Published: Apr 18, 2012 4:08 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 19, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a legal skirmish between unions, the NFL Players Association is suing the NFL Coaches Association in D.C. Superior Court for about $650,000.

The NFLPA's complaint says it loaned the coaches' group that amount "to cover payroll and other NFLCA expenses." The players' union is also asking the court to determine whether NFLCA executive director David Cornwell was "lawfully elected" to that post.

In a statement, Cornwell says he thinks "the lawsuit and the alleged debt is a smoke screen to prevent the NFLCA from breaking away from the NFLPA."

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said Wednesday the lawsuit is "about settling that debt, nothing more."