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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Articles tagged: XFL

Steve Spurrier interested in coaching XFL team

Steve Spurrier

The XFL may return in 2021 despite the league filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, and Steve Spurrier is interested in coaching a team if that happens.

Spurrier told Josh Kendall of The Athletic that he would “probably do it” if the XFL offered him a job coaching a team in Florida.

Spurrier coached the Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football last year before the league quickly went under. The former Florida and South Carolina coach led the team to an AAF-best 7-1 record, and he was awarded a championship ring by his former employees. Spurrier turned 75 last month, but he obviously still has a passion for coaching.

The XFL filed for bankruptcy in April, and a bankruptcy sale for the league is scheduled to be held in August. There have been rumblings that Vince McMahon could buy back the XFL, though he has denied those rumors.

As of this year, the Tampa Bay Vipers were the only XFL team based in Florida.

XFL bankruptcy sale to take place in August

Vince McMahon

The XFL filed for bankruptcy in April, and now a date has been set for its bankruptcy sale.

Sports Business Journal reporter Ben Fischer said on Monday that U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein ruled last week that a bankruptcy sale will proceed. The date of the sale will be on August 3.

A report on May 19 suggested that league founder Vince McMahon was planning to buy the league out of bankruptcy at a cheap price and was using the filing as a financial strategy. McMahon later denied those rumors and said he wouldn’t be bidding on the league’s assets.

McMahon invested over $200 million of his own money in reviving the league, which he first launched in 2001. This year’s reincarnation of the league played half of its 10-game season before things were cancelled due to the coronavirus. The procession of the bankruptcy sale could result in an XFL season taking place in 2021.

Vince McMahon planning to buy XFL out of bankruptcy?

Vince McMahon

You didn’t think Vince McMahon was really going to let the XFL go down the way it did, did you?

McMahon spent money, time, and energy reviving the XFL for a launch this year and got screwed when the pandemic hit, forcing the cancellation of the season halfway through. The XFL filed for bankruptcy, which may have drawn jeers from some corners, but as usual, McMahon knew what he was doing.

It seems that filing for bankruptcy was a strategic financial move. How do we know?

According to The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan, the XFL’s president has reached out to representatives in St. Louis and Seattle about reinstating the leases where the local teams played. Additionally, unsecured creditors said in a bankruptcy court filing that they believe McMahon is attempting to buy back the league and its assets at a low price.

McMahon reportedly is attempting to pay $3.5 million back to season ticket holders. Season ticket holders are regarded as unsecured creditors in terms of money given to the league, and would be low on the list to receive repayment in an ordinary bankruptcy behind other lenders. However, an attempt to refund season ticket holders seems like a gesture of goodwill from someone who might be intending to restart the league.

McMahon owns 80 percent of the league through Alpha Entertainment, and WWE owns 20 percent.

There was no way McMahon would put so much into the league and just give up. He is likely planning to revive it, but will probably need new players and coaches so that he doesn’t have to pay the ones who were owed money from the canceled 2020 season. Of course, McMahon still has the lawsuit with Oliver Luck he is fighting over guaranteed pay for the league’s former commissioner.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Vince McMahon argues Oliver Luck was fired from XFL for cause

Vince McMahon

The legal battle between XFL owner Vince McMahon and former commissioner Oliver Luck shows no signs of slowing down.

McMahon’s attorneys responded to Luck’s wrongful termination lawsuit Wednesday by claiming that the former commissioner was fired for cause. Three examples were cited, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

The first was that Luck “abandoned his responsibilities” at the start of the coronavirus pandemic by leaving the XFL’s offices and not devoting his time to the league. McMahon also claims that Luck signed wide receiver Antonio Callaway and refused to release him when McMahon ordered it, as well as personal use of an XFL-issued iPhone.

Luck is seeking what he says was a promised payout from McMahon after being fired as commissioner. McMahon’s response that Luck was fired with cause would invalidate those payments.

This is a pretty pathetic ending for the XFL, as McMahon’s second attempt to create a pro football league has gone little better than his first.

Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck suing Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon XFL

The XFL closed up shop and filed for bankruptcy last week, and former commissioner Oliver Luck is suing for the millions of dollars that were left on his contract.

Luck filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in federal court last week against WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. According to Darren Rovell of Action Network, Luck’s contract was supposed to pay him between $20-25 million over five years and stipulated that he would be due the remaining balance if terminated without cause.

The XFL filed for bankruptcy on April 13, but Luck and other top executives were not included in the filing. Rovell reports that Luck’s lawsuit states that he was not listed as a creditor because McMahon’s company Alpha Entertainment filed to reject many executive contracts, and the bankruptcy approved that filing.

As sports attorney Darren Heitner explained, the situation is complicated because Luck’s contract was not with McMahon personally even if the WWE founder pledged his own money to the XFL.

“The to-be-expected motion to dismiss from McMahon and the response will be interesting from a legal perspective,” Heitner said. “Luck’s contract was not with McMahon personally. Will the court be convinced that McMahon’s pledge to provide his own money adds personal liability? Seems to be a stretch.”

Luck, who is the father of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, was the overseer of the NCAA’s Eligibility Center prior to taking a job with the XFL. The XFL initially suspended operations amid the coronavirus outbreak and pledged to return in 2021, but the league has since essentially waved the white flag.

While the new XFL gained attention for some of its unique rules, interest appeared to be waning prior to the coronavirus outbreak. It’s possible the league was going to go under even without the pandemic.

XFL files for bankruptcy after canceling season

Vince McMahon XFL

Things seemed to be going well for the XFL in its first revived season, but fortunes have shifted significantly since the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to cancel the rest of its season.

On Monday, the league officially filed for bankruptcy, essentially spelling the end of Vince McMahon’s second run at creating the league.

The writing may have been on the wall here when the league shut down operations entirely at the end of last week. Initially, the XFL had pledged to return to action in 2021, but clearly things have changed. With falling attendance numbers, this day may have been coming without the pandemic, but it certainly accelerated the situation.

Ultimately, the league’s legacy may come in some of its unique rules, which gained the attention of the NFL.

XFL shutting down operations entirely amid coronavirus outbreak

Vince McMahon XFL

The XFL is one of many sports leagues that has been impacted by the coronavirus, and it may not be able to recover.

The XFL held a conference call on Friday during which league officials informed employees that operations are being suspended, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Employees will be paid through Sunday, but the future of the league remains up in the air after that.

While the 2020 XFL season has already been canceled, the latest development is even more troubling for the league. Attendance had dropped for XFL games after the initial relaunch buzz died down, and it’s certainly possible the league would have faced long-term issues even without the coronavirus.

The XFL featured some unique rules and gave us football to watch during the NFL and college offseason, but there were always questions about whether or not Vince McMahon’s second attempt at creating a football league would be successful. The coronavirus pandemic makes the future even more murky.