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IFL Owner Details How Storm Penalties Were Decided

April 27, 2009, 10:27 PM by David McCoy

IFL Owner Details How Storm Penalties Were Decided
KELOLAND Sports has learned more details concerning the penalties levied against the Sioux Falls Storm by the Indoor Football League late last week.

The IFL requires all of its teams to carry worker's compensation insurance, and the Storm were in violation of that rule. Instead, Sioux Falls elected to pay medical bills out-of-pocket in an effort to avoid the approximately $200,000 cost for the coverage.

After weeks of deliberation, the league's executive committee decided a reprimand was in order, and passed the punishment by a vote of 3-1. The only committe member who objected was Jeff Sprowls, who owns both the River City and Omaha franchises.

"Some of the other EC members where adamant about taking some of their wins away. And I could see their point too," Sprowls said. "My point was, I'm an ex-ballplayer, and I didn't think that was appropriate. But, I think the action overall, what we took against Sioux Falls, was appropriate, considering the violation that took place."

The executive committee's decision was then unanimously approved by all owners, including Sprowls. He says it was agreed that because this is the league's first year, it was important to set a harsh precedent.

"If someone was paralyzed for life, without workman's comp, you not only put the team that doesn't have it in jeopardy, but you put every owner, every arena in jeapordy also," Sprowls said. "So when they don't have it, you can go after the whole league, and that puts every owner's financial status on thin air, and what it would do is absolutely collapse the league."

The Storm acquired worker's compensation coverage by the sixth week of the season and are now in operating in complete compliance with league rules.

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