In her first interview since her husband, Gene, died after a brief bout with pancreatic cancer, Terri Upshaw tells Don Banks of that she isn’t endorsing any of the four candidates to become the next Executive Director of the NFLPA.
That said, she’s also doing the opposite of endorsing one of them.
“Without getting into endorsing a particular person, I can tell you how Gene felt about the quality of the individual who would someday succeed him,” Terri Upshaw said.  “I don’t know how he would feel if Troy were to replace him. But I know the direction he’d want this organization to go in, and I don’t know that Troy would be the right candidate for that.”
She pointed specifically to a file she found in Gene Upshaw’s office, which sounds to us as if it contained the ammunition that he ultimately planned to use to block Vincent from becoming his successor.
“I knew he had information [about Vincent], because I requested a while ago to be able to get into his office and collect his things,” Terri Upshaw said.  “I came across this file, and I turned it over to the NFLPA.  He wasn’t home strategizing with me what his plan was, but I think he was talking with his confidants and his people about how to go about the whole process of how to address and take care of some of these issues.  I know in the summer Gene was having discussions with some people about these matters.  I knew what it was about, even though I wasn’t privy to the details.  He wanted things to be fair and to be conducted the right way.  Gene had a lot of close confidants and they know what he was going to do and what he wanted to do with that information.”
The thing that troubles us is that the file included evidence of the alleged disclosure of confidential agent information, a subject about which the agents affected by the conducted weren’t aware until recently.  Shouldn’t Gene Upshaw have taken immediate steps to address the problem, rather than apparently tucking it into his back pocket for possible use against Vincent at a later date?
As to the issue of a successor, Terri Upshaw had this to say — again without “endorsing” any candidate.
“I just know based on the time we spent together, and the confidence that Gene felt, he was closer with Trace [Armstrong],” she said.  “I know Gene felt very strongly about him.  He may be the candidate who was closest to Gene.  He spent a lot more time working with [Gene] than Troy.  Gene didn’t talk a lot about Troy.  He just didn’t come up a lot.”
Our take?  Terri Upshaw’s words will only make an already hopelessly polarized process even more polarized.  And with Vincent and Armstrong, one-time teammates with the Dolphins, pitted sharply against each other, the door is now wide open for DeMaurice Smith or David Cornwell to take the thing.


  1. >>>>>
    Shouldn’t Gene Upshaw have taken immediate steps to address the problem, rather than apparently tucking it into his back pocket for possible use against Vincent at a later date?
    If Upshaw was a class guy then yeah. But he was a jerk, to put it politely. He was every bit as union thuggish as the union thugs you see in movies. Just because he’s dead is no reason to whitewash the guy’s legacy. The fact that he was for Armstrong and against Vincent only makes me like Troy more.
    Honestly, though, I think the league would be better off with Cornwell than any of the three finalists. But if they feel they have to go with a former player, Vincent’s a better option than Armstrong, who appears to be a puppet of the current regime. If he’s not, he needs to come out and show it.

  2. Upshaw was a tool. Apparently he manhandled Tags with the last CBA, no question, but like most unions they didn’t give a rats ass whether or not they bankrupted the company that ultimately wrote the checks (see also: GM, UAW). Upshaw was a power-hungry prick who’s probably pissed that he can’t still run the NFLPA in the afterlife. With all that in mind they need to pick the opposite of who Up Upshaw would have wanted, unless the players want to enjoy a lockout.

  3. Maybe she’ll strangle Troy if he continues his efforts to become part of the union. Yeah, Upshaw was a really classy guy. Vincent seems to be the only candidate that might actually care about the players, no wonder no one in the remaining union leadership wants him in.

  4. Unlike Gene Upshaw Troy Vincent is classy individual and unlike Upshaw cares about both former and current players. Hell Upshaw found ways to curtail even health benifits to former players and his legacy is a disgrace.Gene Upshaw is dead, long live the King. End of story.

  5. upshaw was a crook. he got rich in that job. not just little rich. big rich.
    condon owned him. how else could an agent get on the retirees compensation board.
    i know little about troy but i suspect he would end condon’s gravy train, and maybe affect mama upshaw’s access to capo gino’s ill gotten gains.

  6. she has no credibility and no business even entering the discussion…..if the player reps are so stupid as to listen to her hearsay opinions they deserve what they get! Unions suck and outlived their usefullness about 50 years ago….the unions are at least 50% to blame for the debacle in the auto industry….hey union guys, how did you leaders enjoy that expensive retreat in Miami for their winter meeting paid for by your dues!!!!

  7. I agree, Upshaw blows, err blew. WTF is his wife running her trap for? The better question is whyTF is any “reporter” talking to her in the first place? What a joke.

  8. First thing that needs to happen is for someone to audit the union payroll register to see if this ignorant cow is drawing a paycheck from the union, that would show everyone where her loyalties are and why.
    Upshaw was a thug, anyone that Upshaw wanted to step up and take his place therefore has to be considered to be the same kind of thug that Upshaw was.
    The only thing that can save the league would be for a guy like Tony Dungy to try and get his name on the short list.
    Once those greedy pricks get rid of the salary cap, the league will be doomed.
    It’s all down hill from here fellas, enjoy the ride.

  9. Sorry if you got this partial already. Fat fingers. I haven’t been following this chain long. Started with issue of Troy Vincent’s alledged leak of confidential agent info. I agree should only be made based on solid facts and evidence, but don’t get why Mike thinks it won’t matter much. If it’s not legal, a former PA Prez shouldn’t be doing it. Should he? Players may be tough on their agents, but they do care about their own agents and how they are watch-dogged by the union.
    Full disclosure. I am a retired NFL player who is a big fan of Trace Armstrong. Spent years watching him in the locker room. I think he would be a great ED based on what I know about him as a player and a rep elected by his teamates on three teams and as PA Prez. I know without him their wouldn’t be a financial advisors program or new and better helmets for players, just to name a couple of things.
    But I have an open mind. Mike, how do you handicap it? And I want to hear the positives about the candidates (I hear there are four now), not just the blogosphere, TMZ crap.

  10. She is welcome to her opinion, the fact that she was married to the world’s biggest asshole doesn’t speak well to her judgement of character so STFU.

  11. that red button doesn’t work Clark!! If it was that serious then it would have came out in the fall

  12. Did anyone go into the late Upshaw’s office from August ’08 until Terri Upshaw went in February ’09? Is there a secret compartment that only one person knew about? Are there any other important/urgent business matters that have been neglected by current NFLPA officials Berthelsen, Gaines and Moran?

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