In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, Luck alleges that he was fired by letter April 9, one day before the XFL conducted mass layoffs. The XFL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy April 12 after the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of its inaugural season.
Luck’s lawsuit notes that he "wholly disputes and rejects the allegations set forth in the Termination Letter.” Since large portions of the lawsuit were redacted due to a confidentiality agreement between Luck and the XFL, the disputed reasons for his termination were not clear.
A former NCAA executive, Luck had served as XFL commissioner since 2018, shortly after the league was unveiled. Luck had a $20 million contract with the XFL, ESPN reported.
Luck is seeking fulfillment of the terms of that contract, plus damages and legal fees. A representative for McMahon said he plans to dispute the allegations.
“Oliver Luck's services as Commissioner and CEO of The XFL were terminated by a letter sent to him on Apr. 9, 2020 which explained the reasons for the termination,” said attorney Jerry McDevitt of law firm K&L Gates. “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."
The XFL’s bankruptcy filing named all eight of the league’s head coaches as creditors. Luck was not listed.
The league is pursuing a sale of its brand, logo and other intellectual property as part of bankruptcy proceedings. McMahon was XFL’s majority shareholder, holding 100 percent of Class A stock and 76.5 percent of Class B.
McMahon’s company, WWE, held the remaining ownership interest.