MLL: Rattlers’ ownership returns to league

June 23, 2018; Kennesaw, GA, USA; Dallas Rattlers against the Atlanta Blaze in the second half at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis

The Dallas Rattlers ownership had been transferred from New Balance co-founder Jim Davis to the MLL, according to a statement released by the league on Tuesday afternoon.

However, a report from Kyle Devitte of Inside Lacrosse that was released prior to the league’s statement noted that the Dallas Rattlers had ceased operations entirely.

While reports are contradicting, Jim Davis is effectively no longer the owner of the Dallas Rattlers. The league’s statement claims that this move is another extension of the league’s restructuring that took place back in the spring and saw the Ohio Machine and Florida Launch cease operations, and the Charlotte Hounds be put on hiatus with intentions to return in 2021.

In addition, the league also stated that “this transition is not an unprecedented event, for the league has previously operated franchises under the same construct. The league looks forward to the Dallas Rattlers competing for an MLL Championship in 2020.”

This move is viewed by many as another black eye on the league due to poor management and oversight that has troubled the league for years. Ultimately, it is up in the air as to whether the Dallas Rattlers will compete in the MLL in 2020. And if they don’t, what will happen to the players that are currently on their roster?

Last spring when the Machine and Launch folded and the Hounds went on hiatus the league held a dispersal draft for the players that were on those team’s rosters. While many of the star players were picked up, many players that were more “role” guys were left without a team and essentially out left to dry.

The news surrounding the Rattlers’ ownership popping up at the beginning of the offseason and a day before team meetings could be even more harmful to the league. With many questions swirling in the heads of players, coaches, owners and fans alike, there could be a wave of players that jump ship, or at least consider it, and look for “greener pastures” in the PLL – who just finished their inaugural season last month.

In addition, championship weekend didn’t go without controversy as the Chesapeake Bayhawks tied the game on questionable goal and the game ended with Denver Outlaws’ player Zach Currier getting ejected after arguing with an official when they did not hear Denver head coach Tony Seaman try to call a timeout with under a minute left.

If Dallas does indeed go under, it will raise questions if New Balance/Warrior, who founded the league, is still involved and could set off a frenzy inside front offices across the league, potentially seeing more teams being handed over to the league. This situation could become very critical very fast for the MLL, if it isn’t already.

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