After the cancellation of the remainder of the XFL inaugural season due to the coronavirus pandemic, things got even more grim for the league Friday with the announcement of suspension of operations and layoffs, according to several reports
The league canceled its season last month after five games and pledged to return next year. However, as of Friday, the league announced no plans to return in 2021.
NEWS: on a call today with COO Jeffery Pollock, XFL employees were just informed that the league is suspending operations and all employees have been laid off. Another sport impacted further by the current COVID-19 crisis.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 10, 2020
The XFL gave six former Mountaineers another shot at a professional football career including defensive lineman Kenny Bigelow on the D.C. Defenders; safety Dravon Askew-Henry with the New York Guardians; Safety Kenny Robinson, Jr., Linebacker Terence Garvin and Defensive Lineman Will Clarke with the St. Louis Battlehawks; and offensive lineman Marquis Lucas with the Tampa Bay Vipers. Many who saw significant playing time.
The league, which returned after one season in 2001, was also headed by a former West Virginia alumni and athletic director, Oliver Luck, who was the league’s commissioner.
Askew-Henry, a 2018 graduate, went undrafted out of WVU, but saw a short time on multiple NFL teams before agreeing to terms to play in the XFL. His film earned him a contract with the New York Giants.
Robinson, who was chosen in the fifth round of the draft following his departure after two seasons from WVU, also has made a splash in his time with the Battlehawks.
With a transition at the helm of the Mountaineer football program, the team looked for Robinson to come back for his junior season as a leader; however, opted to continue his dreams of playing football by entering the XFL draft after a short stint in the NCAA transfer portal.
His dreams and hardwork seem to be paying off, with Robinson predicted by some to be a first round draft pick in this year’s NFL draft, just two weeks away.
— 2Tenths Speed & Agility (@210ths) March 31, 2020
On his social media, Robinson has expressed his thanks to the XFL for drafting him.
XFL players had previously been told they would be paid through the end of the regular season, which was scheduled to end this weekend.