Power owner hopes for return to normalcy
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Pittsburgh Power owner Matt Shaner said Saturday that all but two players -- quarterback Kyle Rowley and kicker Taylor Rowan -- will be welcomed back to the team this week, even though he fired the entire roster before the season opener against the Orlando Predators.
"They just don't fit the character of our organization," Shaner said. "We need to have a cohesive team unit. You may have skill and talent, but if you are not a team player, you just don't fit how Pittsburgh operates."
Shaner gave no other reason why those players were singled out and will not return.
"Most of the rest of the players, to my knowledge, will re-sign with the team," he said. "They said they want to play football, they love the organization, they want to get prepared for Philadelphia (the next game March 23). Everything will be back to normal."
He said 10 players decided to leave the union, sign new contracts and play in the game.
"Numerous players said they worked too hard (to quit) and they love this organization," Shaner said.
Meanwhile, Rowley said union executive director Ivan Soto did not declare a strike until after the players from both teams were fired. He said "loyalty to his teammates" prevented him from playing.
On Saturday, Rowley and six Power players rode 17 hours from Orlando, Fla., to Pittsburgh in a van rented and driven by Arena Football League players union president James Baron. Power officials did not make arrangements for the fired players to return to Pittsburgh.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Rowan said the team removed his personal items from an apartment -- paid for by the team -- while he returned from Florida.
Rowley said playing in the game never was an option for him.
"You have to stand with your brothers," Rowley said. "If a man says he is going to do something, a man should do it. I don't think that's an opinion. It's a fact."
But Rowley said he understands why some players decided to play.
"They were put in such an awkward situation," he said. "I believe those guys were scared for their jobs and their livelihood."
Rowley, who has played indoor football every year since 2003, doesn't know what he will do next, although he wants to continue his career. Shaner said Friday that Rowley will never play for the Power.
"I know Matt Shaner had some unkind words to say about me," Rowley said. "I forgive him. I don't know if I want to play football in Pittsburgh for the Power under what they are doing. There were some decisions made that were really dumb.
"I would love to play arena football. I live for arena football."
Rowley, 33, said he doesn't know when that will happen.
"I don't know my options," he said. "I'm just trying to get home right now."
Meanwhile, AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz said negotiations aimed at negotiating a collective bargaining agreement will continue.
Shaner also addressed a report from the NFL Network on Friday that the Power went against an agreement with the Predators to play only five players from the original rosters.
The Predators had only five players from their preseason roster; the Power had 10. The teams filled out their rosters with players who had been working out in Orlando in the event of a work stoppage.
"There was no deal in place," Shaner said. "As the game went on, deals were being cut to keep the game fair."
The Power won, 40-26.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- Steelers’ decision for NFL Draft: Pass rusher or cornerback?
- Steelers restructure Gilbert, Mitchell contracts; Pouncey close
- Gorman: Steelers botch Big Ben’s negotiation
- Time running out for Steelers’ third-string quarterback Jones?
- Steelers GM Colbert prepared to look at all options before draft