Bandits Suspended From AIFL Playoffs
June 19, 2006 - American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) News Release
American Indoor Football League President Andrew G. Haines and Executive Director Gary Tufford announced Monday afternoon that the defending league champion Richmond Bandits have been suspended from the 2006 playoffs due to flagrant and malicious violation of league rules.
As a result, Monday's playoff game between the Bandits and the Raleigh Rebels has been awarded to the Rebels, who will meet the winner of the Chattahoochee Valley Vipers-Rome Renegades semifinal in next week's Southern Conference championship game.
The core of the suspension was Richmond's deliberate withholding of game film to both the Rebels and the Renegades, along with failure to pay approximately $3,000 in fines.
Teams were given ample notice prior to the playoffs if they were in good standing and if they needed to catch up with payment of fines and other league responsibilities.
"If we don't enforce rules, then what's the sense of having them," Haines said. "Especially if it's a blatant disregard of the spirit of the game as in this case. We gave Richmond every opportunity to work this situation to a positive conclusion.
"We've had our share of pitfalls this season and I'll be the first to admit that we have a ways to go to get this league to where it needs to be,'' Haines added "But we will not be pushed around by teams who refuse to follow rules that they helped write."
Richmond finished the season with a 12-3 record.
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