Another NFL IOU to Charles Bowser for Severance

Sep 13, 2010

We just received this from retired Miami Dolphins Killer B’s Charles Bowser regarding his missing $10,000 Severance Check:

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(Click on Roger’s 3-Dollar bill to enlarge for easier reading and printing.)

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I would sure like to know the latest status of Burt Grossman’s unpaid severance claim. I now find myself in a similar situation with my former team, the Miami Dolphins. I received severance checks for four credited seasons when I retired in 1988. Then I just found out this year that I was never paid severance pay for the extra credited season I was later awarded in 2005 when I applied for early benefits. I was advised by the NFL Benefits Office that there had been a mistake: it turns out I was entitled to an extra credited season because I was physically unable to perform during my last year with the Dolphins while I was still listed on the roster.

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When I contacted the NFL Player Benefits office regarding this matter, they sent me a letter along with a W-2 and a copy of the front of a severance check claiming that the Dolphins paid me for the extra credit season in 1993! I was shocked because I had no memory of receiving a severance check from the Dolphins in 1993. I had no way of disputing it so I contacted the IRS, Social Security AND the State of Maryland tax office. I found out from the State of Maryland that they had no records of me reporting the 1993 severance pay nor did they have records of the Dolphins reporting the severance income. After reviewing my yearly Social Security statement, I noticed that the 1988 FICA severance the Dolphins withheld ($3379.00) was also not credited to my FICA account. When I contacted Social Security requesting the credit, I was advised that the Dolphins reported the severance income as exempt – I was shocked!

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I then contacted the NFL Benefits office who told me that they would contact the Dolphins and get back to me – never heard back from them. I then filed Article IX Non-injury Grevance claim against the Miami Dolphins for reimbursement of unpaid severance pay. I received a letter from the NFL Management office (NFLMC) stating that the Miami Dolphins denied my allegations. Here – just like Burt Grossman – I have Federal and State documentation that clearly backed up my claim, yet the NFLMC AND the Miami Dolphins tell me that what I provided them isn’t good enough or true! What are they saying – the State of Maryland and Social Security documents are a bunch of lies?

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I truly believe that players will be denied severance pay reimbursement from their former teams no matter what documents they provide to them. There was nothing in the NFLMC denial letter demanding that the Dolphins provide any type of documents or copies of canceled checks validate their denial – amazing! Even though I provided the NFLMC with a detailed 1993 Maryland tax statement, as far as the NFLMC was concerned, the official government documents didn’t prove my claim to them! As far I’m concerned, what the Dolphins did is fraud, plain and simple! I investigated the statute on fraud which states that an individual has three years from the date of discovery to file a suit. Using a government agency to deceive an individual is serious fraud and a crime!

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I have to say that this severance matter with the Miami Dolphins is very disappointing. Here’s a former 1985 Miami Dolphins Superbowl starter, former player on a famous Dolphins defense – The Killer Bs – having to fight his former team over a lousy $3379.00 FICA withholding and a $10k severance check! I would never have imagined the Dolphins and the NFLMC would dispute my claim with all the Federal and State documentation that I provided to them.

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After receiving the denial letter from the NFLMC, I responded by asking the Dolphins to do the right thing and contact Social Securiy, clear up the matter and apply the funds to my FICA account. Also told them that I no longer wanted the 1993 $10k for myself and to apply those funds instead to the Miami Dolphins Player Assistance Fund. I would then consider this matter resolved. It will be interesting to see the NFLMC and the Dolphin’s response to my settlement request now since I am no longer asking for reimbursement of the severance funds to me.

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I hope you’ll post this on Dave’s blog for all the other retired players AND the fans to read.

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Charles Bowser

Miami 1982 – 1986

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Coincidentally, we just heard back from Burt Grossman over the weekend (REALLY!). He now has an arbitration hearing  scheduled in Philadelphia (!) late in November over his Severance Pay – what’s there to arbitrate? The Eagles owe Burt $40,000 in severance pay just like Charles Bowser and all the other players who have only recently been discovering that they had it owed to them all these years. The NFLPA’s lawyer Tom DePaso has been working with Burt and his attorney, Daniel Anastasia, on this case. (Click on the thumbnail to view the document.)

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Daniel Anastasia

3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Gordon A. Wright
    September 13th, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Gordon Wright - NY Jets
    I signed a binding NFL player contract in 1967 & 1968. It was for $13,000.00 dollars for each season and a total of $26,000.00 (that’s twenty-six THOUSAND dollars, NOT two hundred sixty thousand or twenty-six million)! But I was still only paid for the 1967 season. The owner – Jerry Wolman of the Philadelphia Eagles – filed for bankruptcy. He only paid me for the 1967 season but he never paid for the 1968 season. Then I had an NFL contract with the New York Jets 1969, 1970 and 1971 – and they paid me.

    But I still can’t get any of these people to pay me my full benefits either – almost 40 years later!

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970

    EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ll be posting veteran NFL player Gordon Wright’s battle with the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan over the next week – watch for it! It’s one more incredible tale that will leave you shaking your head because you can’t make this stuff up!

  2. Dave Pear
    September 13th, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Dave at Home
    Maybe Bernard Dr. NO Bach would like to be paid with these NFL $3 dollar bills from now on for his phony work?

    Regards,
    Dave & Heidi Pear

  3. Beverly Halton
    September 15th, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Charles,

    The NFLPA Benefits Department should have given you notice that you would be entitled to another year of severance, especially after the Bert Bell meeting that gave you the credited season; Management Council then notifies the NFLPA of your entitlement and payout. Your fifth year boosts you considerably. This should be standard office procedure in a benefits department. They dropped the ball on this.

    Where’s Miki (Yaras-Davis), your Benefits Director on this?

    Beverly Halton
    Former employee – NFLPA Retired Players Dept.