UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue apparently doesn’t realize how close he came to not having a game for, well, no one to watch on Friday night.
Before the Florida-Omaha contest at Rosenblatt Stadium, Huyghue pooh-poohed talk of a player revolt due to the league’s insistence (and Huyghue’s conflicting statements) regarding the enforcement of a $150,000 “transfer fee” after the UFL season ends.
“I don’t know how to assess it because it wasn’t relayed to me by any players on the teams,” Huyghue told Steven Pivovar of the Omaha World-Herald. “I’ve read some stuff by bloggers on some sites. [Editor’s note: One of those “sites” is FanHouse.com, an official UFL partner.] I want to believe our players are professional and are committed to our position on this.”
They may be professional, but they’re not committed to the UFL’s position.
“We were lied to,” Omaha tight end Jeb Putzier told Pivovar, who also reports that six Nighthawks said there was “serious talk” of a boycott.
We previously reported that one of the teams that played Friday night held a team meeting regarding whether to boycott the game.
“It was close, but when it came down to it, guys decided to play,” Nighthawks defensive end Jay Moore told Pivovar. “We were afraid that if we didn’t play, they would hold our paychecks. Myself, I didn’t get too fired up about it. I just wanted to go out there and put on a good performance.
“But we had some guys that flat-out said they weren’t going to play.”
Perhaps someone should give Huyghue a fiddle, so that he’ll have something to do while his league burns. He could take it to Saturday night’s game between the Locomotives and the Colonials, a Curtis Painter-style contest which has no impact on the title game.
And if he wants to know how the players feel about the UFL’s handling of the transfer fee, maybe Huyghue should ask them.