The Alliance of American Football abruptly went bust this week, surprising many of the league’s top executives.
Scott Brubaker, president of the Arizona Hotshots, said on 1580 The Fanatic that when Tom Dundon said last week that he could pull the plug if the NFL Players Association didn’t agree to allow players under contract to play in the AAF, it came as a shock.
“That was the first time he ever painted a picture that we might be in trouble,” Brubaker said.
Brubaker said the AAF always intended to have a relationship with the NFL and NFLPA, but team executives were under the impression that there was going to be time to build that relationship in the years to come.
“Part of the business model of the Alliance was always to have a relationship with the NFL and the NFL Players Association,” Brubaker said. “But that was something we understood was going to have to be proven out over at least two seasons, maybe three.”
Brubaker said the league had a good relationship with the NFL and had assembled what he called a “tremendous football apparatus” that easily could have become an official minor league, where NFL teams would identify young players who need more experience and put them into the AAF.
There may still be room for the NFL to have an official minor league some day. But it’s not going to happen with the AAF, it certainly won’t happen with Vince McMahon’s XFL, and if it happens at all, it’s likely more than two or three years away.