Coaches in RICO Suit Fire Back at Lacrosse Dad
SHERMAN, Texas (CN) - A Texas lawyer whose son struggled to get on a varsity lacrosse team is using the courts to exact his pound of flesh, several coaches told a federal judge.
The claim comes in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that William, Suzanne and Billy Munck filed last month against Dallas Lacrosse Academy LLC and several Dallas-area high school lacrosse coaches.
Alleging violations of federal anti-racketeering law and conspiracy, the Muncks claim that the coaches retaliated against Billy for not supporting the for-profit Dallas Lacrosse Academy (DLA).
They allege the founders and owners of DLA used their school coaching positions to "hit up" families, who then expressed concern their children would not play at their schools if they did not pay.
"Consistent with this 'pay-for-play' concept, the RICO defendants identified a strategy for selecting the C2C [Lacrosse] camp teams: make decisions based on the influence of and potential revenue from the parents rather than on the players' abilities," the complaint states. "In 2009, following tryouts where counselors/coaches evaluated players and selected rosters, the RICO defendants met at the Blackfinn Saloon and discussed specific influential families targeted to support the DLA initiative. Players who tried out and were not selected by the evaluators replaced other players on the roster because those players' families could affect support for DLA at Highland Park, Plano, St. Mark's [high schools], etc."
The coaches denied the accusations in an April 1 motion to dismiss.
They say William A. Munck used his Dallas law firm Munck Wilson "as a tool" against area coaches "whose only sin was failing to recognize and appreciate the athletic talents of" Billy Munck.
"After Billy failed to make the varsity lacrosse team while attending the Episcopal School of Dallas in the spring of 2010, Munck met with defendant John Marano to discuss defendant Kevin Barnicle (the head lacrosse coach at ESD at the time)," the 19-page motion states (parentheses in original). "Marano perception of the meeting was the Munck was threatening to use his position as a lawyer with his own law firm to financially ruin Marano, his family and Barnicle if Billy were not moved to the ESD varsity squad."
Barnicle said he moved Billy Munck to the varsity team for the rest of the season, and that the teen then transferred to the Millbrook Academy in New York for the remaining two years of high school.
"However, Munck was never able to let go of his anger that Billy did not initially make the varsity lacrosse team while at ESD and commenced upon a course of litigation over the next four year course directed towards the defendants," the motion states.
In 2010, Munck allegedly sought to depose Marano in Dallas County Court.
"At that time, Munck's legal theory against the defendants was that Munck had potentially been defamed regarding the events leading up to an including his March 2010 meeting with Marano," the motion states. "By February of 2013, Munck had abandoned his defamation theory and instead decided to file a lawsuit in Billy's name against C2C, Marano and Barnicle in a Denton County District Court on theories of negligence, tortious interference and civil conspiracy; arising out of Billy's initial failure to make the ESD varsity lacrosse team."
The Muncks allegedly filed this federal racketeering suit because they are "unable to articulate any viable damages" in the Denton County suit.
Discovery from that earlier action furthermore negates "almost all" of Munck's financial theories, the motion to dismiss states.
William A. Munck did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.