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Shock, AFL ready for start of Free Agency period

Wednesday September 24, 2014

SPOKANE, Wash. (September 24, 2014) – Today marks the official opening of the Arena Football League’s free agency period in preparation for the 2015 season. With free agency underway the Shock have exercised rookie options to keep 2014 first-year players on their roster for the upcoming season.

Since the ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2013 between the Arena Football League and Arena Football League Players Union, the off season leading up to 2015 will mark the end of the first group of two-year contracts available to veteran players. This will create a dynamic off season for the teams within the AFL as a majority of the league’s veteran players will become free agents.

The Shock have exercised rights to 14 rookies to join their 35-man off season roster in preparation for 2015 training camp.

· DB Bryant Nnabuife, University of California – Berkeley

· DB J.T. Fitzgerald, Rocky Mountain College

· DB Jimmy Williams, Virginia Tech University

· DB Samuel Pope, Hampton University

· DL Bryson Kelly, Central Washington University

· OL/FB Rory Nixon, St. Augustine’s University

· OL Deveric Gallington, Texas Tech University

· OL Mark Jackson, Glenville State College

· QB Jarrett Brown, West Virginia University

· QB Joe Southwick, Boise State University

· WR Andrew Joseph, University of Louisiana – Lafayette

· WR Nick Truesdell, University of Cincinnati

· WR Rashaad Carter, Tusculum College

· WR Samuel Charles, Edward Waters College

Prior to the opening of the free agency period, the Shock also retain rights to existing multi-year contracts with veteran defensive lineman Derrick Summers (Toledo) and wide receiver Mike Washington (Hawai’i).

“We’re excited to get things underway today and begin building our roster for the 2015 season,” said Shock Head Coach Andy Olson. “The ultimate goal early on is to of course resign our veteran players, but we’re also very excited to be bringing back a strong group of rookie players from last season that we feel we can build around. Since the end of the 2014 season we’ve been putting in a lot of time scouting new players, but also creating a list of free agent veterans we’ll be targeting.”

Arena Football League Names Scott Butera Commissioner, Kurz President

On Monday, September 22nd the Arena Football League announced that Scott Butera will be the League’s seventh Commissioner. Butera will join the AFL with an initial focus on increasing consumer awareness of the AFL brand and work alongside newly appointed League President Jerry Kurz on football operations to maximize opportunities to improve the spectator experience.

Butera is a sports enthusiast who played football at Trinity College in Hartford and earned his MBA at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. His financial background includes 20 years in investment banking with UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, Smith Barney and Bear Sterns & Co.

He also served as President, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc., and the Chief Operating Officer of the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. As CEO of Tropicana Entertainment (2008-11), Butera led the company’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, in the process, helped to revitalize the iconic brand through improved marketing and property management.

Most recently Butera was the CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino since 2011, a property with over $1.0 billion in annual revenues, where he led the restructuring of the Resort’s finances and operations. He secured sports partnerships with professional teams in Boston (Red Sox) and New York (Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, Nets, Madison Square Garden) during his term.

Last week, the Arena Football League announced that Jerry B. Kurz was appointed as the AFL’s first-ever League President after completing his fifth year as Commissioner and his 28th year with the AFL. His focus will include football operations, game rules, player personnel and development, coaches, game officials, compliance, relationships and negotiations with the AFLPU and AFLOA, international development of the game and continued oversight of the Arena Football Hall of Fame.

Kurz is credited with the rebirth of the League following its bankruptcy filing in 2009. During his tenure, the League has expanded to Los Angeles, Portland and Las Vegas. The AFL has also enjoyed three national broadcast partnerships with CBS Sports Network, ESPN and NFL Network.

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SPOKANE SHOCK MISSION
The Spokane Shock strive to deliver to our fans a high quality entertainment experience while serving and representing the Inland Northwest on and off the field as a proud member of the Arena Football League.

ABOUT THE SPOKANE SHOCK
The Spokane Shock is a professional arena football team of the Arena Football League from Spokane, Washington, USA. They play their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The Shock played their first four seasons in the former af2, winning division titles in all four seasons and ArenaCups in 2006 and 2009 before joining the AFL and winning ArenaBowl XXIII in their first season. The Shock will kick off their 10th Anniversary Season in 2015. Tickets and Sponsorships are available. For more information visit our website at spokaneshock.com or call 509-242-7462. You can also follow the Shock on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and YouTube.