One of the early and unfortunate casualties in the coronavirus shutdown was the newly relaunched XFL.
Days before shutting down, XFL commissioner Oliver Luck – father of former NFL quarterback Andrew Luck – was fired. Luck is suing XFL owner Vince McMahon over the termination, arguing breach of contract.
The allegations came to light in new filings in federal court in Connecticut this week.
McMahon’s team is now claiming that Luck was fired for “gross negligence” in the position.
In the original complaint, Luck said he “wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit.”
Luck elaborated on his defense in a new affidavit filed today, including, for the first time publicly, the full sum he is seeking from McMahon, which McMahon personally guaranteed in his original contract: $23.8M, remaining from a contract that originally called for $7M annually over 5 years, plus extensive benefits.
According to the filing this week, McMahon listed three reasons for firing Luck being
- Luck left the XFL’s Connecticut HQ for his home in Indiana on March 13 and “disengage[d] from the XFL’s operations,” according to the filing. McMahon further claims Luck did not inform him of his intentions.
- Luck signed Antonio Callaway, a former Browns WR, to a draft contract promising a $125,000 signing bonus without informing McMahon, even though he was aware that McMahon asked for final approval rights to any player with a questionable background.
- Luck used his league-issued iPhone for personal matters, according to McMahon’s lawyers.
Of the three reasons, the second seems to be the most damning for Luck. Callaway, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, was cited for marijuana possession in 2018 but the charges were eventually dropped.
The first reason sounds like a simple miscommunication. The final charge
Luck was set to make $5 million, with an annual $2 million bonus as the league’s commissioner.
[via Sports Business Daily]