What is good for the industry? Many people have ideas, but no one really knows the answer. Maybe a better question is what is bad for the industry. I would like to think most of us would agree on the items that would make this list, but that’s not reality. I’m not even sure Andre on Monday agrees with Andre on Tuesday all the time, why should I expect others to agree with me or each other consistently. One of the things that has consistently stayed on the good side is transparency.
Sunday night in Destin I received an email alleging wrong doing by a prominent group in our industry. The email had all sorts of details attempting to support the claimed wrong doing, none of which I could say with certainty were true or false. Personally I don’t think anything “illegal” was done, but things were done that wouldn’t be “legal” in a perfect world. It was in what many of us would refer to as the “Grey” area. I put “illegal” and “legal” in quotes because I’m referring to industry rules, not laws punishable with jail time. I’m not saying this to imply what was done shouldn’t have been done, in fact it’s probably the smartest thing that could be done. If the rules permit something to be done don’t you owe it to your group to do it if it helps your group? If it were a pyramid or tumbling trick we’d likely give credit for being creative, but other areas lead to someone’s moral compass being questioned.
After getting the email and getting back to a place conducive to work I forwarded the email to the person accused of wrong doing. This was late Tuesday night and I planned on giving her a call the next day. Instead she called me about 30 minutes after sending the email. We talked about the details and she explained what was going on, including many details I was asked not to share. I told her that I would be posting something about the issue on Spirit Post later that week and let her know if she sent a response I would include it. She said she would send me something, but wanted to be sure the official people received her response first. She later let me know she wouldn’t be able to send me her response, which I interpreted as legal action would be taken soon and she didn’t want to do anything that would put that in jeopardy. I was later sent her response, without asking for it, from another person.
I’m not certain of the order of the next few events, but it doesn’t really matter, and they all took place by Thursday evening. Among the events were more emails from the accuser with additional support for the claims and a response to the accused being cleared by the governing body. Let me repeat that, the accuser was sent a letter to let them know the accused was investigated and cleared of the allegations. At this point I decided there was enough info to put something on Spirit Post on Friday. I wrote a 3 sentence post. The first sentence said allegations were made, the second said the allegations were investigated and the accused was cleared, and the third mentioned a different allegation involving an event producer.
Within about 30 minutes of publishing the post I received a text from the same higher up at Varsity All Star that emailed me after the April Fools Day joke telling me I need to be responsible and a phone call from the accused implying slander or defamation of character. There seemed to be a great urgency to make sure no one knew allegations were made, even though they we found to be invalid, for no apparent reason. This doesn’t fall into the transparent category.