Prepared by M.L. MacInnis under the direction by D.T. Carter
Jerry Ashcroft, CA, is director of the Box Lacrosse Players’ Association (BLPA). The principal duties of this not-for-profit organization are collective bargaining negotiation with the lacrosse league’s owners and organizing special events to supplement funding of the players’ pension plan.
Last year, the players won the right to organize and promote an all-star game. The proceeds of the event were to be shared between the pension plan and league ownership on a 65-35 basis. Ashcroft decided to arrange corporate sponsorship himself. According to Ashcroft, Cool Cola ending up buying the exclusive advertising rights to the event for $100,000.
During the all-star game, Dave Upshaw, the Winnipeg team’s player representative, sat with his brother-in-law, a Cool Cola marketing manager. Dave was told that it cost Cool Cola $150,000 to get all the rights, because another company had already snapped up the rights to the scoreboards and had demanded $50,000 to surrender them.
Dave passed this information along to the other team representatives. They voted to hire a forensic accountant to find out what really happened. The accountant traced the mysterious company back to Jerry Ashcroft. He had retained the advertising rights to the arena’s scoreboards in a holding company and pocketed the $50,000 when they were resold to Cool Cola.
What should the player representatives do?