[size=13pt]Congress to hear from ex-players[/size]

Associated Press


WASHINGTON - Congress will hear testimony June 26 from retired NFL players who contend the pension plan of the league and union is insufficient, especially for disabled ex-players.

"The NFL is a billion-dollar industry, and yet the players who built the league are too often left to fend for themselves," Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and administrative law, said in a statement announcing the hearings.

The hearings are the latest development in a yearlong dispute between a group of retired players and Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association.

The latest flare-up came this week when Joe DeLamielleure, like Upshaw a Hall of Fame guard, said he took literally a newspaper quote from Upshaw that he'd like to "break his damn neck." DeLamielleure said he feared for his and his family's safety.

Upshaw had no comment on the hearing.

"We will participate in the hearing and let things fall where they may," union spokesman Carl Francis said Thursday.