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Fledgling UFL struggling to pay players

The SportsXchange

The fledgling UFL continues to be plagued by financial troubles that threaten to see players walk away from their teams.

Players for the Sacramento Mountain Lions haven't been fully paid for their first two games, according to CBS 13 in Sacramento. The team's third game was scheduled for Wednesday, and players have met to discuss whether they will continue to play.

"I definitely feel like people know what's going on," an unnamed player told CBS 13. "They're just not letting us know. And the worst thing is feeling uninformed, you know?"

The franchise is owned by Paul Pelosi, the husband of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, and late checks last season led to then-head coach Denis Green filing a lawsuit. According to the report, Paul Pelosi issued $1,000 payroll checks Tuesday, but players are owed $3,500 per game.

"I think the way that they do business here, they need to fix that. They've got to take care of their players. It just doesn't seem very organized," a player who is leaving the team told CBS 13.

Pelosi and Bill Mayer, who owns the Virginia franchised, promised during a halftime show on national television Friday that the players would be played, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

However, the feeling with players for the Omaha Nighthawks appears to be to back the owners in the league's fight for survival. Nighthawks players haven't been paid in full for their first two games, either, and met with team officials on Monday rather than practicing.

"We're committed to finishing out the season and putting the best possible product on the field for the people of Omaha," Nighthawks safety Stuart Schweigert told the World-Herald. "Everyone is in good spirits, and we'll be back on the practice field tomorrow ready to go."

Nighthawks general manager Matt Boockmeier said the goal is to keep the players informed and to understand the league is akin to a "start-up business."

"Any time you are a part of something like this, there are going to be issues," Schweigert told the paper. "There are going to be problems, but the bottom line, every year I've played here, we've always been paid everything we're owed. A check or two might have been late, but they made good at the end of the day."
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