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Jim Combs to step down as SPHL president

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September 24, 2018 12:15 PM EDT


HUNTERSVILLE, NC (September 24, 2018) – The Southern Professional Hockey League announced on Monday that League President Jim Combs will be stepping down to pursue other opportunities, effective November 30. Combs leaves the SPHL after 11 seasons with the league following his hiring prior to the 2007-08 season and his promotion to President before the 2010-11 campaign. ...

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I wish Jim all the best in whatever he does.  I personally hope if Doug Price is interested in the job he is given strong consideration.  He & Jim have teamed up to do a good job for the fans of the SPHL and to me it only makes sense to give Doug a shot...

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The Sin Bin notes that Combs was awarded a four-year contract as SPHL commissioner in August 2017, which would have committed him through the 2021-2022 season. 

So why the early departure?  They speculate:

Quote

 

What’s next for Combs? After having his name bandied as a possible replacement to outgoing ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna, one might think the ECHL is next for him.

 

 

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Neckbeard's take on it:

SPHL president Jim Combs exiting, hopes to fly high

By Dave Eminian - Journal Star

Quote

PEORIA — Jim Combs announced this week he is moving on from his role as president of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Moving on, and maybe up, up and away?

“I have a pilot’s license, and I’ve always wanted to be a pilot,” Combs said. “I’ve always wanted to fly as a career. So I’m going to pursue that, and I also have some construction projects I’m interested in.”

The SPHL was a construction project for Combs, one of the founding fathers of the class-A level league. He brought it along a path to respectability, adding midwest teams in Peoria, Evansville and Quad City. His reign as the league’s president/commissioner ends officially on Nov. 30.

“I wanted to give the league a good transition period,” Combs said. “It’s just time to move on for me. My father was diagnosed last week with cancer, and I need to help take care of him. The grind of running the league wore me down. I’m proud of how far we’ve come, how much the league has grown. And thankful for the chance to be there and be part of that.

“I think I took the SPHL as far as I could. We need a commissioner now who has the time and energy, and the ideas, to take this league to the next level.”

Read more at: http://www.pjstar.com/sports/20180925/sphl-president-jim-combs-exiting-hopes-to-fly-high

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He brought it along a path to respectability, adding midwest teams in Peoria, Evansville and Quad City.

Kudos to Dave for not even bothering to hide his anti-Southern feelings... 🙄

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I hate to see him go. Didn't always agree with him but respected his position and his job was not always easy. Had fun with him at times when I would see him. 

Fly high!

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Wish him all the best moving forward. Have to say though, that I think it was past time for him to step down. He didn't treat each team and their owners equally. And yes, I have seen it first hand so don't throw darts and arrows. Here's hoping the league gets a positive, energetic, and successful new president.

Edited by SouthernHockeyGirl
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On 9/24/2018 at 1:03 PM, MacGuy said:

How ‘bout that. 

I wonder if his replacement will take a tougher stance on officiating. 

Tougher stance? They have the best young officials in the country now.

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The SPHL is a development league for not only players but the referees too. It is what it is.

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I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.  But last year there were a couple officials who I thought were way out of their league.  They weren't any better at the end of the year.  Difference from developing and not developing the whole year.  I just thought many refs let a lot of things go by some teams that just frustrates the other team for no calls and games get out of hand.  Big things are holding calls.  It seems some teams take advantage of a few refs who never called blatant penalties.  Not naming any teams or refs but they should strive to be the best they can be and in my opinion the officiating was far from good most of the time.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, 72Vette said:

The SPHL is a development league for not only players but the referees too. It is what it is.

Agreed, but if the players can be cut and liable for their play on the ice, we should expect the samething to happen to refs who can't hack it on the ice.  I know 2 refs from last year I wouldn't let official pee wee hockey.

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59 minutes ago, Greg81102 said:

Agreed, but if the players can be cut and liable for their play on the ice, we should expect the samething to happen to refs who can't hack it on the ice. ...

Different contracts, different amounts/types of leverage the League has for each group. Plus the pool of referees is smaller than the pool of replacement players.

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I think that might have a little to do with it.  But basically just excuses for the league.  If anyone doesn't do their job well enough no matter what your contract or position it is they won't keep you around for long.  The one thing is if a referee is reprimanded and giving a chewing out to we never hear about it as it is done in house.  So we can't really tell how things are going with the refs and what they are saying about their progress or performances.  We basically just go off of how they do in the games we see personally unless we hear other teams fan bases criticizing them to.  

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I agree. Yes, there was one particular ref from last year that several teams and hundreds of fans all could see was inadequate. All calls and valid complaints made to Jim Combs were ignored. No one I know of that left voice mails, messages, or emails ever got responded to. Not even so much as an acknowledgement of the messages. Didn't make for a good relationship. Hope it is better moving forward.

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17 hours ago, SouthernHockeyGirl said:

I agree. Yes, there was one particular ref from last year that several teams and hundreds of fans all could see was inadequate. All calls and valid complaints made to Jim Combs were ignored. No one I know of that left voice mails, messages, or emails ever got responded to. Not even so much as an acknowledgement of the messages. Didn't make for a good relationship. Hope it is better moving forward.

Yup, what I even thought made it worse was the 2 I thought were the worst was both referees in the Finals of game 1 then game 2 and 3 1 of them stayed for all 3 games, while the the other wasn't a ref for game 2 or 3.  

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13 hours ago, Greg81102 said:

Yup, what I even thought made it worse was the 2 I thought were the worst was both referees in the Finals of game 1 then game 2 and 3 1 of them stayed for all 3 games, while the the other wasn't a ref for game 2 or 3.  

That means your opinion of what a good Ref is differs from the director of officials.

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I was seriously worried about players being injured by the refs completely losing control of the games last season. During the preseason game that I saw, they weren't calling very many things both directions but it didn't get out of hand thankfully. It could have easily gone sideways though.

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The story says it's "effective November 30." So, maybe they're waiting until then before they announce his replacement.

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Still no decision:

RIVER READINGS - Dave Eminian - Journal Star

Quote

Best of luck to Jim Combs, whose reign as president of the SPHL quietly ended on Friday. The league search for a successor is under way. “We’re vetting candidates, working toward the process of building a short list,” said Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers, a member of the SPHL’s executive board. “Jim Combs did a great job for us during his 10 years, took the league to a higher level. Hopefully, we’ll find someone sooner than later to take us further.” The SPHL’s second in command, Doug Price, is running the show in the interim. Price is a solid league exec with experience in the ECHL. He’ll be a candidate to succeed Combs. 

 

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Is it too late for random people with no experience to interview for the position?

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2 minutes ago, AuburnAL said:

Is it too late for random people with no experience to interview for the position?

You must be desperate.

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2 minutes ago, JMC-STL said:

You must be desperate.

You probably get free tickets and concessions at the games, and you can’t put a price on that aside from the dollars saved of course,

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