Ed Garvey, the executive director of the National Football League Players Association, has informed top union officials he is considering resigning to take a job in the Wisconsin attorney general's office, and has scheduled a meeting with the union's executive board this weekend to discuss the matter.
Garvey, in a statement released through the union, denied that he has already made up his mind to leave, as reported in yesterday's editions of The Boston Globe.
But he confirmed that he will meet over the weekend with the NFLPA's seven-member executive board in Chicago to discuss his tenure in office, and he said he will announce his decision Monday at a press conference in Chicago.
"Until that time, any speculation is just that," Garvey said.
Reached last night, Garvey would say only, "We've scheduled a press conference for Monday to announce whether or not I'm leaving and if I do who will replace me."
At least two union sources said it was likely Garvey will leave the NFLPA job he has held since 1970, but Garvey was described by others as wanting to be assured the union would be in good hands if he leaves. The Globe said Gene Upshaw, union president for the last three years, would replace Garvey on an interim basis.
Garvey, who led the union in its 57-day strike against the NFL last fall, was given a 21-7 vote of confidence last month from the NFLPA's 28-member board of player representatives, despite calls from a minority of union members for his resignation.
His decision to consider leaving was described by associates as unrelated to internal pressures within the union and, instead, the result of a desire for a career change.
Garvey is a native of Wisconsin and while attending the University of Wisconsin, he was student body president. He also attended the university's law school, and there has been frequent speculation that he would someday resign from the NFLPA to enter politics in Wisconsin.
He has acknowledged speaking with the Wisconsin attorney general's office about a job as a deputy attorney general, as well as with other law firms in the state. Moreover, one of his daughters is a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
In the statement yesterday, the weekend meeting of the union's executive committee was described as a regular annual meeting. "The executive committee has been unanimous in its desire to have Garvey remain as executive director and has full authority to set terms and salary for a new contract," the statement said.