The AAF is suspending operations. That doesn’t mean the league is dead, but its firmly in hail mary territory to survive and win the game to see another day.
Here’s what went down, and why it makes no sense for Dundon to do what he did:
In summary, no one within the AAF understands why Dundon pulled the plug. Dundon may be the control owner and as such he had the ability to terminate league operations, but legal complications can arise as Ebersol and every other exec was against this move.
One man with all the money decided to take his ball and go home. It’s crazy that Dundon thought negotiating with the NFL would culminate with a swift agreement being reached. That’s not how the NFL operates. The NFL doesn’t understand this decision by Dundon, to walk away from the table as progress was slowly but surely being made.
As Ben made clear, the AAF hasn’t folded yet, but they need their partners to help save the league, because Tom Dundon won’t be the one to do it, he’s trying to burn the league from the bottom up. A new investor is necessary that can provide the assets to become the controlling owner of the league. Only then is it likely that the league survives.
Let’s say that somehow an agreement between the NFL and the AAF is made soon, there’s no reason to trust Tom Dundon now or in the future. Dundon cannot be trusted at all.
The perception of Dundon is likely cemented, he’s the man who ruined the AAF, he’s the one who stuck a dagger into a league that showed promise and needed more time to grow.
Dundon’s decision is absolutely baffling, as the league had three games on CBS lined up this month, with one taking place before NCAA Final-Four coverage begins this Saturday.
Quite frankly, the narratives that Dundon is a villain, the “shame on Tom Dundon” banter is warranted until proven otherwise.
We need to hear a statement from Dundon, and we need to hear it soon. What he did to these players, execs, personnel, and coaches in the AAF is absolutely unacceptable. Dundon pulled the rug right under them.