With all the various lawsuits flying among and between the various groups that make pro football a reality (and the ultimate reality show), the NFL Coaches Association has now affiramtively joined the fray, fuling suit against the NFLPA in the wake of the NFLPA’s lawsuit against the NFLCA.
According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the NFLCA has sued the NFLPA, two officers (Clark Gaines and Charles Ross), and former NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen as part of a dispute regarding an alleged debt owed by the NFLCA to the NFLPA, and regarding the question of whether David Cornwell has been properly elected to serve as the NFLCA’s executive director.
The NFLCA also has sued Amalgamated Bank, which has refused at the request of the NFLPA to release funds owned by the NFLCA.
As Kaplan points out, the NFLPA “essentially ran” the NFLCA from 2005 through the election of Cornwell, who has been a vocal critic of NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. The NFLCA claims that the NFLPA officers had a conflict of interest in serving the players’ union and the coaches’ organization, which is not a full-blown union. The NFLCA further claims that the alleged debt owed to the NFLPA was incurred without authorization of the NFLCA.
So, basically, it’s all a big mess. And it’ll be for the lawyers and the judge to sort everything out.
While Cornwell previously has characterized the union’s lawsuit against the NFLCA as a decision by the players to sue their coaches, the relationship between players and coaches has yet to show any real signs of stress or acrimony over what amounts to a business dispute between the organizations representing both groups.