encouraging comments about the league

Here is new, and much more encouraging information, creating more accuracy with statements said here on this site and in other places as well as easing my mind a little.

These are all quoted directly from sources that have contacted me directly (nothing’s been changed):

To summarize, to this point, my view and the view of most of the players involved is not that the league is fraudulent, but just greatly unorganized. The people we are dealing with are (admittedly) not basketball savy and this is evident in how things have been run to this point. In the process of getting the league off of the ground, mistakes are being made and corrected, unfortunately at the expense of the players. This is typical of a venture of this caliber, however, there does appear to be some unprofessional, unchristian attitudes and egos involved. It is for this reason, I am communicating with you under condition of anonymity (currently using an out-of-state relative’s name and email). I do not wish to be penalized based on any comments I make, regardless of how accurate.

-Going back to the banquet, the option was to sign the contract and get paid on the 30th OR to take the contract home look it over, sign it, and begin being paid at a later (undisclosed) date.

-The original contract was scrapped. New contracts are to be made with new stipulations. Any player wishing not to go forward will be refunded their original $150 registration fee.

-Players must go to Columbus, OH on the 28th to compete in a performance AND character evaluation, from which they will be put into 1 of 3 pay scales: $1400, $1000, $700. Prerequisites include: a resume detailing prior basketball experience, 3 letters of reference, and a handwritten letter expressing the desire to participate in the league. Afterward, new and final contracts will be signed.

-Pay for coaches & administrators will begin on Jan. 30th. Pay for players will begin on Feb. 17th, pending successful drug tests and evaluations on Jan. 28th.

-Tithes must be made, but can be to any ministry you choose. We already completed forms for these paycheck deductions detailing the ministry of our choice, during the orientation.

-All Ohio teams must “tryout”. No spot is guarenteed for Cleveland teams (and possibly other OH teams). It is unclear whether the tryouts are specifically for evaluation purposes or some other form of punishment issued in response to the massive skeptism and accusations.

Lastly, the impression I received, is that due to the complaints of a few (almost exclusively family and associates who were displeased with what happened at the banquet), Mr. Heard has made a decision to make things alot more strict and “more like how most professional leagues are run” to spite accusers that the league is a scam and a fraud. Most, if not all, of his frustrations are aimed at those in the Ohio region, however, the entire league has suffered as a result. Especially, those who have already quit their jobs or even relocated, in anticipation of a Jan. 30th. Paycheck. Mr. Heard subsequently held a meeting outlining all of the above mentioned changed as well as the specific business plan and funding for the league. Everything looks to be legit, and Mr. Heard stands to make alot of money from the success of the league. So once, again it looks like things are just being conducted at a very ameteur level right now, and due to the power that Mr. Heard has over everything, the players would be greatly benefited by a player’s union.

Here is more info from the same source who thankfully is critically thinking about this league:

-I’m sure the players will receive copies of the new contracts. It would take a really naive person, to walk away for a second time without a copy of the new contracts signed by Mr. Heard (ha ha). I know I won’t.

-Last time, the majority of players received “mock” copies of the contract weeks in advance, only to have it amended during orientation, the day before the signing. Mr. Heard, read the changes allowed, but of course we would have preferred to have read it ourselves before the Media Launch Party.

-The church I was supposed to go to? To my knowledge no player has ever been required to attend any church service. Only weekly bible study in the form of video tapes issued by Mr. Heard (yet to be distributed).

-The deduction forms were only for the league to know where to send %10 of our check. The information we filled out included no personal info (ie bank account, routing numbers, etc.), just the name and address of the ministry we want to send our tithes too. Once this begins, my plan is to follow up with my church and make certain weekly contributions are being made on my behalf from the XFBA.

-FYI, player/coach/TA payment is to be in the form of money orders. Weekly. On Fridays. No direct deposit or anything like that.

-No media has ever been present. To my knowledge, no media is aware at this point.

Finally there is a good comment from “Coach White” in St. Louis (I know he is in St. Louise because IP addresses never lie).

These comments are what we’ve been looking for all along, helpful thoughts from people thinking critically about the situation. What we hope, ultimately, is that this league is honest, fair and truthfull about all its practices. If this is so, then we will gladly support this league. It seems like many of the things being put into action, are heading this way, some questions and concerns remain, but I am feeling more at ease. Continue to comment questions and concerns. And I’d like to hear from people in other states that are invovled in the league. We hope to create a ring of accountability for this group, that’s something that is useful for any buisness that hopes to succeed.

Other information here on my blog about xzuberant:
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
Update 4
Update 5
Update 6
Update 7
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Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.