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What is collusion?

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What is collusion?

Postby Dawgpound 1613 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:14 pm

We're having a debate in one of my leagues whether the activities of two of our teams constitutes collusion.

The league is a keeper league, which is really the only factor of significance regarding the league itself.

The activities in question? For 6 years now, two of the owners (who happen to be good friends) alternate dumping trades with one another. The trades, as dumping trades go, are always fair. The issue, though, is that although they will trade with other teams, they always trade their best players to each other. So, if Team A is dumping and has Johan and Bedard as SP to be dumped, Team B always has ended up with Johan while another team might get Bedard.

So, is it collusion when two teams always trade their best players to one another? The trades, as I mentioned, are fair, but it is a given that when one of the teams dump, the other team ends up with the best players while the remainder of the league gets the rest.
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Postby Tavish » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:38 pm

In the loosest definition of collusion it could be. I'm not real sure of the other dynamics that fall into play though. Are they passing over obviously better trades to only deal with each other? Is it a trade heavy league where everyone is fairly talkative? It could simply be that since these two are friends that they have more time to barter out deals for impact players or have more communication between each other so deals are easier to work out.

The league I'm in with friends there are a couple of partnerships like that where they will trade much more often with each other simply because the two people work together or have season tickets with each other and have all kinds of time to figure out deals. Not something I would be overly worried about if it isn't hurting the competitive balance of the league.
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Postby bigken117 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:35 pm

This is why we need a Commissioner Forum :-°

To me collusion is when two owners conspire to intentionally throw off the competitive balance of the league.

Example: Playoff team A tells last place team B - "hey, I'll give you $20 from what I win if you trade me Johan for Clement."

Example: During the off season, Team 1 tells his buddy Team 2 he is trading a certain player that Team 3 wants. He asks Team 2 to make a baloney offer just so he can tell Team 3 he has a better deal and drive up the price.

Not an example: In a salary cap keeper, Playoff Team A trades a $5 Howie Kendrick to non playoff team B for Jake Peavy @ $24 whom Team A won't be able to afford to keep.

There are owners in my leagues of all sports who trade with each other more than the rest of the league, but these guys are always hanging out and drinking (which certainly increases trade talks). Meanwhile we have a guy who is like a stone that I work with whom I was able to make a trade since I always saw him and had his work email.

There is a fine line though, and I wouldn't toss the "C" word around loosely.
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Postby wrveres » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:35 am

No that is not collusion.. that is trading partners ..
I spend alot of my season developing trading partners especially in keepers. Once you work out a good deal with somebody it is always easiest to dip into that well again .. A trust has been built ..
I usually have two or three trading partners per league ..

I cannot see it as collusion
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Postby Dawgpound 1613 » Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:40 am

Appreciate the comments. I'm actually mixed in my opinion, and I'm not one who normally belives collusion exists except in extreme circumstances.

I agree with the trade partner aspect. I also agree that if two trade offers are "even" (a subjective standard), there is no reason for friends not to trade with one another.

Where I am torn is that in the 6 years, one of the teams has always dumped by June, such that they end up not competing for the title against the other. In addition, when one team does dump, their first trade has always been with the other team and it has always involved the best non-keeper players going to the non-dumping teams.

As for whether either team is taking "lesser" offers, that is tough to say. Most people don't make their trade offers public, so all I can tell you is whether one of my offers was refused (which they obviously have been). Only in one instance did I think one of the teams took an offer "less" than mine, but that is subjective based on how I value my prospects vs. the prospects of other teams. Again, that's why I look at what I consider "fair" trades - and while I may have felt I could have made a better offer had I known a certain player was available, I never made such an offer to have it turned down.

So, thanks again for the comments. I am still not sure if there is a definitive answer, but figure the people posting this time of year are "hardcore" enough to give good input on questions like this.
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Postby thedude » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:56 pm

It could be considered collusion if it seems that every year these 2 jokers are conspiring to make sure that at least one of their teams has a shot to win the title. They might have an understanding that, say come june 30 the team with the better record will get the other teams best player. I would think agreements like this constitute collusion. If it seems like every year they make these types of trades i think it very well could be collusion. If two owners are conspiring to make sure one has a good shot at winning the title i think it probably is collusion.


However the problem is how to prove it. If you can't prove this than you really have no course of action (other than not inviting these 2 back for next season).

So, though i agree it could be collusion, i am not really sure what you can do about it.
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Postby greenandgold » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:58 pm

If it seems that one team is deliberatly cutting to give the other team a better chance this year, then you have a case. If all the trades are fair and help both sides, there is probably not much you can do.

How often do either of these guys win the league?
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Postby Hbj79 » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:26 pm

I agree with this:

It could be considered collusion if it seems that every year these 2 jokers are conspiring to make sure that at least one of their teams has a shot to win the title. They might have an understanding that, say come june 30 the team with the better record will get the other teams best player. I would think agreements like this constitute collusion. If it seems like every year they make these types of trades i think it very well could be collusion. If two owners are conspiring to make sure one has a good shot at winning the title i think it probably is collusion.


It does drive me nuts when people will turn down a better offer from one person only to take a lesser offer from a friend.....

However, the only thing worse is when people will suggest a trade is unfair when they are not willing to make a clearly better offer themselves.
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Postby J35J » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:33 am

thedude wrote:It could be considered collusion if it seems that every year these 2 jokers are conspiring to make sure that at least one of their teams has a shot to win the title. They might have an understanding that, say come june 30 the team with the better record will get the other teams best player. I would think agreements like this constitute collusion. If it seems like every year they make these types of trades i think it very well could be collusion. If two owners are conspiring to make sure one has a good shot at winning the title i think it probably is collusion.


However the problem is how to prove it. If you can't prove this than you really have no course of action (other than not inviting these 2 back for next season).


So, though i agree it could be collusion, i am not really sure what you can do about it.



I agree with this as well!

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Postby GoatCurse03 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:18 pm

Proving it is always the problem because any time someone challenges a deal, the traders can always, always make an argument about how they value the prospects, or minimize an injury to get a deal to fit within the range of acceptability.

If you suspect these two do it, you could be proactive in the future. By early June, hit the lesser team with offers for the handful of players that you think they are going to trade to the better of the two trading partner's teams. There probably aren't more than a handful on that team. If nothing else, you'd then have an argument to present to the league if the players you offered on are later traded for lesser value. It will also have a chilling effect on their deals if they are colluding in this way and they know you (and hopefully others) are on to them. I'm not sure if this would work though because you said their deals are "fair".

If you are this concerned, it can't be too much fun being in this league.
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