Though today’s 12:00 p.m. ET press release from the UFL followed by a 2:00 p.m. ET conference call with Commissioner Michael Huyghue likely will serve the purpose of formally announcing a 30-day delay to the launch of training camp, one agent who represents players in the league privately has told us that, in his view, the UFL is dead.
The agent also passed along a copy of the memo from Sacramento Mountain Lions coach Dennis Green to his players on Monday regarding the situation. The full text appears below. (We converted it from all caps, since all caps is roughly the equivalent of screaming into someone’s eyeballs.)
“At 3:30 p.m. Pacific time today, the UFL league office has just informed us that the season has been delayed thirty (30) days.
“There has [sic] been significant funding issues, and the UFL and its teams cannot operate training camp at this time.
“Do not report to training camp. Stay in your home city, and check and see if your ticket is changeable to a later date. Sid will inform you as soon as possible as to when you can rebook.
“Regarding the regular season calendar and how the contract will work from here on out, Sid will let you know as soon as we hear more.
“This is a tough deal for everyone, including coaches and staff who are already here. We have been informed to leave camp Tuesday 19 July so we appreciate your patience and cooperation.”
Last week, Huyghue told PFT that the league would move forward for the 2011 season, with the four owners shouldering an expected operating deficit of $40 million. At a minimum, one or more of them have had second thoughts about what essentially could amount to throwing their money away.
I mean, at least they could do something more productive with all those 100-dollar bills, like light cigars with them.
It remains to be seen whether the UFL is indeed dead. The goal could be to hold it all together long enough for the NFL to swoop in and buy it once the lockout ends, a possibility to which Huyghue alluded last week.