We all know by now the reasons Vince McMahon fired Oliver Luck a day before he closed down the XFL. Personal cell phone use, disappearing as the pandemic started and the signing of Antonio Callaway. But we never have heard Oliver Lucks side of the story until now.
In last week’s court filing by Lucks legal team, Luck wants no part of the money made from the sale of the XFL. Instead, he wants Vince McMahon personally to pay him the approximately $23.8 million in compensation he feels he is owed.
In the filing, we see the actual letter sent to Oliver Luck on the day of his dismissal, as well as Luck’s lawyer’s response to the issues stated in it.
Luck’s Lawyers About The Termination Letter
“To put it bluntly, your letter is a weak and pretextual attempt to avoid the lawful contractual obligations owed to Mr. Luck by Alpha and guaranteed by Alpha’s principal owner, Mr. McMahon. It also constitutes a repudiation and breach of the Agreement by Alpha of its obligations under the Agreement and the obligations of Mr. McMahon under his Guaranty.
Your contention that Mr. Luck has not devoted substantially all of his business time to performance of his duties as Commissioner and CEO of the XFL is meritless. Your apparent lack of knowledge regarding Mr. Luck’s business activities and numerous communications with XFL employees and officers including Mr. McMahon is surprising since, as their counsel, you have access to the records, texts and emails of Alpha and Mr. McMahon. “
On the Issue Of Antonio Callaway
“Mr. Luck did not sign Antonio Callaway in violation of Mr. McMahon’s directives. The XFL policy that Mr. McMahon approved was to refrain from testing for marijuana. Moreover, XFL policy, approved by Mr. McMahon, provided that a player would be rejected from the draft pool only if he had (a) a felony conviction; (b) a conviction for dealing drugs; ( c) multiple convictions for misdemeanors that established a pattern or habit; or ( d) a credible allegation of sexual assault or domestic violence had been made against him.
By your own characterization of his activities, Antonio Callaway was not disqualified under the XFL policies that were in place at the time he was signed to play in the XFL. Further, and more importantly, Mr. Luck followed Mr. McMahon’s directive to upgrade the quality of receivers in the XFL by signing Antonio Callaway. Indeed, Mr. Luck communicated Case 3:20-cv-00516-VAB Document 57 Filed 05/13/20 Page 25 of 27 Case 20-10940-LSS Doc 295-3 Filed 07/17/20 Page 26 of 57 Jerry S. McDevitt Page 3 April 16th, 2020 with Mr. McMahon about this very issue. And, when Mr. McMahon told Mr. Luck during the week of January 26th, 2020 that he wanted Antonio Callaway terminated, Mr. Luck promptly followed that directive. “
It looks like at the end of the day, Callaway was let go based on McMahon’s wishes. Luck went after the wide receiver after McMahon asked him to upgrade the position. During that time, there we a lot of WR trades in the XFL, including the Wildcats Trade of WR Rashad Ross to DC for WR Tre McBride.
About Luck Disengaged From The XFL After Season Canceled
“Your remaining allegation, i.e., that Mr. Luck has been disengaged from the XFL and had not initiated communications with Mr. McMahon since Friday, March 13th, 2020, is disingenuous. While you are correct that Mr. Luck returned home to Indiana for that weekend on Friday evening, he could not return to the XFL offices. The XFL closed its offices on Sunday, March 15th and ordered all staff to work from home. Moreover, on March 20th, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued a “stay at home” order, Executive Order No. 7H, requiring “all businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state” to “employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ” and further requiring non-essential businesses to “reduce their in-person workforces at any workplace locations by 100% not later than March 23rd, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.”
During this time period, Mr. Luck communicated with Mr. McMahon via texts, Mr. McMahon’s preferred method of communication. In particular, Mr. Luck and Mr. McMahon communicated about a potential XFL Championship game and player safety. During the week of March 23rd, 2020, Mr. Luck communicated with XFL employees regarding the shutdown of operations and facilities. Also, Mr. Luck had numerous discussions with XFL employee Eric Galko concerning the re-signing of XFL players P.J. Walker and Jordan T’aamu for the potential 2021 season. Mr. McMahon was well-aware of these efforts and, in fact, was notified of the specifics concerning the offers. Mr. Luck also communicated with college athletic administrators regarding the possibility of college football being moved to the Spring 2021 and shared this information with Mr. McMahon. Further, during the week of March 23rd, 2020, Mr. Luck worked with other XFL staff members to finalize the 2021 budget requested by Mr. McMahon. The budget was submitted to Mr. McMahon on March 27th, 2020. During this time, Mr. McMahon requested that Mr. Luck prepare a video thanking XFL fans for their support. Mr. Luck prepared the video as requested.
Moreover, on March 31st, 2020, it was Mr. McMahon who cancelled a meeting with Mr. Luck scheduled for April 3rd, 2020. Leading up to and including the weekend of April 4-5, 2020, Mr. McMahon was intensely focused on WrestleMania in Tampa, Florida, and not XFL matters. Further, since it is obvious that your termination letter was prepared during the week of April 6th, it is not surprising that Mr. McMahon had no communications with Mr. Luck during that time. “
There was also a fear that the XFL could be hurt if the NFL or college football season would be moved to the Spring. Those were factors into why some believe McMahon had to shut down the XFL.
Stay tuned to XFL News Hub as we find out how this all shakes out. At the end of the day, we all just want the XFL back.
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