NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Greg Ambrosius
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NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Wed Jan 24, 2024 3:39 pm

SportsHub Holdings, LLC, (“SportsHub”) (https://www.shgn.com/), which operates various fantasy sports contests, including the National Fantasy Football Championships (NFFC), prides itself on integrity and transparency to its players and the public. As part of this commitment to honest and fair gaming, SportsHub publishes timestamps for each transaction in each of its contests. These timestamps are viewable to every participant to see for every contest under the Transactions tab.

Recently, with help from reporting by a public source, we successfully revealed a post-deadline move in one of our NFFC Post-Season Hold ’Em contests that was detected and quickly confirmed, resulting in SportsHub being able to take immediate action to resolve the issue without any impact to the results of the contest.

As a result of its internal investigation, an employee was terminated and a contest participant has been banned from further play on our platforms.

Due to pending legal matters, SportsHub cannot comment on the specific details or the responsible individual. While it may not be possible to stop all problematic activities, detection and swift resolution are key to maintaining the integrity of the games.

To further enhance its commitment to integrity and transparency, SportsHub is contracting with U.S. Integrity, Inc., (https://www.usintegrity.com/) - the gaming industry leader in integrity investigations and consulting – to provide third party verification of all lineups and transactions moving forward. SportsHub thanks its players and the public for the continuing success of SportsHub, the NFFC, and all of its fantasy gaming platforms.
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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Wed Jan 24, 2024 3:59 pm

This is outside the legalese from me, someone who has worked in this industry for 34+ years and who created these contests 20+ years ago. These contests are as important to me as anything outside of my immediate family. And this announcement hurts.

I know you have a lot of questions and even some trepidation, so I'm going to surmise this very quickly:

* This incident happened with one team in the NFFC $200 Post-Season Hold 'Em Contest. An illegal move in Round 1 and an illegal move in Round 2. One team with players switched by one employee.

* That team and all of his teams are now locked and he is ineligible to ever play again in the NFC contests.

* The employee has been terminated for cause.

* We can easily track the use of the software for this move and we GUARANTEE no other moves were made on any other team in this contest. We have tracked all of our contests and know for a fact that this was a one-off incident and no other contests from previous years have ever been affected.

* We were alerted of this illegal move by a fellow player in the contest because it showed up under Transactions for this team with a time stamp that was after two games started. I have no idea why this person would do this for this owner, but it's as plain as day thanks to the transparency that we provide in our time-stamps. This was so easy for a fellow competitor to detect that someone made a terrible, terrible mistake. But it's a mistake that can't be accepted or allowed one minute further.

* NOTHING is more important than the integrity of our contests. NOTHING. Nobody trusts us with their money if anything can happen. I'm sad. I'm disappointed. I'm shocked. I'm mad. I'm so mad. But we can never let something like this happen and we now have safeguards in place to alert multiple people if this ever happened again. Which it won't.

The contest remains intact and this didn't affect anyone else's teams. This owner's teams have been eliminated and the employee released. So sorry that I can't say more, but please understand that we thank those who alerted us to this situation and we acted immediately and with the appropriate punishments. Thanks.
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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Thu Jan 25, 2024 7:52 am

This morning I MUST address one thing: The employee involved.

He has been fired. His life has been ruined. His dream job is gone. He's let everyone down. He's let his kids, who he loves more than anything in this world, down. He let his wife, who he has been with since high school, down. He let me and Tom down more than you can imagine. He let down our management team who he has been working for since the 1990s, more than half of his life!!!

He knows he's damaged our contests very bad. He knows he damaged our reputation after 20 years of solid integrity. He knows he's let all of you in this great community down. He's let down some very close friends he's made through the NFBC and the NFFC. He knows they are VERY mad at him. He would be too. At heart, he's a fantasy player and he would go off on anyone who would be so stupid as to do something like this. He knows this is just so stupid it's unexplainable. He knows what everyone is saying about him now.

And yet I decided to text him yesterday and tell him that we all loved him and we all wanted to help him. I heard that he wanted to reach out to me but just couldn't do it. He was so ashamed of what he did, so embarrassed that he couldn't talk to me. I had just talked with him on Sunday and we talked about the Packers' loss. Little did I know that would be the easiest loss of the weekend.

