Ousted XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck Is Suing Vince McMahon
WWE chairman Vince McMahon — who owns the XFL through his company Alpha Entertainment, LLC — is being sued by the league’s former commissioner and CEO, according to a breaking report published in The Athletic. Oliver Luck, who signed on to help run the league when it was officially brought back to life in 2018, alleges in the suit that he was wrongfully terminated by McMahon.
The Athletic‘s Daniel Kaplan broke the story about the federal lawsuit, which was filed in Connecticut last week. Per his report, Luck’s complaint is largely redacted to protect confidential information. However, it reportedly makes it clear that Luck was terminated in spite of his fulfilling of the job’s obligations, resulting in a breach of contract by McMahon. The six-page complaint contains language that strongly suggests McMahon fired Luck for cause, per Kaplan.
“Mr. Luck wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit.”
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the XFL suspended operations for the remainder of its season. The organization later laid off all of its employees and the prevailing belief has been that it wouldn’t return for another season in 2021. This had been the second iteration of the XFL, following McMahon’s failed effort to launch a new football league in 2001. Although this new effort was more successful and introduced new concepts in terms of how the game was played and broadcast, it similarly struggled to retain viewership, per Sports Illustrated.
Before signing on with the XFL, Luck had previously served as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletes at West Virginia University and was an executive in charge of regulatory functions with the NCAA. A former football player in his own right, he played quarterback at WVU and later spent five seasons with the Houston Oilers during the 1980s. He is the father of recently retired NFL QB Andrew Luck, who made the surprising decision to hang up his cleats last August, even though he is just 29 years old.
The XFL isn’t the only McMahon-owned entity struggling in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The WWE has also been forced to make cut backs in order to lower their operating costs. Last week, the company announced several talent releases via WWE.com. Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, former US champion Rusev, and the tag team of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows were among those to be released. It is believed that some employees will be eligible for re-hire once the coronavirus crisis subsides.