WASHINGTON (AP) -Congress will hear testimony June 26 from retired NFL players who contend the pension plan of the league and union is insufficient, especially for disabled ex-players.
``The NFL is a billion-dollar industry, and yet the players who built the league are too often left to fend for themselves,'' Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and administrative law, said in a statement announcing the hearings.
The hearings are the latest development in a yearlong dispute between a group of retired players and Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association.
The latest flare-up came this week when Joe DeLamielleure, like Upshaw a Hall of Fame guard, said he took literally a newspaper quote from Upshaw that he'd like to ``break his damn neck.'' DeLamielleure said he feared for his and his family's safety.
Upshaw had no comment on the hearing.
``We will participate in the hearing and let things fall where they may,'' union spokesman Carl Francis said Thursday.
Upshaw has been the target of a group of retired players, including ex-stars Mike Ditka, Jerry Kramer, Lem Barney and Harry Carson. They maintain the union has concentrated too much on current players and ignored the health problems of former players.
DeLamielleure contends Upshaw intentionally keeps current players uninformed about the plight of ex-players.
Last week, Upshaw told The Associated Press that he once helped pay Barney's mortgage when he heard of the medical bills of the ex-Detroit cornerback, who like Carson and Ditka is in the Hall of Fame. He also has pointed out his role in forming the ``88 Plan,'' which provides up to $88,000 per year to families of former players suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Sanchez said she called the hearing because the committee had seen recent reports that the benefit plan for retired players ``may be stacked against players who need serious medical care.''
``Specifically, we want to look into whether the arbitration procedure that can determine the health benefits of severely injured, retired players is an equitable use of the arbitration process,'' she said.

Recent NFL Discussions

Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Mon, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Alabama NFL Draft Odds The Alabama Crimson Tide could have a lot of players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft next week. How many...
Thumbnail Odds Theory & Fantasy: Perfect Combo In America alone over 110 million people settled down to watch February’s Super Bowl and were rewarded by a game which saw many twists and turns along the way. Of...
Thumbnail Romo moving to CBS After a lot of discussion about where Tony Romo will be next season, it appears that he will be behind a broadcast booth.
Thumbnail Patriots remain SB52 Favorites With NFL free agency slowing down dramatically over the past week, here's a look at the most recent Super Bowl 52 odds to win.
Thumbnail The Next Atlanta Falcons Despite suffering one of the greatest collapses in sports history at Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons still managed to overcome significant odds to reach the NFL’s...

NFL Team Pages