AAF de­cides to sus­pend op­er­a­tions

League had two weeks plus post­sea­son left

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS -

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.

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