was something else to this matter, either you or your Directors should have told us because we thought it was pretty clear -- you had a chance to do that, but didn't.
I don't blame you for believing what you believe about things and having a vision for DYB; I do find tremendous fault, however, with what appears to be a terribly fragmented unilateral decision-making process that begins at your desk. Frankly, I find you now to be rationalizing. Your latest letter teeters from justifying your decision to saying the local DYB officials and our Board of Directors misunderstood your position. You sound as though you're also having a problem getting through to local DYB officials -- you appear fixated on Charlie Kirkland, but you ignore the fact that three National Board Members expressed their disagreement with your ruling as well. My sense now is the same as it was when I read your original correspondence and was told what your position was: that you made the ruling you believed in and intended to stand by. Have the courage now to follow through rather than blame others for the outcome.
I'm not going keep going on and on about our player selection process because I think it's clearly described in our Rules and Regulations and in my last letter, but I have to tell you that you keep missing important things -- maybe because you still want to see it as something it's not. Let me walk you through a scenario:
A manager comes to a team that has three players returning from the previous year. Before he even gets out of the gate, he has only 9000 of his original 12,000 points (penalty for returning players). If he gets three in-park players and an out-of-park player, that takes him down to 5000 points. If those four players he recruited and three others he received through the draft return to the team next year, he will begin the next season with 5000 points before he even begins recruiting. If he again recruits the maximum, he'll have only 1000 points remaining.
Take another manager who has three players returning from the previous year. He starts off with 9000 points too. However, let's say that he is able to recruit only two players. He'll go into the draft with 7000 points. The points he has available next year will depend upon the number of players he has returning to his team and the number of players he recruits next year. If he loses them all and gets no recruits, he'll start off with 12,000 points.
Again, there is a significant penalty not only for recruits but also for returning players. You see, our system even penalizes teams for returning players, but I don't remember hearing you raise the alarm over that issue among other leagues. Teams are built around returning players, not recruits. Very few managers even begin with four recruits -- most begin with 2 or 3. You've made a really large fuss over the recruiting issue, and I'm convinced now that you really made no effort to understand it. You really should check with the other DYB leagues that allow it and see how they've been doing it now that you know it's going on all around you.
Also, please do not now paint this as an issue relating to our willingness to conform to the rules. You know better -- you and I know that NEP has been and was still willing to continue to conform with any and all DYB rules up to the point that you painted us into a corner. The issue here is that you arbitrarily applied your brand new ruling on us within two weeks of the beginning of our season over something we and MANY other parks have done with DYB's knowledge for years. Coupled with an announcement of intended sanctions against our program if we didn't meet your ultimatum, we were obliged to either submit to your ultimatum or hire another affiliate. This was never about conforming to rules -- again, we're not cheaters who think the rules are for someone else -- this was a business decision. We made a decision not to affiliate with an organization whose leaders deal so cavalierly with its clients.
Before I sign off here, let me say that I note that you wrote "I will vigorously enforce this rule if another park has similar rules in player selection and is unwilling to modify them to conform with the "equal opportunity" provisions of our rules." It will be interesting to see what exactly you mean by "vigorously enforce." To me and to our Board of Directors, it means that you will take the notice you've received from three National Board Members, a State Director, and two District Directors and find these parks that have been in violation of your new ruling and impose the same sanctions upon them that you attempted to impose upon us. We'll see if you'll take up a proper leadership posture on this by being genuinely "vigorous" or crawdad your way out by saying that you'll act when someone specifically highlights a particular program. We'll see just how tall you intend to stand on this; ultimately, the initiative you take now will be a good gauge of where your heart was on your original ruling. As you know, consistency is important.
P. S. By the way, does the National Board agree with what you're doing, or does it matter?