So I reached out to him to say we want to help. It's obvious to me now that he has a demon. That demon gave him the courage to do something so inexplicably stupid that he can't even understand it. That demon gives him the courage to say stupid stuff on Twitter, an account that thankfully he has deleted. That demon must die. That demon MUST be eradicated.

I've never been aware of this demon, but it obviously is lethal. That's why we all need to help him if we can. He's a great guy. He's like a little brother to me. He's a family man. A smart guy who went to an Ivy League school. He's fun and this was his dream job. But his life isn't over and hopefully people will believe us when we say that this was not an on-going situation by any means and stay with our contests. But that's the least of my worries; I just want him to get help, prove to his family he's still a good man and pick up the pieces. I seriously mean that.

If I can forgive him -- and trust me, it's not easy -- then I hope many of you can, too. The next step is up to him. He has to step up, be a man, get the help he needs and be there for his family. It's time to man up, admit this stupid, stupid asinine mistake, own it and be better.

We as a company and as people you are supposed to trust took immediate action and we were as transparent as we could be with all of you. We're taking our lumps in the industry now and we'll never have this stain removed. We understand that. And we've taken steps to never let this happen again. But now it's up to him to do the same thing with his life, kill any demons he has and be a father again.

And finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to the guys who found the mistake on the Transactions page and alerted us on Monday morning. They caught the problem before anything more happened and thankfully it's in a contest that is still going and we could delete the affected team and every other team associated with this owner. Had this demon been allowed to live out of our sight, even worse things could have happened in the future.

Sorry for the long rant, but I'm not giving up on him and I'm not giving up on our contests. I'm not going to let the actions of one person we trusted with every tool at his disposal ruin what we've built over 20 years (and 34+ years in this industry). We're going to regain the trust of this great community and our industry and move forward. And I hope he does as well. Please do that D, will you?
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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Coltsfan » Thu Jan 25, 2024 11:02 am

I have been competing in the NFFC almost since the beginning and I feel like I need to weigh in with some of my thoughts.

1. Darik - Everyone I know liked and trusted him. I am shocked that he would even be capable of doing something this heinous to everyone that he has hung out with and worked with over the years. It's shocking. Forgiveness is earned and maybe this can eventually happen but not today. It literally just doesn't make any sense to me at all. Everyone makes mistakes but this one is really bad because it does hurt those that were closest to him.

2. Greg - I cannot put into words how badly I feel for Greg right now. He has done everything right for entire career and now has to deal with this. I know that Greg is a man of integrity and how will handle this in the right way. It would be devastating to me to work on something my entire life, always take the high road, and then have to face these consequences because of what Darik did. I feel horrible for Greg today.

3. Bradley Willis - I don't know him but I have been in many leagues with him over the years. I never remember him performing particularly well but I do know that he was doing a lot of leagues this past year. In his best ball drafts (assuming at least 12 leagues entries in 2023) he finished 52nd out of 56 teams in per week scoring average. It was a horrible year for him in best ball. In the online championship he had 69 entries and finished in 65th place in per week scoring average and only 3 of the 69 teams made the OC. So he had a pretty miserable year in 2023. Regardless of that, I'm pissed at him.

4. NFFC - I can't stress enough how important full disclosure is here. If this problem extended beyond this year or this contest then everyone needs to know. Not knowing is much worst than being left to wonder what actually happened. Over communication is critical as well. A message board post is a good start but not everyone is on here and right now most of the information is coming from responses on Twitter. The NFFC needs to be leading the way because the hits they will take will be much less if they are open and honest than others driving the narrative.

5. Ship Chasing - I thought these guys handled this with class and integrity. They didn't speculate and offer conclusions on things they didn't know. They were very credible and obviously very thorough.

Anyways, my hope is that this was a one-time thing. We need to know if it happened before and we specifically need to know if anything happened in the post-season contest in 2019. I sincerely hope that this is dealt with fairly and we can all move forward here and enjoy playing fantasy football here. I do not doubt that Greg will strive to do this. And lastly, everything I said here about Greg goes for Tom as well. These guys have always been about what is good in the industry, they have been trustworthy, and they have made great decisions during difficult circumstances in the past.

Wayne

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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Thu Jan 25, 2024 11:24 am

There is some obvious concern about a previous finish by this customer involved in this late swap and ShipChasing.com raised that concern last night. I addressed it with them earlier this week, but I'll gladly address it here again.

