ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There’s been another shakeup for the Albany Empire, this time on the roster. Head coach Damon Ware and six players have left the team. NEWS10 Sports Director Griffin Haas spoke with coach Ware, who confirmed he is leaving the Empire. Ware tells NEWS10 he, and multiple players on the team, have not been paid.
Sources tell NEWS10 that Ware, last year’s MVP Darius Prince, captains Nick Haag, Brandon Sesay, and Dwayne Hollis, quarterback Sam Castranova, and lineman Melvin Hollins were all put on a list of personnel that were not to receive a room key to the team’s hotel.
A representative for majority owner Antonio Brown tells NEWS10 the players and coaches were not paid due to a payment processing issue. He says the money was put in the payroll account on Wednesday, and that the issue should have been resolved.
Brown’s representative also confirmed the team will be holding an invite-only tryout this week. The Empire posted openings for multiple positions on their Instagram story early Monday morning including head coach, wide receiver, and backup quarterback.
Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown became majority owner of the Empire on April 19th. Brown bought Mike Kwarta’s remaining 47.5 percent share for one dollar. Former team president Matt Woods, and director of media relations Jeff Levack left the organization with Kwarta.
Brown owns 95 percent of the team, while the remaining 5 percent is locally owned by the von Schiller family.
The Empire are scheduled to host the West Texas Warbirds this Saturday at 7:00 PM.