Lorenzo Booker's Boycott - Printable Version
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Lorenzo Booker's Boycott - achali - 12-06-2010 08:08 PM
Lorenzo Booker Boycotts Final UFL Game Over Transfer Fee Dispute
Frustration over UFL transfer fees caused Lorenzo Booker to sit out Saturday's Hartford Colonials game vs. the Las Vegas Locomotives, mounting further controversy over the issue.
The Hartford Courant first reported the story Saturday.
This past week, a Pro Football Talk report shed light on the fact that the UFL would enforce a policy that will cause NFL teams to pay $150,000 for UFL players wishing to transfer after the season ends Nov. 27.
Booker became the first and only player this weekend in the UFL to sit out a game. After the report came out Tuesday night, sources told FanHouse that players were threatening to boycott the games this weekend. Colonials coach Chris Palmer told his team after Friday's practice that his players could chose to sit out if they wanted to, but advised against it.
However, in the end, players decided to play , and the games went on as scheduled.
Palmer wasn't thrilled that Booker, the third leading rusher in the league, protested the fees.
"I told him by playing he would have an opportunity to get out (of the UFL)," coach Palmer told the Hartford Courant. "By not playing, I think that wasn't going to bode well for him. I didn't think that would be the message he would want to articulate for (NFL) teams that were interested in him. But as a coach, if you try to force them to play and they go out there and get hurt because their mind is not in the game, I think you're in a situation where you're looking for trouble."
Omaha defensive end Jay Moore told FanHouse after Friday night's game against Florida that players were scared not to play because, "We were afraid that if we didn't play, they would hold our paychecks."
Booker spent 2007 with the Dolphins and 2008 with the Eagles. Like other UFL players, Booker joined the Colonials in hopes of returning to the NFL. He was under the impression, safe to say, that the transfer fee would be waived by UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue.
Hartford Colonials Running Back Lorenzo Booker Signs with the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL
Hartford Colonials running back LORENZO BOOKER has signed a contract with the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings, and has been added to the active roster.
Playing in seven games, Booker finished the 2010 United Football League season with 410 rushing yards (fourth in the league), 650 yards from scrimmage (fourth) and 650 all-purpose yards (fifth). His 5.4-yard rushing average was tops in the UFL during the regular season as well.
Booker set two UFL records this past season. In Week 1 at home against Sacramento, he took a screen pass from quarterback Josh McCown and turned it into a UFL-record-long 80-yard touchdown connection. In Week 7 at Sacramento, Booker ran for a league-record 147 yards on just 17 carries.
Prior to this fall, Booker played two seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins (2007) and Philadelphia Eagles (2008). In his rookie season with Miami, he caught 28 passes for 237 yards and ran 28 times for 125 yards in just seven games.
Under contract with the UFL until February 28, Booker was subject to the UFL transfer fee, which was reduced to $25,000 to allow players the option of personally paying the amount in the event an NFL team would not make the payment.
Booker, who is expected to line up against the New York Giants on December 12, said: “I really had the mind-set it was only a matter of time before I would be on an NFL roster again. I am really excited. I am going to have to make sure I don’t get too hyped up during that first game back out there.”