This customer finished 3rd overall in the 2019 NFFC Post-Season Contest and every move has been timestamped and archived. We put it on the spreadsheet below. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION THAT HIS LINEUP WAS LEGAL!!!

The screenshot below verifies it. We did not have this tool available in 2019 for any staffer because we had just built the software in 2018. Per the timestamps, every move was legal and is verified.

And for the record, this owner was in 124 NFFC season-long contests in 2023 (lots of best balls) and cashed in 7 of them. That's right. SEVEN. There were no shenanigans that helped him win prize money. I cannot explain why a move was made in the post-season contest, but the record stands for his performance for the year as not good.

I totally understand the questions and the speculation, but when it comes to any money finish from this owner previous to this 2023 NFFC Post-Season Contest the timestamps prove that nothing has changed.

I forgot to mention: I believe these are Central Time Zone timestamps.
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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by kjduke » Thu Jan 25, 2024 11:34 am

Greg Ambrosius wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2024 7:52 am
This morning I MUST address one thing: The employee involved.

He has been fired. His life has been ruined. His dream job is gone. He's let everyone down. He's let his kids, who he loves more than anything in this world, down. He let his wife, who he has been with since high school, down. He let me and Tom down more than you can imagine. He let down our management team who he has been working for since the 1990s, more than half of his life!!!

He knows he's damaged our contests very bad. He knows he damaged our reputation after 20 years of solid integrity. He knows he's let all of you in this great community down. He's let down some very close friends he's made through the NFBC and the NFFC. He knows they are VERY mad at him. He would be too. At heart, he's a fantasy player and he would go off on anyone who would be so stupid as to do something like this. He knows this is just so stupid it's unexplainable. He knows what everyone is saying about him now.

And yet I decided to text him yesterday and tell him that we all loved him and we all wanted to help him. I heard that he wanted to reach out to me but just couldn't do it. He was so ashamed of what he did, so embarrassed that he couldn't talk to me. I had just talked with him on Sunday and we talked about the Packers' loss. Little did I know that would be the easiest loss of the weekend.

So I reached out to him to say we want to help. It's obvious to me now that he has a demon. That demon gave him the courage to do something so inexplicably stupid that he can't even understand it. That demon gives him the courage to say stupid stuff on Twitter, an account that thankfully he has deleted. That demon must die. That demon MUST be eradicated.

I've never been aware of this demon, but it obviously is lethal. That's why we all need to help him if we can. He's a great guy. He's like a little brother to me. He's a family man. A smart guy who went to an Ivy League school. He's fun and this was his dream job. But his life isn't over and hopefully people will believe us when we say that this was not an on-going situation by any means and stay with our contests. But that's the least of my worries; I just want him to get help, prove to his family he's still a good man and pick up the pieces. I seriously mean that.

If I can forgive him -- and trust me, it's not easy -- then I hope many of you can, too. The next step is up to him. He has to step up, be a man, get the help he needs and be there for his family. It's time to man up, admit this stupid, stupid asinine mistake, own it and be better.

We as a company and as people you are supposed to trust took immediate action and we were as transparent as we could be with all of you. We're taking our lumps in the industry now and we'll never have this stain removed. We understand that. And we've taken steps to never let this happen again. But now it's up to him to do the same thing with his life, kill any demons he has and be a father again.

And finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to the guys who found the mistake on the Transactions page and alerted us on Monday morning. They caught the problem before anything more happened and thankfully it's in a contest that is still going and we could delete the affected team and every other team associated with this owner. Had this demon been allowed to live out of our sight, even worse things could have happened in the future.

Sorry for the long rant, but I'm not giving up on him and I'm not giving up on our contests. I'm not going to let the actions of one person we trusted with every tool at his disposal ruin what we've built over 20 years (and 34+ years in this industry). We're going to regain the trust of this great community and our industry and move forward. And I hope he does as well. Please do that D, will you?
I concur on most all of this Greg. I am shocked and sad for him as well and hopeful that he can rebuild his life. The only thing I disagree with above is the "stupid stuff" on twitter. Most of what I saw him post was about the outrageous behavior of self-serving, ignorant, for-profit-and-for-power politicians. Maybe the dumb part was posting those thoughts on Twitter, but he wasn't wrong about it. Letting that stuff seep into your personal life and becoming angry rather than controlling what you can - maybe that's a part of this (just speculating here, but mis-directed anger is unfortunately becoming commonplace).

