NIFL owner fires team over salary demands
Montgomery Maulers owner Jamie LaMunyon had an emphatic response to her players' demand for back wages: You're fired.
LaMunyon said she will field a replacement team for the National Indoor Football League game at Osceola, Fla., on Friday, and next week at home.
"I have cut all the football players," she told the Montgomery Advertiser in a story Thursday. "Fans will see a whole new team next week in Montgomery. Maybe they can win a game."
The mass firings came after four Maulers held a news conference at a local attorney's office Wednesday saying the team wouldn't travel to Osceola if LaMunyon didn't pay money they claimed she owed them.
Attorney Donald Jackson said some players were owed as much as $800 or $1,000 and the average was about $650.
"In all my years of a sports-based legal practice, I have never seen anything quite like this," Jackson said. "But it's not really surprising. The owners of this team are apparently in dire financial straits. Whether you call this a termination or a refusal to pay, it's all the same. What she's doing now is grasping at straws."
LaMunyon disputed the players' claims that some have not been paid for as long as four or five weeks.
"They have missed one pay check," said LaMunyon, who already replaced the head coach this season. "The league requires that I hold their last pay check because (the players) have a couple of thousand dollars worth of equipment."
The players' checks bounced earlier this month, which LaMunyon said was just a mistake in her checking account.
"I don't know what happened," she said. "But immediately when I found out, I sent $5,000 in to fix it. If there's a player who hasn't been paid, I'm sorry, but that happens everywhere."
The Maulers are 1-4, and coach David Daniels resigned and was replaced by Kelvin Stokes two weeks ago.
Asked about Stokes' job security, LaMunyon responded: "The coach hasn't been silly. The coaches have been very good."
Stokes informed the team about the firings before Wednesday's practice.
LaMunyon said the new team will be composed of players "from all over."
"There are 100 ball players to replace anyone that doesn't want to play football," LaMunyon said. "And these guys don't want to."