After many terror-filled nights of waking up drenched in cold sweat, Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief, and dance a jig of celebration
You may remember back in mid-March of 2009, when Credible News Source the Windsor Star reported that the Kitchener Rangers and Windsor Spitfires were considering a libel lawsuit against Jeff Jackson, after Jackson made public comments about the Rangers offering Cam Fowler $500,000 to sign with them. Sadly, the original article no longer exists on the internet.
Luckily, as best I can tell from Canadian law(The Crown? WTF? Seriously, Canada, the 20th century was awesome. You should try it), the statute of limitations for a case like that is two years from the time the victim becomes aware of the defamation. That means Jackson will get away unpunished for his claims, despite it being a super-easy case to prove, as Spits GM Warren Rychel bragged at the time.
It comes as quite a relief that Kitchener and Windsor weren't quite able to put together the finishing touches on their slam dunk case in time for this deadline. I guess I need to find a new first thing to check on the internet tomorrow morning. But this was such a major story that it feels wrong to leave it without a little bit of a retrospective on what all went down. After all, it wasn't like these teams just spewed some hot air for some immediate positive PR and then quietly swept this story under the rug.
First and foremost, you have to give a lot of credit to the OHL led by commissioner Dave Branch. Allegations that one of his teams was so blatantly breaking league rules in order to gain a competitive advantage is very serious business. His league's integrity, and his own personal integrity were on the line. Here's some links to all of the tireless work the OHL did in investigating this situation:
But of course, who can forget the stellar work done by the Canadian media in tracking this huge story. Any good journalist knows that it is his job to not just be a mouthpiece for the people he covers by writing one easy story, but to also follow up on stories, ask the tough questions, and get the answers readers want. Here's some links that show how well the hockey journalists in Ontario were doing their jobs since the printing of the Star's original article:
Fantastic stuff all around. I think we can all see just how lucky Jeff Jackson was to dodge this bullet. Even though this story may not have ended in a court room, the amount of effort put in by the good folks north of the border to get to the bottom of this story provides some pretty good insight into just how untruthful Jackson's allegations were.