As Jeff Kassouf reports this morning, magicJack will be deducted one point in the standings and will lose a third round draft pick in the 2012 WPS Draft for breaching league policy by failing to display field boards of league sponsors and not uploading match footage to Match Analysis, a league source says.
magicJack owner Dan Borislow has been notified of the league’s punishment as of this morning.
magicJack have thrice committed what WPS terms a violation of the league’s “onsite commercial activation”. WPS teams must adhere to league policy by showcasing field boards of the league’s national sponsors around the stadium for every league match. After three home games, magicJack have yet to put up field boards at Florida Atlantic University Soccer Field.
This is also the third week magicJack have not uploaded game footage to Match Analysis; the third party vendor WPS uses to archive matches and calculate statistics. Match Analysis also enables coaches to scout previous games. Opposing teams are put at a distinct competitive disadvantage by not being able to observe and scrutinize any of magicJack’s games. Of note, the team have not opted to utilize the system for its own scouting purposes.
The club was first hit with monetary fines after the team’s first home game on April 23. magicJack then lost a fourth round draft pick last week after the team’s second consecutive show of noncompliance.
This is the first time in league history that WPS has penalized a team by docking points. As is part of WPS’s escalating levels of punishment, the team had already been warned, fined and stripped of a draft pick. Continued defiance has resulted in removal of points and the elimination of another draft pick.
A league source states further violations could mean the team will forfeit the right to host a home playoff game.
Prior to today, magicJack were second in WPS with nine points. The team remains in the same position, but the deduction lowers the team’s total to eight points. As magicJack have a bye week this coming weekend, the Boston Breakers could potentially overtake the team in the standings with a win on Friday over the Western New York Flash.
Additionally, the South Florida team are currently in violation of three other league standards. The league made the team aware of each infringement, the alternatives, and the possible punishments and that could be handed down as a result.
1.) The league requires that all WPS teams have a functioning website. As has been made obvious in recent weeks, magicJack’s website remains nonoperational. WPS has yet to punish the team as magicJack was granted a two-week extension in early May. The deadline is due to expire at the beginning of next week. If the website remains inaccessible after that point, the league will begin to levy penalties.
2.) According to USSF and WPS guidelines, the minimum seating capacity for stadiums used by WPS teams is 5,000. magicJack are in clear violation of that as the team’s home ground at FAU Soccer Field seats approximately 1,500. The team can file a petition with USSF to downsize the minimum size to 2,500. Even still, the stadium’s current capacity will still be short of the modified minimum.
3.) WPS also requires that press boxes be covered and have a clear view of the field. The press box at FAU Soccer Field is positioned in a corner and does not offer optimum sight lines. WPS will submit a request to FAU but the league can’t require stadium officials to move it.
magicJack were fined after the team’s media blackout after the match against the Philadelphia Independence on May 1 and were on the verge of facing additional punishment in Week 5. The team heeded WPS’s mandates, however, and allowed players to be accessed by media members following last weekend’s victory versus the Atlanta Beat.
If the team remains noncompliant in the instances acknowledged, magicJack will be slapped with more penalties ranging from fines to removal of draft picks and/or points. As per league protocol, WPS will continue to notify the team and provide warnings about possible punishments following each infraction.
magicJack’s next home game will be on Saturday, May 28 when the team host the Atlanta Beat.