Since December Kyle Koopman has expressed a desire to own his own franchise in the JAL. However, because he has been under contract with the underdogs from JAL IX - JAL XII (October - March), that could not happen until his contract expired.
When Koopman originally told league officials he wanted to own an expansion team months ago, he was approved to do so. Knowing that his contract would expire after JAL XII, people had been anticipating it to occur between JAL XII and JAL XIII for a while. But, since the conclusion of JAL XII there had been no word from Koopman and naturally the assumptions began to fade.
u-dogs owner Cathy Woodruff said yesterday that she would love to re-sign Kyle, but hadn't made him any offers because she (like everyone else) figured he would follow through and create his own team. Aware that speculation was rising, Cathy went on to offer Kyle a $11/2-tournament deal to re-sign with the team on last night's episode of The Pitch...
This morning, Kyle Koopman rejected the offer, and has officially announced that he will move forward with establishing his own franchise in the JAL.
"I was waiting to see how things played out for me in free agency," said Koopman this morning.
"I knew I wouldn't get any huge contract offers, but maybe a smaller one to be on a good team and play a minor role," he added.
Apparently the u-dogs $11/2-tournament offer didn't satisfy either of those desires.
"It was a good ride," said Koopman of his career with the underdogs. "Just wish we could have won some more than we did. Now it's time to focus on bringing a championship to my new franchise."
Disappointed that she will be losing one of her favorite players in franchise history, Cathy Woodruff says that she wishes him the best and that she will pursue another player to replace him.
As for the new Koopman-owned franchise, the league will reveal all the team's info (name, logo, colors, ect.) in the official introduction which is set to occur later this week.