Football League Taken to Ground
The Alliance of American Football has ended its first season prematurely and told most employees that they will be terminated as of Wednesday.
Employees were notified of the decision in a letter from the AAF board on Tuesday afternoon. The board essentially is majority owner Tom Dundon, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, gave no reason for ending the inaugural season, only that the decision was made “after careful consideration.” It also said a small staff would remain to seek new investment capital and “restructure our business. Should those efforts prove successful, we look forward to working with many of you on season two.”
The abrupt end to the latest spring league after just eight weeks stunned co-founder Bill Polian, the former NFL executive who built a Super Bowl winner with Indianapolis.
BC’s Bowman to enter draft
Boston College point guard Ky Bowman is skipping his senior season and entering the NBA draft.
He announced his decision on Instagram, calling it a “lifelong dream” to play in the NBA and expressing his gratitude to his teammates and coaches.
Bowman was an Associated Press All-ACC first-team selection this season. He averaged 19 points, 7.5 rebounds and four assists for an Eagles team that finished 14-17.
Longtime coach Lute Olson and the late Rick Majerus headline the 2019 class of six former players and three influential coaches selected for the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Joining them during the induction ceremony this November are former Indiana star Calbert Cheaney, Duke’s Shane Battier, Purdue’s Terry Dischinger, Ernie DiGregorio of Providence, UNLV’s Larry Johnson, Stanford standout Todd Lichti and longtime Valparaiso coach Homer Drew.
Women’s league expanding
The National Women’s Hockey League is moving swiftly to expand to Toronto and Montreal following the demise of its Canadian-based rival.
NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan told The Associated Press the league’s board had approved an investment plan to establish teams in Canada’s two largest cities for the start of next season. Rylan also said her league has received a commitment from the NHL that will make it one of the NWHLs biggest financial sponsors.
The decision by the U.S.-based NWHL to cross the border and expand from five teams to seven comes just two days after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League abruptly announced it will cease operations by May 1 due to financial issues. The CWHL had four teams in Canada, one in suburban Boston and a sixth in China, and its decision after 12 seasons was seen as a major blow to the sport.
Acuna strikes it rich
When Ronald Acuna Jr. is earning $17 million per year in his prime, the Atlanta Braves may have one of baseball’s best bargains.
From the perspective of Acuna, that possibility isn’t a concern. At 21, he is the youngest player to land a $100 million deal and he said he has no regrets about gaining that security so early in his career. Acuna and the Braves agreed to a $100 million, eight-year contract, the largest deal for a player under club control with less than one year of major league service.
Ernie Grunfeld was fired as president of the Washington Wizards after 16 seasons in charge of the team, and owner Ted Leonsis, a Lowell native, said he will oversee a “reboot.”