Spurrier: Dundon entered after original AAF investor backed out

Getty Images

Much of Tom Dundon’s $250 million investment in the AAF represents luxury not necessity. But some of it was obviously necessary.

At a time when leadership has danced around the question of whether but for Tom Dundon’s money the upstart league would have been done, Orlando Apollos coach Steve Spurrier has pulled back the curtain.

“I think what happened is an original investor sort of led us into believing he could come up with the money to get us through the first year, and then he sort of bailed out,” Spurrier told Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. “He didn’t have [the money], and we found Tom Dundon. I think [Dundon] liked the idea so much, he became the majority owner [of the league] and now we’re all set to go for quite a while.”

Without using many words, Spurrier said plenty. First, a major investor backed out. Second, the AAF was at that point screwed. Third, Dundon rode in with a quarter billion dollars and bought a controlling interest in the league. Although AAF CEO and co-founder Charlie Ebersol declined to comment earlier this week on the percent of equity purchased by Dundon, Spurrier’s comments make it clear that Dundon owns at least 50.1 percent.

However it happened, it happened. And now, under new ownership, the immediate future of the AAF is secured.

“We really appreciate Tom Dundon for stepping forward,” Spurrier said. “He believes in the Alliance and now the future looks very good.”

Where the AAF goes from here remains to be seen. But it’s now a Tom Dundon operation, and it has the funding to get through several seasons, at least.

15 responses to “Spurrier: Dundon entered after original AAF investor backed out

  1. I miss his press conferences at Florida and South Carolina, that was some good television

  2. If this guy can convince a few of his billionaire buddies that this was a good investment, they have a realistic chance to pull players from the NFL and then things could get interesting.

  3. So, the league started with little to no monetary backing? That doesn’t make much sense. If Vince McMahon has anything positive, to add to the game, he will win. He has the money to back himself. And the knowledge to land a great TV contract. Don’t call this league the “minor league” just yet.

  4. 3 early observations about this league (that I sincerely hope does well):
    1. Spurrier can still coach.
    2. Singletary still can’t coach
    3. Hackenburg looks like a QB but can’t play like one

  5. It is sincerely doubtful that Spurrier knows anything at all about the AAF’s finances. Spurrier’s only financial expertise stems from the salaries he “earned” playing golf while supposedly coaching Washington and South Carolina. Ebersol is certainly smart enough not to share such information with someone like Spurrier.

  6. Leave it up to the old ball coach to tell the truth about the situation instead of what they tried to push out the other day. Definitely makes more sense than the spin the AAF tried to put out.

  7. As we learned from NFL Europe, the NFL can benefit greatly from having a developmental feeder-league. Of course not every guy in NFL Europe or the AAF has NFL potential, but they can give playing time to enough of them who may develop into that caliber of player to make it worthwhile.

    The NFL could financially support the AAF in some minor way. Hell, if the football is roughly equal to college football, and IF they get the teams in markets that will support them (I’m sure a couple of teams will move after this season) AND find ~15-30k seat stadiums for them to play in then there’s no reason why the AAF can’t succeed.

    The expectations just need to be appropriate and they shouldn’t be playing in markets that don’t care, and get them out of huge stadiums where it looks empty when 10k people are there. They’re never going to fill 50-60k seat stadiums. Figure out a way to make this similar to minor league baseball, which does just fine in small markets.

  8. I’ve watched a few games. There are aspects of the league that are going to pressure the NFL (IMO) to make some changes -their transparency in the replay review process is significant. The quality of play isn’t as good as the NFL, but the players play hard, and the experience they are gaining is invaluable. I will be interested to see how many guys from this league end up making NFL rosters next fall.

  9. People here seem to want it to fail. I like the idea. I watched some of the games last weekend & it’s not that bad. It’s better than Alabama beating Troy 65-3.

  10. I don’t know why Spurrier would know what happened. Also he said he “thinks”,he didn’t say he knew. “Moose Johnston” the GM from San Antonio said otherwise, it had nothing to do with an investor pulling out. Players were even told in advance that there would be a delay. Anyway why would Tom Dundon invest 250 million, in a failing proposition? Hopefully things move forward without any further negativity that some in the media crave. Go AAF.

  11. Shades of the old WFL. I truly hope this league makes it but if things were that shaky, the due diligence by the league executives looks suspect.

  12. “Spurrier can still coach”

    My goodness people. When was Spurrier coaching? He flat out admitted that he wasn’t recruiting when he was at South Carolina. Spurrier didn’t even know the name of the top ranked high school QB when he was asked about him. He was the laughing stock of the NFL as the coach of the Redskins.

    Just because he has the “Ol’ Ball Coach” persona doesn’t mean that he knows anything.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.