More struggles inside the players union..


You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime
Aug 2, 2005
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Central Wisconsin
The bad timing award goes to.. ding ding ding.. the players.. but I agree that I think it is time for a change. Might as well throw one more moving part into the mix.

An effort to oust Gene Upshaw as the NFL Players Association Executive Director became evident Monday, when veteran Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover e-mailed a plan to fellow player representatives to have a new union boss in place by March 2009.

In his e-mail, a copy of which has been obtained by ESPN, Stover revealed a conference call among player reps on Friday in which he said, "I was on that conference call and I am not the only rep who listened and felt that it is time for a change."

Upshaw said Tuesday morning that he was aware of Stover's e-mail but read it for the first time when ESPN forwarded him a copy. Upshaw's contract runs through 2010, but he said Tuesday he told player representatives at their annual meeting in Maui in March that with a looming labor confrontation with NFL owners, "I would never leave until this deal is done."

Tuesday, Upshaw said, "Obviously, there's a group that feels we need to have a change now."

As for Stover's e-mail, Upshaw said Tuesday: "Matt Stover has no clue. Whoever is pulling his chain is doing a disservice to the union. I could understand the idea that they need to get rid of me if I wasn't doing a good job but, shoot, the owners are mad because they think I've done too good of a job."

Upshaw confirmed that hints of a movement ultimately to change the union leadership were in play at the March meetings in Maui. An effort by one coalition of players to get Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins elected as the new NFL Players Association president fell short when Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae was voted as its new active-players leader, according to player sources. Mawae is believed to be a supporter of Upshaw.

Dawkins had the backing of former NFLPA president Troy Vincent, who was no longer eligible for the position because he was not an active player. Several player sources have said Vincent is regarded as a political force within the ranks of the players and desires to replace Upshaw one day.

There has been no specific reason cited for the latest move to oust Upshaw, and Vincent has yet to be reached for comment.

Stover also could not be reached for immediate comment.

Stover's Letter....

Executive committee and reps,

After the conference call on Wednesday, April 4th, I believe that the NFLPA is ready to begin a national search process to find a new Executive Director. As you are completely aware of our election process, Gene's contractual situation, and our looming battles against the owners in the coming years, I feel that the Board must begin to prepare for a change in leadership immediately. I believe we have the proper environment with our teammates and leadership within the board to execute the process of this selection. To be "Open and Transparent" is critical for the body to back our possible selection, as well as our outside critics.

I want to make this clear: I have no personal agenda as I would hope everyone else would as well. I only want what is best for the Union and our teammates and my intentions are to establish a healthy leadership for years to come. I believe that whoever the candidate would end up being has the opportunity to gain valuable insight and experience to lead future generations of players.

With that being said, I would suggest to the Executive Committee to:

1. Form a sub-committee (3-5 members) to lead the process. The members should have the time and resources to fully commit to this all-important process.

2. Use Board Designated Funds to hire an outside consultant, Executive Head Hunter or Search Firm to aid in the collection of candidates from both the outside and within the NFL world.

3. Form a list of 8-10 candidates by no later than the start of training camp.

4. Use any means necessary (personal meetings in home cities or another city or teleconference) to interview candidates, with completion by the end of the 2008 football season.

5. Form a final list of 3 candidates by Jan. 1, 2009 that will be interviewed by the entire Executive Board from Jan. 1-Feb. 15 (6 weeks to interview 3 candidates again, by any means).

6. The entire Executive Committee select 1 candidate to be recommended to the Board of Reps. at the 2009 March NFLPA meeting.

As I recommend this process, I fully realize this is just 1 man. However, I was on that conference call and I am not the only Rep. who listened and felt that it is time for a change. As I make this suggestion, I will only hope that every one of us will put any personal agenda aside and remember who each of us represent. Both the old and young players in our locker rooms have voted us in because they trust our judgment. This is about the future of our organization. Not now ... not 1 or 2 years from now, but 5, 10, 15 years from now. Thanks.

-- Matt Stover


Nov 23, 2006
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Springfield, MO
So a kicker is trying to get someone fired? THAT'S hilarious!!!! Are you sure this isn't from the Onion? LOL

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