Reporting Derek Shore
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The UFL has postponed the remainder of its 2012 season, due to financial issues caused by the “high cost of workmen’s compensation insurance and other elements,” according to UFL founder and chairman William Hambrecht.
“The players and coaches have established a terrific product on the field,” said Paul Pelosi, UFL spokesman and owner of the Sacramento Mountain Lions. “Because of a lack of sufficient funds due to the high cost of workmen’s compensation insurance and other elements, we are postponing the second half of the season.”
The league says it plans to finish the season in the spring, and will have a championship game. It also says it plans to have a 2013 season.
League officials have not announced the dates of the spring games.
Sacramento native and former San Francisco 49ers safety Keith Lewis, currently playing for the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives, spoke to CBS13 by phone, saying he learned of the decision in the media.
“We have a meeting at 8 a.m. (Sunday). I talked to management, but they have no answers for us until we meet (Sunday) at 8,” he said.
The Mountain Lions’ financial troubles were brought to light by players who, earlier this month, said they weren’t getting paid as promised. The wait for a full paycheck prompted some players to quit.
Lewis also says, like the Mountain Lions, his teammates haven’t been paid.
“To go this long without any type of payment is kind of ridiculous,” Lewis said.
Pelosi issued the first payroll checks, but for only $1,000. The players are owed $3,500 per game.
“We had a meeting yesterday. We tried to hammer out a solution as far as the whole pay situation, things like that. We really didn’t get anything resolved,” said one player earlier this month.
Pelosi’s late checks last year led to a lawsuit filed by then-head coach Dennis Green, who claims to be owed a reported $1.5 million.
“It is our first priority to take care of our players, coaches, and staff,” he said, “and then to raise sufficient funds to take care of our other obligations and to resume fully-financed operations in 2013.”