A week after they placed him on their practice roster, the Baltimore Stallions released veteran receiver Mike Alexander, whose job has been taken by B. K. Williams.
Williams, 34, an eight-year Canadian Football League veteran who missed last season with a ruptured right Achilles' tendon and knee problems, made his first appearance in a Baltimore uniform in Saturday's 43-7 rout of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He came off the bench in the second quarter and caught one pass for 16 yards.
That's one pass more than Alexander caught in the Stallions' first three games.
"Mike is 30 years old. We're not going to develop him," Baltimore coach Don Matthews said. "He's at the peak of his game, so there's not a spot on the practice roster for him. B. K. has played so much, we knew that he'd be ready. He did enough [against Winnipeg]."
Alexander, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound slotback, joined Baltimore after an unsuccessful tryout with the Los Angeles Raiders last August. His first reception on Sept. 3 went for a touchdown against Shreveport. He wound up with three catches for 71 yards in seven games.
Peter Finkelstein likened it to consumer fraud. E. J. Narcise said it's a misunderstanding that has been cleared up for most angry and confused Baltimore Stallions fans.
Narcise, the club's vice president of business operations, said he received about a dozen phone calls concerning the discount made available at Baltimore's home opener July 8 against the San Antonio Texans.
Everyone in attendance that night was given a coin good for 20 percent off Stallions merchandise, but Finkelstein, an Annapolis resident and season-ticket holder, found the promotion misleading.
Finkelstein said he was told by a vendor that the listed prices on such items as hats ($15), T-shirts ($18) and golf shirts ($35) reflected the discount. Yet, when he returned to the stadium last Saturday for the Stallions game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, most of the prices remained the same.
Finkelstein had placed a call to Narcise two days before the game and was told the prices would be higher on Saturday. Finkelstein later discovered that didn't apply to all merchandise.
"Out of 30 or 40 items, eight of them supposedly had price increases," said Finkelstein. "I called Mr. Narcise back and he was shocked to hear my points, which were, what about the other 30 or 40 items that were really never discounted to anybody? Isn't that consumer fraud?
"He then offered to give me a discount on what I had purchased at the exhibition game [June 17], but I said, 'No, that's not what I'm after here.' I pointed out to him there are a lot of people who have been ripped off."
Narcise said the prices had changed on "90 percent of what we sell" and excluded products bearing the old Baltimore Football Club name. The cost had been kept down on any outdated merchandise to make it easier to sell.
"The idea was to introduce the new logo and to give fans 20 percent off on it," Narcise said. "The largest-selling items were discounted.
"We've offered to everyone, if they were that upset, either complete money back or whatever restitution would take care of the situation."
Narcise said the club accepts blame for any confusion, and added that the other fans who had contacted him "were happy with the end result."
Linebacker Alvin Walton, who missed the Winnipeg game with a stiff neck, is expected to play against Birmingham on Saturday. . . . Dan Crowley, the Stallions' No. 3 quarterback, missed his second straight day of practice with the flu. . . . Matthews said the team will take eight of its 10 practice-roster players on the three-game, nine-day road trip that begins in Birmingham, then swings through Edmonton (Aug. 2) and Calgary (Aug. 6). Wide receiver Willie Hinchcliff and offensive lineman Keith Ballard, whose recovery from off-season knee surgery is going slowly, will remain in Baltimore.