AAF to suspend operations

Nick Folk

Sports Illustrated report that AAF officials had scheduled conference call for 11 a.m. MDT in which the league was to begin the process of suspending play with just two weeks left in the regular season.

The AAF didn't even have enough money to make it through the first two weeks of the season before it had to be bailed out by billionaire NHL owner Tom Dundon, who bought a majority stake in the league in mid-February. He made the decision to suspend the operations "against wishes of league co-founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian", according to Darren Rovell at The Action Network. The AAF would be somewhat of a developmental league in the spring - a Triple-A to MLB, of sorts - for fringe NFL roster players hoping to make it in the fall. "Regrettably, we will not have that opportunity".

AAF players have three-year, non-guaranteed contracts for $250,000, Rovell previously reported.

Problems, however, popped up surrounding the nascent league that was trying to be a complement to the NFL.

Days before the AAF suspended football operations, Dundon told USA Today he needed cooperation from the NFL Players' Association (NFLPA) in order to feed current NFL players into the league and, therefore, maintain the AAF's viability - in Dundon's mind, at least. I'd say that's a fair trade for yet another failed attempt at a professional football league.




Sources also say that numerous league's vendors have not been paid yet and it's unclear if Dundon or the previous ownership should foot those bills.

10News has reached out to the league and Fleet for more information.

Ebersol told ESPN in January that they had structured the league around a "sober business plan" because he believed he had learned lessons from his father, Dick Ebersol, who helped run the first version of the XFL.

The Orlando Apollos were -110 favorites to win the AAF title at the SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas before odds were taken down Tuesday.

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