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Exclusive: Spring League Coaches Have Discussed Boycotting

The Spring League, which is currently attempting to complete a series of games with six teams over a four-week span, is having issues paying their coaches.

The Spring League has three games scheduled this week. Over the course of today and tomorrow. The league had planned to play their week four games at the Alamodome but due to scheduling conflicts, TSL may have to set up a new venue.

Multiple sources have confirmed that TSL CEO Brian Woods has failed to pay most of the league’s coaches for the last two weeks. In recent days, the coaches have had meetings to decide on a potential walkout in a unified front.

The hope from the coaches is that Woods will rectify the situation by honoring his financial commitments to them. Many of the coaches are on the fence about whether to trust that Woods will meet his obligations.

Some of the coaches who have complained to Brian Woods have received payment while most of them haven’t. The payments to a select few are seen as a way by Woods to keep the league going. In an attempt to complete the games.

The belief by many is that the Spring League has the money to pay their coaches. TSL has discussed the possibility of running games again in the Spring, so resolving these financial issues is of utmost importance.

TSL is entering the third week of a proposed four week season. With weekly games airing on FS1.

Unfortunately, Spring League CEO Brian Woods has had a negative reputation for several years now in the football community.

Excluding the fact that the players have been required to pay $2,100 each to participate in the Spring League. Which the league uses to its benefit to help cover costs. Woods has had a long history of being accused of shorting his employees. Dating back to his days running the FXFL.

Many players and coaches in the FXFL, back in 2014, were either underpaid or not paid at all.

In the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL), players on the Florida Blacktips team were shorted money on their payouts. The rationale and reasoning were that they were a traveling team. The players were promised $1,000 per each game played. But the Blacktip players only received $300 each.

Many of the coaches in the FXFL, which operated for two abbreviated seasons in 2014/2015, failed to receive money that was owed to them.

Family and agents of players have also come forward with allegations in the past that the Spring League failed to cover lodging costs as promised.

Brian Woods has had a series of lawsuits and complaints levied against him some of them through the Better Business Bureau in the past for failed payments, but Woods has been able to prove hardship financially to get out of his commitments.

The Spring League has promoted itself as an ‘elite developmental league’ since 2017, but it has not operated as a traditional league until recently. In the past, TSL has been a series of practices with a small handful of games held in front of prospective league scouts. Where the players have helped cover the costs by paying to play and practice.

In most cases, player agents have fronted the payments for their clients. It’s a business model that Woods has utilized to keep his operation afloat. The Spring League has also had a working relationship with the XFL in the past, where they were compensated over six figures to allow the XFL to test out their rules.

Multiple players passed on participating in the Spring League’s games in San Antonio because they didn’t want to jeopardize their health during a pandemic or get injured with no compensation.

Many agents have advised players against participating in the Spring League because of these reasons. With limited opportunities, the players involved are willing to take the risks, in an effort to have an opportunity to showcase their talents and keep their pro playing dreams alive.

There is a strong lack of trust and faith in The Spring League and Brian Woods. The failure of payments to its current coaches will only further damage the “league’s” standing in the football community.

Fox is currently a partner in helping air the Spring League’s games on FS1. In order for TSL to shake its negative reputation and maintain its relationship with Fox in the future. Issues like the non-payments to their employees will have to be resolved.

I am a credentialed reporter and writer. Over time, I have covered and followed the NFL, NCAA, and multiple football leagues intensely. Like the USFL, WLAF, NFL Europe, AAF, UFL, and of course, the XFL. You can follow me on Twitter @byMikeMitchell

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