Insider has learned from several sources that the Orlando Titans will not be operating during the 2011 National Lacrosse League season, although it’s unconfirmed at this time whether the franchise has completely folded or will remain on the sidelines in some capacity.
League representatives had no comment on the Titans franchise status when contacted by Insider earlier today, although it is believed a dispersal draft will be held in the near future, allocating the Titans’ roster throughout the league’s remaining ten clubs.
Insider has also confirmed with the Professional Lacrosse Player’s Association that Titans players Pat Maddalena, Pat Merrill, Jordan Hall and Rory Smith have attempted to terminate their contracts with the team under a stipulation in their Standard Player Agreement due to unpaid portions of their contract during the 2010 NLL season, all four seeking unrestricted free agency, allowing them to sign with any team in the NLL for the 2011 season.
A similar situation transpired during the collapse of the New York Saints and Columbus Landsharks franchises several seasons back, high profile players like Gavin Prout, Gee Nash and Derek Suddons deemed UFA’s due to outstanding unpaid amounts by their respective teams, Prout and Nash signing with the Colorado Mammoth and Suddons with the Toronto Rock. Last summer, current Edmonton Rush player Brodie Merrill also found himself in a somewhat similar situation after the Portland Lumberjax folded, opting later to remain with the Rush who drafted him first overall during the Jax dispersal draft.
It was reported on Insider last month that the franchise was seeking additional investment in order to remain operational, principal franchise owner Gary Rosenbach decreasing his stake in the team at that time as well. Last week Insider reported that the league had likely issued a deadline to the team, expected to be sometime this week, on whether or not the Florida based franchise would be able to proceed moving towards the 2011 season.
Last year the Titans made the move from New York to Orlando after three years of good on-floor results but disappointing box office digits. The franchise also announced last year that they would be purchasing a professional soccer franchise within the USL.
Stay tuned to Insider for more on this developing story.The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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