If Darik was by nature a self-serving egomaniac I would not have been too surprised by this and I wouldn't feel that bad, but I don't believe he is. This was very out of character from what I know of him. Inherently good people can come back from stupid mistakes by putting their integrity above all else on a go-forward basis, either you double-down on being a better person or you throw in the towel. He is a hard-working guy so I hope he chooses to double down. I wish him well in that and would be happy to talk him thru any of this.

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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by BLACKHAND » Thu Jan 25, 2024 12:01 pm

KJ I agree with you 100% and to be honest with you I was a little insulted by the " stupid stuff " comment because not all of us think that was stupid. With that being said, I have been with the NFFC since day one and one thing that I believe 100% is the integrity and honesty of Greg and Tom. You could disagree with little minor things but you cannot ever say anything about the integrity and honesty of those two men. As far as the future I Will always stand up for these two guys. I look forward to a conclusion of this.
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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Tom Kessenich » Thu Jan 25, 2024 12:19 pm

Hey everyone, I haven't responded to this point mainly because I've been pretty numb given all that's transpired and also because Greg summed things up and I didn't have much to add to what he said. Obviously I'm shocked and sad and angry about what's occurred. I've given my life to these contests for the past 20+ years. I'm not married. I don't have children. So I've devoted a great deal of my life to these contests and I've made a lot of sacrifices for them and I've done so happily.

I'm damn proud of what Greg and I built before we joined SportsHub and then what we grew together in the years since. To see all of that put to risk is not only stunning to me but also gravely disappointing. I realize we're gonna take some big hits now and that's completely understandable. To all those questioning us all I can say is that Greg and I spent a considerable amount of time building these contests together with honesty and integrity before SportsHub and we will run these contests that exact same way now. To all those standing beside us now I say thank you for your continued support and I will do everything possible to continue earning the trust and belief you've placed in me these past 20+ years.

I love this industry and I love the contests we've created for all of you. This is not a happy time for me or for any of us in our company. But I do believe we'll get through it because I am confident what occurred is not representative of the people who run our contests or the contests themselves. I realize all of this may sound like lip service right now to many people. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Whether many of you wish to put your faith back in us is up to you at this time.

I cannot make that decision for you. I just know the type of person I am, Greg is and all of us who continue to work in our high-stakes division. And I know what occurred is not representative of any of us. All we can do now is prove that with our actions going forward and I trust that we will.
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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Thu Jan 25, 2024 12:25 pm

BLACKHAND wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2024 12:01 pm
KJ I agree with you 100% and to be honest with you I was a little insulted by the " stupid stuff " comment because not all of us think that was stupid. With that being said, I have been with the NFFC since day one and one thing that I believe 100% is the integrity and honesty of Greg and Tom. You could disagree with little minor things but you cannot ever say anything about the integrity and honesty of those two men. As far as the future I Will always stand up for these two guys. I look forward to a conclusion of this.
Sorry if I offended anyone. To me the "stupid stuff" was the very late night rants on Twitter about his Governor that had more vitriol than what I would expect from him. I know he wants to see his state and the country doing smart things and he gets involved, like he knows I am in my community right now. But I just felt the tone changed late at night and that's where I suspect the problems lied. That's where the demons seemed to come out and I just wished he would stop and realize how great of a life he had with his kids and everything else.

That's all. I hate the demons and I thought they came out on Twitter. Not anything else.
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Re: NFFC Employee Fired After Illegal Move Was Detected

Post by Coyote Streakers » Thu Jan 25, 2024 12:57 pm

Wanted to share my thoughts on this tragedy. I feel its important as a seasoned NFFC player to show some support towards this wonderful contest I love to play. The NFFC will take a lot of hits in the industry from this and rightfully so but I want to share my support for NFFC going forward.

Darik- I am stunned and shocked that you did this to betray the trust the community had in you. I really hope you figure things out and lean on your family for the help you need. I'm sad you threw away your future with the company, its sucks for you, NFFC and Greg and Tom. One thing I do believe in as a Christian is forgiveness and in time everyone deserves that.

Greg and Tom- These guys have been leaders in the industry for decades and I 100% trust and support these guys going forward. I know a bad mistake has occurred but I know they will learn from it and be better for it. No one or no company is perfect so I choose to believe in these guys.

I will continue to play in the NFFC.

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