The XFL’s on-field product is finished, but the twice-failed football league is still making headlines. Naturally, they are coming in court, where XFL owner Vince McMahon and commissioner Oliver Luck are battling, according to the Sports Business Journal.
Luck is suing McMahon, alleging breach of contract and wrongful termination, after he was fired on Apr. 9. Four days later, the XFL filed for bankruptcy. McMahon contends he fired Luck with cause and has cited three reasons: gross neglect of his job during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic; personal use of a league-issued cell phone; and signing wide receiver Antonio Callaway after McMahon said his orders were to avoid player with legal problems in their past.
In the filing, McMahon alleged that Luck left the league’s headquarters, which is based in Connecticut, for his home in Indiana on March 13, and didn’t inform him ahead of time.
“Put simply, at the very moment when his leadership as CEO was needed most, Luck did not devote substantially all of his business time to the XFL, as required by his contract,” the filing reads.
Then there is the case of Callaway, a former NFL wideout for the Browns who repeatedly violated the league’s substance abuse policy. McMahon said he was signed to a $125,000 signing bonus without him knowing, and he was not let go at the XFL’s owner’s desire. Callaway ended up injuring his knee in a practice with the Tampa Bay Vipers and never played a down.
Luck denied McMahon’s version of things, responding that he “wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit.” He was being paid $5 million a year with a $2 million annual signing bonus.