EAU CLAIRE (PRESS RELEASE) - On July 7, 2012, an incident occurred at the Lake Superior Rage-Eau Claire Crush league-sanctioned contest at Carson Park. The incident began when a player was flagged for a late hit (a personal foul penalty) and quickly escalated into a bench-clearing brawl.
The executive board of the Northern Elite Football League, consisting of its president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary, took time to review the information stemming from the incident.
"Given the circumstances of previous games and meetings, the Northern Elite Football League needed to gather as much information as possible in order to make a fair decision," said NEFL President Nicole Isaac. "The actions the league took in response to this incident are unprecedented and we needed to make a decision that upheld our league's core belief that the NEFL provides fun, family-friendly entertainment. I believe the league made huge strides with the decisions handed down tonight, as we understand that the embarrassment caused by this and several other incidents this season needed to stop to ensure the future viability of the league and also the league's standing as a family-friendly organization."
On Monday Night, the executive board recommended the following to the rest of the league in the league's weekly meeting:
*Two of the players involved in the incident will be banned for life from the NEFL. Both players are from the Rage. One player punched an opposing coach and another struck an opposing player with his helmet.
*Four more players received three-game suspensions from the league, one player from the Rage and three players from the Crush, for their roles in the brawl. These suspensions affect league-sanctioned games only (including the playoffs). The suspensions carry over to next season (2013) no matter which team they play for, if the teams they are on do not play three more league contests this season.
*The Lake Superior Rage were recommended by the board and voted by the NEFL to be placed in bad standing. According to the NEFL bylaws, this means they are subject to additional end-of-season review to maintain status within the league; they lose all voting rights in league matters for the duration of being in bad standing; and for any postseason games, their opponents can decide to have home field in games in which the Rage would be the higher playoff seed. Currently, the Rage are guaranteed to be in line to be the host of at least one playoff game this season, and their opponent will have the option of taking home field prior to that contest.
Both the league president, Nicole Isaac and vice president Rob Neumann will be attending Friday Night's Crush-Predators game at Carson Park, the site of last Saturday's incident. They will be available to the press for further questions and will be there to ensure that the contest is played without incident.
The Northern Elite Football League is the premier adult amateur football league in the Midwest, comprised of 12 teams in Minnesota and Wisconsin, currently playing its fifth season. Their teams have won a combined 18 league titles in the past decade.
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