AAF decides to suspend operations
League had two weeks plus postseason left
Just eight weeks into its inaugural season, the Alliance of American Football suspended operations Tuesday, league co-founder Bill Polian confirmed.
Polian said he was “extremely disappointed” with the decision made by AAF majority owner Tom Dundon, who committed to make a $250 million investment in the eight-team league in February, putting in $70 million at the time.
“When Mr. Dundon took over, it was the belief of my co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, and myself that we would finish the season, pay our creditors, and make the necessary adjustments to move forward in a manner that made economic sense for all,” Polian said in a statement.
“The momentum generated by our players, coaches and football staff had us well positioned for future success. Regrettably, we will not have that opportunity.”
Dundon, who owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, told USA Today last week the AAF was in jeopardy because it had been unable to gain access to young NFL talent.
The AAF was entering Week 9 of its 10-week regular season.
The league signed all of its players to three-year, non-guaranteed contracts worth $70,000 in the first year, $80,000 in the second and $100,000 in the third.
Orlando coach Steve Spurrier, whose team compiled a league-best 7-1 record, told reporters it was “sad to end this way.” He also claimed a victory, of sorts.
“We’re all disappointed, but on the other side, we got to be the champs, right? We’re 7-1 and the next teams are 5-3,” Spurrier said.