Recently, I was contacted by the co-founder of the Arizona Winter League (AWL) warning me about a new start up that appears to be scamming players already. The National Urban Professional Baseball League (NUPBL) has a new website up and running.
Last year, when I first heard about this potential start-up through posts on Facebook and inquiries from various players, I asked (who I believe to be) the owner how they expected to run a league, pay the players, etc… I was promptly told off and blocked when I was trying to do my research as I always do with these leagues.
The tryout section of their new website lists the name “Arizona Fall League” which has been leading players to believe that it has something to do with the AWL. Many players were contacting the winter league to ask about their tryouts in Mississippi, but they obviously had no idea what was going on as they have no affiliation with this NUPBL.
The website says:
2017 Upcoming Tryout Dates:
Arizona Fall League
Spring/Summer League May – August 2018
But then right under that the page says that teams will be located in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
Tryouts are also listed to be happening in California as well as Mississippi and Tennessee.
But…. payments are to be sent to an address in Chicago, IL.
It also claims that all players will be paid including a paid winter league.
Their “About Us” profile offers some more information, although it’s nothing we haven’t heard before:
The league in its initial conception will consist of four teams with plans for future expansion.
Play a ninety game schedule between
May thru August in addition to play-offs
6 games per week
45 away games/45 home games
Team (s) will consist of
1 team manager
24 players per team
Targeted ages for the team will be players 17 years old and older (that have completed or will be completing their H.S. eligibility).
The players in this league will be paid
Tryouts will start in May 2017
Fall team in Arizona
The league starts in the spring of 2018
We will form the teams by selecting players (not withstanding their racial back round) from across the United State and the World by way of open try-outs to be held at a number of sites (see tryouts).
After the teams are formed the players that will makeup these teams will actively take part in preplanned promotion activities.
The website lists season tickets, job opportunities and a Go Fund Me (go figure…). There is also a contact us
page where everyone working for the league appears to be living in a different state.
The website is unorganized and really weird to navigate… just like every other start-up we’ve seen over the last few years.
Players… just DO YOUR RESEARCH and watch out for leagues that pop up every off season.
11 thoughts on “An Off Season Start-Up… Is Anyone Even Surprised Anymore?”
The National Urban Baseball League will have an all-star team playing this season in the Desert League of Professional Baseball from January 23rd thru March 4th. The league purchased a franchise and will be responsible for paying their players but the Desert League will pick up the tab for housing, uniforms, etc.
Their website doesn’t list that at all and for their Arizona League it says fall (Sept – Oct) which has already passed.
You may want to tell them to update their website with accurate information as players have seen their site and don’t understand what is going on with them.
Where does the “Desert League” play?
Yuma County, Arizona
Imperial County, California
Interesting that they are naming the teams after Negro League stars since Negro League players often struggled to get paid by the owners of the teams as well.
Few other things I see from the website that raise concerns:
1) Lots of graphics and flowery language but very little of substance. They refer to ministering to people and serving underprivileged segments of the population to evoke some emotion from the reader and cause them to ignore the fact their is little to no information of the business side of the league – no pay, no housing, etc.
2) Lots of places for them to collect money – registration fees, season ticket packages, boosters, a fashion show, the gofundme. The gofundme page even lists a $5000 annual budget (in the less traditional 5,000.000 format unless we now have a new coin that is a tenth of a penny) that supposedly sustains the league. I am not a math whiz but 4 teams at 24 players each plus a manager and 2 coaches for each team, over 3 months doesn’t seem like the players will even earn enough to fill up their car with gas for the drive back home.
3) I googled the guy that seems to be doing the promotion of the league that they refer to as “the coach”. He appears to be a minister who tries to do sports camps for little kids (of course one of the first things you see on his page is a link to donate as well). Does not appear to have any professional baseball business experience. Where have we heard that before?
4) With a minister leading it and all of the attempts to solicit donations, I am wondering if they will try to set the league up as a non-profit to try to limit their liability
5) They list it as a place for high school, juco, and college players to play professionally. I really hope they are letting the players know that if they play in the league they are forfeiting any future collegiate eligibility. I would expect current college players would know that through their compliance office but someone fresh out of high school could think they could play over the summer, then go off to college in the fall to compete collegiately.
Personally I think they are avoiding you because of your posts on the TBL. If you google that league, all but two or three of the results are from this site where a person can clearly see what the league promised beforehand and then did not deliver. By avoiding answering any questions, they can avoid being held accountable. A legitimate league would want to be out there promoting itself as such.
As I have said about all of the other NEW independent baseball leagues that want YOUR money, players please do your. “research” on them before they suck you in and dash your dreams. The padt 2 years i have seen 4 new leagues attempt to form only to fold or not go as planned(DLoPB). Make sure they have every dime in in the bank to pay all the bills and all Pro fields are paid for before the 1st pitch is thrown out. Remember, playing on a softball field is not pro. Having players umpire is not pro. Playing 7 inning doubleheaders everyday, (to cut the season in half), because.there is not enough money to play the original schefuled season as planned is mot pro. Do your research! Oh yeah, how can this new league use the arizons fall league name which is the name of the MLB’s affiliate program?
Kudos to all players who did their reseatch on the desert league. They cancelled their upcoming season. Not enough players to finance it i guess. I am all for legit start up leagues if it is done correctly and not going to trash players dreams and rip them off..
I’m working on getting comments from both the Desert League and the CWL before posting an article! Stay tuned!!
NUPBL is scamming already, players arriving with no rooms and required to pay $100 deposits, these kids are contracted for housing but it does not look like they have it. The league also required each player to purchase/sale 2 jerseys, that’s 24 players per team (4) at $67 a jersey which is well over $12,000. Season starts tomorrow, this needs to be reported and questioned, or at least question the players. Wondering if they have fields to play on for all teams? Maybe the local news needs to get involved this will ensure some kind of action for the players, this is really sad news and heart breaking for these young men, I really hope no one is sleeping in their cars tonight, sad.
Not shocked. I’ve already written about it again a little over a week ago. (https://indyballisland.com/2018/05/13/national-urban-professional-baseball-league/)
Players that I’ve talked to even just a couple days ago are so blinded by “The Coach” that I don’t even think half of them care that they’re getting scammed. If you know players who aren’t blindly following their “hero” and are upset, please send them my way!