(WVI) – After just five weeks of play in its inaugural 2020 season, the XFL has suspended operations and laid off all employees.
According to several reports, Jeffery Pollack, the league’s chief operating officer, made the announcement to employees that the league would be laying off all team and league employees. This news comes weeks after the XFL’s inaugural season was canceled due to the then-escalating COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the league reportedly has no plans to return for a 2021 season.
The newest iteration of the XFL, which is a successor to the league of the league of the same name lasting a single season in 2001, had strong influence from West Virginia alumni. While former athletic director and alumnus Oliver Luck acted as the league’s commissioner, several former Mountaineer football players were drafted for XFL teams and earned significant playing time.
Luck did not speak on the call, according to ESPN.
Among those was former WVU defensive back Dravon Askew-Henry, who signed a contract with the New York Giants after starting five games for the New York Guardians. Askew-Henry has his name in the WVU football record book, starting a school-record 51 games for the Mountaineers.
Former WVU safety Kenny Robinson, who manned the secondary for the St. Louis Battlehawks, also received significant attention for his stint in the league. Upon the season’s cancellation, Robinson announced that he would be entering his name in the NFL Draft after finishing the season with 15 tackles and 2 interceptions.