OKLAHOMA CITY —
It seems like one of those times everybody is telling the truth as they understand it. Indeed, Ricketts may be on the outside looking in of Team USA as the result of a colossal misunderstanding.
Speaking to Ishim after all other media had departed Thursday night, I asked him if, after the ASA contract talk broke down, if he then asked Ricketts if she could commit through next year’s world championships and simply leave the ASA contract as a separate issue.
I wasn’t recording Ishim’s words at that moment, but his response was that Ricketts had not asked for that middle ground; however, had she, things might be different right now.
I asked him again why he didn’t offer the middle ground. He said it had been Ricketts and others in her camp who had first expressed the desire to come to a long-term arrangement with ASA.
Indeed, the great regret may be that neither stepped into the void, looking for the middle ground after contract talks fell apart, even though both might very well have taken the other up on it.
Ricketts, who was reached late Thursday night, struggles with that assessment. She agrees the long-term contract was to represent ASA but says she was told explicitly that she had to sign it to remain with the team.
“They said the contract’s non-negotiable and I wouldn’t be able to be on the field unless I signed it,” she said.
She also took some issue with the idea that a two-year commitment is required of anybody, pointing out that a tryout camp is convened yearly.
Also, she sounded like she can’t believe it’s come to this. And, on that, she and Ishim may be in agreement.
“After I talked to her (July 3), I kept thinking she was going to call me back,” Ishim said, “and that it was all a bad dream.”