MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former West Virginia University Athletic Director Oliver Luck, fired as commissioner of the XFL on April 9, has filed suit in Connecticut against former employer and league owner Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment. McMahon is best known as the creator of the WWE wrestling circuit.
The XFL suspended operations mid-season earlier this year and in a bankruptcy filing in Delaware on April 13, Alpha Entertainment said that it had liabilities of $10 to $50 million and that it owed between one to five thousand creditors.
Luck’s lawsuit was filed April 16 and claims McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment breached his contract and is seeking a declaratory judgment from the court.
McMahon hired Luck as commissioner of the now defunct league in 2018 and signed him to a five-year contract reportedly worth between $20 and $25 million. Luck’s commissioner contract, which he claims is guaranteed, and that of other league executives were not included in the list of creditors submitted by Alpha in their bankruptcy filing.
Luck was terminated by letter on April 9 and was not on the league conference call a day later announcing the suspension of operations.
“Mr. Luck wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the termination letter and contends they are pretextual and devoid of merit,” his lawyers contend.
Due to a previously executed non-disclosure agreement between Luck and Alpha, much of the lawsuit was redacted so exact terms and compensation sought by the former commissioner are not known.
Alpha attorney Jerry McDevitt replied to the court action by saying, “As to the lawsuit he filed, his allegations will be disputed and the position of Mr. McMahon will be set forth in our response to his lawsuit.”
A former quarterback at WVU, Luck played five seasons for the NFL Houston Oilers. His son Andrew is a former NFL quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts.
During his four and half years at West Virginia, Luck drew criticism when he hired Dana Holgorsen as a “coach in waiting” for then head coach Bill Stewart. After Holgorsen was asked to leave the Mardi Gras Casino in Charleston after becoming “uncooperative with management” on May 18, 2011, Luck accepted Stewart’s resignation less than a month later for allegedly feeding the story to a Pittsburgh sportswriter. Luck acknowledged “inappropriate behavior” happened with Holgorsen at the Casino, but the university did not specify what transpired.
After Luck left the University to join the NCAA, Holgorsen’s career fizzled in Morgantown until he bought out his contract and left for the Houston Cougars at the end of the 2018 season. He left WVU with a 61 and 41 win/loss record in 8 seasons. Stewart was 27 and 12 in three years as head coach.