Broken Promises: Inside a Semi-Pro Nightmare, Part Four
August 22, 2016 by Terrance Biggs
Through the dozens of texts, calls and messages, people affected by this league are continuing to reach out. I was asked why this is so important. Honestly, it is all about right and wrong. Players travel thousands of miles to pay their money for a dream. While many are immensely talented, the RPFL does not appear to be a vessel for climbing the ladder.
In the midst of the uproar over these articles, a player approached me for a sit-down interview. “Christopher” requested anonymity, due to his employment with a major football organization.
Q: How much did you make?
Christopher: It was supposed to be $1,000 a game. That dropped to 700, which turned into 200. It ended up as a 75 dollar bounced check. In order to make the 256,000, you have to be the best player at every position every year.
Q: Who did you play for?
Christopher: Drafted by the Generals, and then was traded to the Bearcats.
Q: What was the setup like?
Christopher: Poor. Very poor. Worse than any semi-pro league. When we played a game 3 hours away, we took one passenger van, and the rest of the team drove their cars.
Teams were folding left and right that first year. We ended the season with 2 teams.
Q: What was Quentin’s role?
Christopher: League founder, CEO, owner of most teams, logistics, equipment, you name it. He tried to control it all.
Q: So, one guy owned the majority of the teams?
Q: What about the living arrangements?
Christopher: I don’t know too much about that. I’m a local guy only living an hour away.
From what I heard, the article matches up pretty well.
Q: Did you ever hear any stories from out-of-towners?
Christopher: The hotel rooms and lack of money were on par. Most of the out of towers were on a team that tried to speak up against Quentin. So that team was essentially folded by him. So, I think most of them went home.
Q: What about his NFL connections? Legit?
Christopher: If his contacts were as good as he says, I think he would’ve sent guys to the NFL. But, that’s just my opinion. I never met a scout, or heard of a scout at a game. For all we know, he could’ve befriended a scout and just asked him to show up to the game to make it look legit.
Q: Was there anything that looked shady?
Christopher: Most of the experience was shady. We played at a terrible high school field. I know he was a high school coach at the school we played at, and that there was a video that surfaced of him fighting a high school player of his.
Q: Did you see any player make legitimate money?
Christopher: If he liked you, he would pay you. If you promoted the league, he would pay you. Like I said, most players didn’t see a dime.
Q: So, it was based on his preference, not actual skill?
Q: How did things end with you and the league?
Christopher: After the season, I didn’t hear a word from them until the next year.
I ended up being injured during the preseason from playing arena ball. I told him I would join the league once my bounced check was covered, and that never ended up happening.
Broderick Martin played two games in the RPFL. His story rings eerily similar to others, but he adds a little more context.
Q: How did you get involved with Rivals?
Martin: I first got involved with the Rivals through a Google post about a pro team try out. So I did my research and it showed players getting paid $300-$500 game.
Q: What was your impression of the tryout?
Martin: I’m from Toronto, so I was up there a night before. But I arrived to the field for 11am, like instructed. It was a complete mess. I did not do my conditioning test till almost 6pm.
Q: What took so long?
Martin: Q and his volunteers were collecting everyone’s $40 background check $40 health thing and then had to pay more for equipment rental. So, basically $170 extra.
Basically, he wanted all money in before he had everyone do the conditioning.
Q: How much did you end up paying after everything?
Q: How many games did you play?
Martin: I stayed for 1 season game. I left for the bye week and by the time I came back for the 2nd game, we were moved into run down house where all the out-of-state people were sleeping on air beds.
Q: How much did you make?
Q: What interaction did you have with coaches?
Martin: Coach Wilson was my coach from the Cougars, so he was basically the only coach that I did talk to. I asked him if I could get the signing bonus/draft bonus since I was the only remaining player from the first two rounds.
I was drafted 2nd round, 4th pick.
But, all players selected before me never passed the conditioning test so they were sent home right away. Everyone else didn’t ever show up to the practice.
Q: When did you notice things weren’t right?
Martin: When he told us to sell tickets. The only way you were making money to eat and support yourself was if you sold the game tickets. You’d make 50%, on a $20 ticket.
Q: Did you ever see anyone get paid for on-field play, if so how much?
Martin: Nope. The only person that was ever seen receiving money was Quentin.
Q: What made you leave?
Martin: He had moved us from the Kingsley Hotel in Bloomington Hills to a trap house in Pontiac, to be quite honest.
Q: What was his reasoning?
Martin: There’s never one given.
Q: Why do you think so many players still want to join the RPFL?
Martin: Because you have a guy offering a quarter of a million for 4 years $256,000. That’s all people like us see. We’re young, hungry, and motivated. He takes advantage of us and other athletes. He’s not opening doors, he’s closing them.
Q: Have any guys made it to the NFL?
Martin: Yeah right! With what scouts watching the games?
Q: He said there were NFL Scouts on the sidelines, did you see any?
Martin: I saw a guy dressed in SF 49ers sweatsuit, no clip board, no stop watch. I could’ve been the “Scout” all I would’ve had to do was visit NFL shops and get me a track suit. Rumors went around saying the guy who was there was Q’s cousin.
Q: What do you want the RPFL to know?
Martin: Stop playing with people’s lives. You have athletes living all over the world, seeing your posts about playing for a contract. They leave their families and come for an opportunity to play and get paid. You can add it up yourself. He went to 39 states, 50 players per tryout, $150.00 per person. That’s about a half a million $500,000 that no player ever saw a piece of.
- Why are the players sharing substandard living quarters, for any amount of time?
- Why are there outstanding bills?
- Why are players receiving checks that ultimately bounce?