Sports News

AAF needs NFLPA help to survive

FILE PHOTO: The logo for the Alliance of American Football League is shown at media event at SDCCU Stadium where the new league introduced a team and head coach to the eight-team league, set to begin play February 2019, in San Diego, California, U.S., May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The first-year Alliance of American Football is in danger of folding if it continues to be unable to secure permission to use young NFL players, the league’s majority owner, Tom Dundon, told USA Today on Wednesday.

He told the newspaper that he expects to make a decision about the league’s future in the next two days.

At issue is that the NFL Players’ Association has not allowed young players on NFL rosters to participate in the spring league.

A players’ union official told USA Today, on condition of anonymity, that the NFLPA believes using active NFL players and practice squad members would violate terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement and run afoul of limitations on mandatory offseason workouts and practices.

Plus, any serious injury suffered in the AAF could have significant impact on a player’s potential NFL earnings.

“If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can’t be a development league,” said Dundon, adding that he envisioned the AAF to be a version of Triple-A baseball. “We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league.”

Dundon, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, invested $250 million into the new league in February, which helped the AAF avoid a payroll shortage prior to the second round of games, according to a report in The Athletic at the time.

Week 8 of the league’s 10-week season will be held this weekend, with all eight teams in action.

--Field Level Media