Colts risk a fraud lawsuit from season-ticket holders

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In some contexts, B.S. is simply that. In other contexts, B.S. has another name.

Fraud.

As the Colts keep talking about what they knew and when they knew it about quarterback Andrew Luck, it’s become more and more clear that there’s at least thick smoke — and quite possibly a raging fire — regarding the possibility that the team deliberately disseminated false information in order to entice customers to renew their season tickets.

Here’s what owner Jim Irsay said on Twitter, back in January: “Andrew recovering from successful outpatient surgery to fix right shoulder injury that had lingered since 2015. Will be ready for season!”

As we now know, Luck won’t play in 2017. And so the question becomes whether Irsay was accidentally or deliberately inaccurate in January, when he made a promise that Luck “will be ready for season!” before fans had to decide whether to buy an expensive package of two preseason and eight regular-season game tickets that would allow them to enjoy the exploits of Andrew Luck.

Even without the Colts saying anything more, the circumstances reveal sufficient evidence to launch a class action on behalf of all season-ticket holders, on the basis that they were falsely induced to buy the tickets under the premise that Luck will play. Other things said by the Colts only strengthen that potential claim.

Most significantly, and most recently, G.M. Chris Ballard agreed to submit to an interview with Dan Dakich of 1070 The Fan. The interview quickly became a cross-examination, and Ballard did not hold up well under questioning.

“There’s not been one point where we’ve said or put a timeline on this,” Ballard said, flat-out ignoring the “will be ready for season!” timeline Irsay applied in January. When confronted with Irsay’s promise, Ballard said that Irsay was simply being an “eternal optimist.”

That won’t cut it if/when Irsay faces questioning under oath by a lawyer. It will be very easy to compare Irsay’s remarks to information provided to him by doctors and then to twist Irsay in knots while he tries to talk his way out of a jam but inevitably makes it all much, much worse.

Irsay wouldn’t be the only one who testifies, if an ambitious Indianapolis lawyer finds a season-ticket holder who relied on the promise of Luck’s presence and sues on behalf of that season-ticket holder and all others. Luck himself at one point will get an invitation to the party, and he’ll have to answer questions about a text that Dakich claims Luck sent to someone who showed it to a media member Dakich knows.

The text said, per Dakich, “I’m nowhere near ready. They’re putting me out here to sell tickets.”

Ballard dismissed the claim, quickly.

“Anybody that knows Andrew and has received texts from Andrew knows that most of the time they are two characters or three characters long,” Ballard said. “‘Yes’ or ‘no’. He still has a flip phone, which aren’t the easiest things to text with. So for anybody to say that Andrew made that text or made that remark, I would say that’s a fabrication on their part.”

Fabrication will be the key word if the Colts ever face civil liability for the things said and done to get the fan base to buy season tickets at a time when Luck’s status wasn’t nearly as positive as Irsay made it out to be. If an ambitious prosecutor in Indianapolis becomes intrigued by the case, civil liability could be the least of Irsay’s worries.

19 responses to “Colts risk a fraud lawsuit from season-ticket holders

  1. The Colts front office has bungled this from the start. Not sure it’s lawsuit worthy, but Indy fans definitely have a the right to be upset over the lack of transparency and misleading rhetoric about the Luck injury. How do you go from being back from being “ready for the season,” to maybe missing the first couple of weeks, to season ending IR without the team being aware of it? More importantly, how do you allow that to happen without being more proactive? Jacoby Brissett deserves all the credit in the world for coming in a couple days before the start of the year and performing the way he has… imagine how he’d be playing if he had the 4 presesason games under his belt as well?

    Luck probably won’t force the issue, but could you blame him if he tried to force his way out of there?

  2. Sorry Colts fans, you can sue and get your $$ back, but it doesn’t change who owns this team. He’s the closest thing to Donald Sterling in the NFL.

  3. Pretty sure the Colts were sold out before anyone knew or said anything about Luck. They even have a waiting list for season tickets. The Colts put a team on the field. Does not say who will be on the field.

  4. I don’t mean to defend a fool like Irsay, but he’d probably be able to argue that ‘ready for the season’ can mean any point in the season and not the necessarily the start of the season.

  5. The NFL has committed the same when we witness the field activity of players. When the game is second fiddle to demonstrations. players having judges stop punishment, players feeling they have the right to play, fights on field no suspension, inconsistent in every aspect of how the NFL handles it all and lets throw in a owner calling another a liar. Greed fellow fans greed.

  6. I was predicting this back in summer. Always remember the horseshoe on the helmets is where the mule kicked them.

  7. Anyone else notice that the current state of demise in which the Colts find themselves began almost immediately following their collusion with the Ravens and ex-Jet NFL lackeys to frame a team simply because they couldn’t beat them on the fieled and their QB made the mistake of telling the Ravens to read a rule book?

  8. nhpats says:
    November 9, 2017 at 7:01 pm
    The Colts not only cheat other teams…they cheated their own fans!

    135 35 Rate This
    ____________

    That’s rich coming from a pats fan. LMAOOO

    The pats have been cheating since they joined the NFL. The pats will forever be known as the asterisk team.

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