I found this in this morning's Star-Phoenix and noticed it wasn't posted on the IBL section.
Pro b-ball entrepreneur arrives with certain baggage
Kevin Mitchell, The StarPhoenix
Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007
Troy Burns's history includes angry creditors, financial miscues and bad optics.
Now he is headed to Saskatoon with a whopping challenge: Convincing people in this pro-sports-jaded city his professional basketball team is here for the long haul.
Burns, who recently announced he is putting International Basketball League teams into both Saskatoon and Edmonton for 2008, concedes that a series of controversies he has been enmeshed in the last few years don't look good on the surface.
"Everyone has a past," says Burns, who signed a lease with Credit Union Centre on Tuesday. "But in no way does it reflect on the basketball team at all. We're solid guys."
Burns was a hot topic in Port Alberni, B.C., late last summer when his disappearance signalled the end of the Aquadisiac Restaurant and the Rhino Club. He'd started both business ventures a few months earlier.
Burns left unpaid bills and his employees say they didn't receive their final paycheques.
Burns's mother told the Alberni Valley Times she sympathized with the restaurant employees who lost out on paycheques.
"I feel so bad for them," Balbir Burns said the day her son left town. "They're single moms -- I'm a single mom, too. I know what it's like."
She later added he should have "dealt with his problems instead of running away."
Burns said Tuesday that his restaurant business, Burns Holdings Ltd., is going through bankruptcy proceedings. He said his employees almost certainly won't see their unpaid wages.
He explained his decision to leave town abruptly by saying "I was fed up with the rumours and the other stuff. I was like 'You know what? It's not working. That's it.' "
Burns, who has never returned to Port Alberni, is also a much-discussed figure in the ball hockey community both in Canada and Europe.
Domenic DiGironimo, the president of the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation, questions Burns's ability to run a professional basketball franchise. He has received many angry e-mails the last few years from ball-hockey players wanting to track Burns down.
"Word gets around pretty quick when something like this happens," DiGironimo said of financial losses suffered by ball hockey players, which he pins on Burns. "He impacted on the entire international ball hockey community and he's still out there."
Calgary's Jason Smith says Burns collected $2,000 from him -- and varying amounts of cash from other players -- while organizing a United Kingdom team for the 2005 world ball hockey championship in Pittsburgh. Smith claims Burns became unreachable two weeks before the tourney and team members had to pay out of their own pockets a second time to make the trip on short notice.
Smith hasn't seen or heard from his former teammate since.
© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007
I hope he's learned from his mistakes and isn't an owner of the ABA's caliber.