The Alliance of American Football is in danger of folding after one season, according to Tom Dundon, the league’s majority owner.
The reason, he says: The NFL Players Association has not cooperated with the AAF in letting the new league use young players on NFL rosters.
“If the (NFL) players union is not going to give us young players, we can’t be a development league,” Dundon told USA Today. “We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league.”
Dundon, who invested $250 million in the league in February, said he’s looking at all options and will decide what the AAF should do next by the end of this week.
The original concept was for the AAF to be a farm system for the NFL, much like minor-league baseball is to MLB. Therefore, the AAF wanted permission to use third- and fourth-string NFL players, most of whom never see action in NFL games.
The NFLPA hasn’t responded to Dundon’s claim, but an unidentified union official told USA Today that the group has “serious concerns” about letting the AAF borrow active NFL members.
That person added that the NFLPA believes that allowing the AAF to use active NFL and practice squad players would violate certain terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, which has active players participate in workouts and meetings during the offseason.
The AAF’s 10-week season started just as the NFL postseason ended, which also prompts the concern by the union of players being injured in AAF play.
Dundron says the NFLPA expressed to him that another big concern was a young NFL player feeling “pressure to play” in the AAF, which currently is in Week 8 of its inaugural season.