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UFL players decide against boycott, for now

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The uproar regarding the UFL’s decision to enforce a $150,000 “transfer fee” after the UFL season ends nearly ended the UFL season prematurely.

We’re told that UFL players seriously contemplated on Thursday evening a boycott of the final week of the UFL regular season.  In the end (at least for now), the UFL players decided to proceed.

Tom Torrisi of FanHouse.com reported earlier this evening that “players may refuse to take the field this weekend and some may even fake injuries in order to get out of playing.”

Instead, the players will play in games between the Tuskers and Nighthawks in Omaha on Friday, and the Locomotives and Colonials in Connecticut on Saturday.  Whether they pretend to be hurt like a certain aging quarterback or take an in-game nap like a certain overpaid defensive lineman remains to be seen.

Either way, the Nighthawks’ uniforms will incorporate camouflage this weekend, which ends up being incredibly fitting under the circumstances.

We’re told that Commissioner Michael Huyghue will address the players in each location in sessions that will likely get very ugly, very quickly.  Among other things, players will want to know why he dismissed as rumor the league’s intention to enforce the $150,000 payment on Wednesday, a day after he told the Hartford Courant of the plan to collect the money — and a day before he decided to proceed with the plan to demand $150,000 for any UFL player who signs with an active roster of an NFL team.

Before the entire blame gets dumped onto Huyghue, let’s remember that Huyghue doesn’t own the league.  And let’s also remember that one of the league’s newest owners is a guy who has shown time and again that he’s willing to poke the establishment in the eye.

What Mark Cuban may not realize, if he indeed is either pushing or supporting this posture, is that the talent level in the second year of the UFL has improved dramatically due in large part to the ability of the teams to sell to fringe players the fact that 43 guys who played in the UFL last year landed with NFL teams.

Regardless of the letter of the UFL contract, players were sold on the UFL by being told that they’d be able to go to the NFL.  Unless this policy is dumped, look for more players who lose their jobs in the NFL to head next year to Canada and the CFL, where restrictions on movement to the NFL apply — but where the handcuffs are made of something other than plastic.

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6 Responses to “UFL players decide against boycott, for now”
  1. laffers says: Nov 19, 2010 5:42 AM

    BOYCOTT?????……. Who are they kidding?

  2. steelerfan9598 says: Nov 19, 2010 7:05 AM

    The UFL should just let the NFL take whatever they want for free? 150K is peanuts in NFL money. What’s the big deal? Besides, how many of these slappies do you think the NFL is actually going to call?10? That’s 1.5 mil for 10 ‘NFL READY’ players.

  3. huskerguy says: Nov 19, 2010 7:16 AM

    “Regardless of the letter of the UFL contract”

    Like a typical lawyer… they can fight for something or find a loophole around it.

    If it is in the contract then they need to abide by it. End of story. Period.

    They signed it. If they didn’t read it, shame on them.

    I can’t blame the UFL for wanting to get paid. He has a great point. They continued the coaching and training. They have more of a chance now signing with the NFL than if they were sitting on their butts at home hoping for a chance.

  4. flyingelvislogosucksbringbackpatpatriot says: Nov 19, 2010 8:52 AM

    Me thinks their gamechecks were spent already hence no boycott. If the NFL is going to use the league as a minor league feeder system then they should pay. Its in the contract, whats the beef?

  5. tdk24 says: Nov 19, 2010 9:42 AM

    These players are crybabys. They’ll fit right in with the NFL. That $150,000 is a good idea to help the UFL grow and to support the other hundreds of players that don’t make it to the NFL.

  6. realitypolice says: Nov 19, 2010 10:00 AM

    steelerfan9598 says:
    Nov 19, 2010 7:05 AM
    The UFL should just let the NFL take whatever they want for free? 150K is peanuts in NFL money. What’s the big deal? Besides, how many of these slappies do you think the NFL is actually going to call?10? That’s 1.5 mil for 10 ‘NFL READY’ players.

    ==================

    Yes, if they want to survive against a league that has more money and power than most third world countries, they should give their players to the NFL for free, or whatever the NFL is willing to give them.

    Not fair, but definitely reality. Coexistence and compromise is the only way this league survives.

    And when one league has 32 teams and billions of dollars in revenue and one league has 5 teams and bleeds money, take a quick guess at who’s doing the compromising.

    If the UFL eventually wants to use the NFL as a revenue stream, the way to do it is not to level some short sited and silly “fee” now.

    It would be much more effective to keep funneling players to the NFL and hope that the NFL sees enough value in the UFL as a feeder system that they offer to take an ownership stake in the league.

    If you think a savvy investor like Mark Cuban bought into this league to collect 150k transfer fees from the NFL, you’re crazy. I’m sure he sees the UFL as a way to tap into the NFL’s billions by becoming a true affiliated minor league.

    From a business standpoint, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

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