iguana/oldwarrior had to move too. he, like me, was forced to move over a d2 and d1 situation - which is just absolutely ridiculous. same division, i can kind of see the argument - but even then - you still have to transition GRACEFULLY - i.e. seble you cant simply make a post stating the rule has changed and give NO direction or guidance to people who are suddenly put in violation. he dropped both teams. i dropped one and then all teams. there are real ramifications, saying, "we didnt make people give up teams" is a bullshit cop out, and its comments like that that make you look bad.
seble i think what you fail to realize here is that the problem is not so much the rule as how you have handled the situation. you put a lot more coaches that you realized in violation when you changed the rule to no teams within 1000 miles, even in different divisions. before that change, everyone except you has the perception teams were allowed in the same division if they werent really overlapping, and were allowed in different divisions no matter what. right or wrong - if everyone thinks something different than the rule - that is a communication failure on your end.
the real problem comes when you change this rule, ensure people that you arent going aroudn enforcing it so its probably not a problem, and then users make complaints based on no bad behavior whatsoever, and honest coaches get blindsided. if you made the rule and said ok i realize this is a tough situation, ill give people 8 seasons to transition before we enforce it, helping with resume if needed, or whatever - provided SOME direction - that would have went over 10 times better. but that is not at all what happened. the rule wasn't even clear. in case its not clear, posting to conf chats every couple years "read the updated rules" IS NOT clear, quality communication. the communication break down here is the principle problem. i understand you didnt realize you put so many coaches in violation (more than 50, without even thinking about it). but at some point you had to realize. so why not DO something about it? and why not ask in the first place? lots of coaches here are up front and honest and would have let you know you were placing them in violation right then in there, putting faith in you to handle the situation gracefully. the key word - gracefully. you just want to make a rule that is hard so you have something to stand behind and then ignore the problem and hope it goes away. i hate to break it to you, if it hasnt become incredibly obvious by now - thats simply not going to happen. you failed to step up to the plate in the first place - fine - we all make mistakes. i dont even have any teams anymore because i was so fed up with the bullshit way you handled it. but there are other coaches left in violation, great coaches, the kind of guys you would go to for user interviews, who are model members of the community. step up to the plate now - come up with a plan, preferably with some input from users - to establish a rule (the current rule possibly, but not necessarily) - and to GRACEFULLY transition people who find themselves in violation. you have to remember these coaches paid lots of money and more important, invested lots of time, into their teams. then you change the rule and say nothing about he change or how to deal with it. what do you think is going to happen?? what do you expect these coaches to do? when expectations are not aligned, when those expectations clash, there is fallout - thats basic and obvious. you have to take that issue on head-on. even coaches who picked up teams AFTER the rule changed should be dealt with gracefully. after all, the established understanding on the forums was that you didnt really care and wouldnt enforce this rule, and you directly helped create that perception. people in violation picked up new teams still in violation without intending to do something wrong. the rule was a joke and you, not anyone else, made it that way.
so you really should say ok look we are setting a date - when you determine exactly what rule you want - any teams picked up those coaches will face ramifications X Y and Z. make it ABSOLUTELY clear what the new rule is to everyone. you need to also have a clear system to transition good coaches who find themselves in violation. the honest guys will come forward and comply, unless maybe they had both teams for 5 years and would rather quit the game than lose those teams - maybe you let those guys keep *those teams only*, grandfather them in - but anyone with teams picked up since the rule change, they have to change things (something like that - your choice - but you need to do SOMETHING). the scheme isnt as important as there IS a scheme and you communicate it clearly, follow up, and give a transition plan. maybe coaches have 12 months to transition out, so they can do it gracefully. you made me drop my most enjoyed team going into our best season, after spending over a year building a BCS bottom feeder into an A+ top of the line program. finally, we recruit 2 A+ classes, have hands-down the best team in the country - and im supposed to leave then? with 2 weeks warning? when i had picked up that team in compliance with the rules at the time? no, thats not acceptable. its not graceful. you simply have to do better, and i am quite confident if you put the effort to gracefully transition people now, you will get all that time back later - with considerably less stress involved for ALL parties involved.
so, you asked for it, here is your plan to a successful transition:
1) devise a set of rules to address this situation, preferably through interaction with the community
2) set a date where teams picked up before then will be dealt with gracefully, afterwards, you lose that benefit
3) CLEARLY communicate what those rules and dates are
4) devise a GRACEFUL transition plan for coaches who find themselves in violation before said date, preferably through interaction with the community
5) assist in the execution of said transition plan
6) now anyone else found in violation has no excuse, so deal with them as you see fit. i cant promise it, because its not under my control, but i probably know this HD community a lot better than you, and i have complete confidence if you really do what you should here to handle the situation responsibly, then people found in violation after you go through the above WILL NOT have the benefit of the backing of the forum community, and you wont be looked down upon for handling things so poorly
this doesnt have to be that difficult or time consuming. clear communication, a fair transition plan, you can spend a hell of a lot less time working on that than you have dealing with all these issues. you will always get a few guys who will complain no matter what you do - who just dont like the rule or only care about their own situation. but it seems most people, regardless of stance on the rule, do not approve of the way you have handled the situation. clearly its not everybody - but i think most people here are mature enough to accept a rule they dont like, if you make that rule responsibly - which is not the case here.