On March 15, 2021, the OLA was asked to review the agency of four players. The players in question; Jeff Teat, Connor McClelland, Travis Burton and Clarke Petterson requested the review. The case being made was that the Brampton/Owen Sound Major franchise ownership had failed to comply with article R6.23(d) of the OLA constitution. This requires the reimbursement of $300 paid to the Jr. A affiliate of any protected players. It was found that the Major club had violated the constitution and all four players declared to be free agents. This means that they are no longer required to sign with the franchise now in Owen Sound. They may sign elsewhere at their own discretion.
The ELLA is happy to hear this news. It not only shows that OLA leadership is willing to send a strong message about rules which have, in the past, been ignored, but it also provides these players the opportunity to play for a club where they feel comfortable and happy. Since the announcement of the team’s move, a number of Brampton Excelsiors players publicly expressed disdain and an unwillingness to play for Mr. Norton in Owen Sound. They may, if they so wish, still sign with the team. The ELLA are satisfied that the choice will be theirs to make. There may also be further announcements of OLA free agents to come if more similar violations are found.
In the wake of the Board of Governor’s vote to move the team, which defied the OLA constitution, this is a great move by the organization. It will help restore faith in the leadership and their willingness to follow their rules. Holding the vote to approve the Excelsiors’ move with the wrong group has received heavy criticism from the public and the ELLA. We will still appeal this vote and fight to bring the Excelsiors home. This is a step in the right direction and gives us hope that the OLA will do the right thing.