FORT WORTH -- The Texas Collegiate League, through Haddock Foundation, has entered into an agreement with four of its teams to “play ball” in 2008. The four teams – Brazos Valley Bombers, Coppell Copperheads, McKinney Marshals, and Wichita Falls Roughnecks – have agreed to mutual releases, to pay their revenue fees for 2007, and to a license fee payment to the TCL, which will enable the teams to license and operate TCL beginning with the 2008 season.
Importantly, the purposes of the Haddock Foundation will remain the same through the operating structure agreed upon with the core teams and the commitment the teams have made for their new controlling leadership. With this change, Gerald W. Haddock, founder and current Chairman of TCL, states, "We are pleased that this core group of TCL teams can continue our vision to provide for the development of amateur athletics in a family friendly environment for summer collegiate baseball in Texas."
The operations of TCL were recently suspended as a result of the withdrawal of seven of its nine teams in a dispute over the goals and purposes of TCL. Following the dispute, TCL filed a suit against the seven teams and their owners claiming, among other things, treble damages under antitrust law for an illegal boycott and tortious interference with prospective contractual relations designed to destroy TCL. The agreement reached today has resulted in the settlement and dismissal of that suit with respect to the Coppell Copperheads and Wichita Falls Roughnecks. TCL’s suit will continue against the remaining teams.
The deal puts to rest an unsettled month and half since the Copperheads captured their second TCL title on August 12. The league’s new leadership structure promises a bright future for a league that has seen 158 of its former players drafted or signed to play professional baseball.
The newly-formed leadership will continue to recruit additional teams, assemble team rosters, and schedule the 2008 season. Team leaders added that league policy and direction will be decided jointly by all member teams.
Even though the league’s future is as bright as ever, it will not forget its past. In recognition of Haddock’s vision and dedication in creating TCL and guiding it through its formative years, the league announced that future TCL champions will be awarded the Haddock Cup. By naming the league championship trophy after him, TCL ensures that his legacy with the league he brought to life will always be strong.
The returning teams ensure that TCL will remain one of the premier summer collegiate leagues. The league will return the circuit’s record-breaking attendance leader (Brazos Valley), its defending champion and only team to win two TCL titles (Coppell), a team that has reached the playoffs in all four TCL seasons and captured a championship (McKinney), and a team that wowed a new market in 2007 (Wichita Falls).