BREAKING NEWS: Arena Football League Players Union Back To Work
Though the first day of the 25th season of the Arena Football League didn't exactly get off to a flying start, the second day of the year has started off in much better form.
Just after 1:00 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, Arena Football League Players Union (AFLPU) Executive Director Ivan Soto put on his Twitter account, "Work stoppage over all players instructed to go back to work, those that stood tall, THANK YOU! Details forthcoming next week!"
There have been conflicting reports as to whether the AFLPU was officially on strike or not. Soto declared on his Twitter that the player's union was on strike just before the kickoff of Friday night's clash between the Orlando Predators and the Pittsburgh Power. However, later in the night, the AFLPU Vice President, Steve Watson countered that by saying that the players never actually went on strike.
Soto did not say that the strike was over, rather that the work stoppage was over.
There has been no indication yet as to whether this is a short term deal that perhaps could be in place for just four weeks, or whether there is a CBA that has been put in place for the rest of the season or moving forward.
It is also unclear what will happen with all of the players from the Predators and the Power. Pittsburgh released all 24 of its players, though some did come back to play in the game against Orlando. The Preds only had three players on their roster from the beginning of the day end up in uniform. All 24 men were put on recallable assignment.
The most intriguing figure becomes Kyle Rowley, the man that was supposed to be the starting quarterback for the Power. Just before kickoff, Pittsburgh's majority owner, Matt Shaner stated, "[Kyle] Rowley will never play for the Pittsburgh Power. We have decided that he does not fit our system." Rowley, an ArenaBowl winning quarterback, could become the hottest commodity in free agency if he does not return to the Power.
It is also unknown whether the players that were released and not resigned on Friday by the Power will be able to return home with the team. Shaner also told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Neither the team nor the Arena Football League have any travel obligations to [the released players]."
ArenaFan has tried to reach out to Soto and to various League officials but have not yet heard back from any of those officials.
ArenaFan.com will continue to update and monitor this story through the night and into Saturday night's games.