Tuesday, November 21, 2017

'83 Chronology-Prime Candidates

Event Date: January 25th, 1983

Event Description: USFL Expansion Talk

Source: UPI

A spokesman for the United States Football League says the fledgling conference has not officially decided what four cities will be awarded expansion franchises for the 1984 season.

The Pittsburgh Press Tuesday quoted Bill Daniels, owner of the USFL's Los Angeles Express, as saying Pittsburgh would be officially named as an expansion city next month.

But USFL spokesman Doug Kelly later downplayed Daniels' remarks. 

“Pittsburgh is definitely a very prominent possibility, but no final decision has been made yet,” Kelly said. “We have had an awful lot of interest from Pittsburgh parties. We expect to announce something between mid-February and March.”

Daniels said four different groups have applied for the Pittsburgh franchise. He also said the Pittsburgh team might play at Pitt Stadium rather than Three Rivers Stadium.

Daniels said other cities considered prime candidates for the expansion franchises are Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta and Dallas or Houston. “We have to have a team in Texas,” Daniels said.

Story-(United Press International)

Monday, November 20, 2017

'83 Chronology-Panthers Add Players

Event Date: January 25th, 1983

Event Description: Panthers Sign Trio

Source: United Press International

Running back Tony Ellis, leading rusher at Michigan State last season, plus Western Michigan products Bob Phillips and Duane Wilson are the latest signees of the USFL Michigan Panthers. All were protected territorial choices of the new team.

Ellis gained 671 yards with 179 rushes for a 3.7 average and scored seven touchdowns for the offensive weak Spartans. He had 1,186 career yards rushing.

Phillips made the Western Michigan team as a walk-on and went on to set most of the Broncos' receiving records. The All-Mid-American Conference choice caught 39 for 577 yards and four touchdowns as a senior and closed his career with 120 receptions for 1,832 yards and 16 TDs. Wilson, signed as a tackle, played both guard and tackle on Western's offensive line.

The Panthers' training camp begins Jan. 31 at Daytona Beach, Fla., and Michigan's first USFL game is March 7 at Birmingham, Alabama.

Story-(United Press International)

'83 Chronology-Body of Work

Event Date: January 24th, 1983

Event Description: Panthers Sign Pair

Source: Chicago Tribune

Territorial selections Ray Bentley, linebacker from Central Michigan, and Marion Body, defensive back from Michigan, have signed contracts with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL.

Bentley, 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, was named the Player of the Year in the Mid-American Conference and was an all-league player the past two seasons. He set a school record with 173 tackles this season.

In other USFL news;

The Chicago Blitz of the U.S. Football League announced Monday the Chicago Tribune Charities will sponsor its home opener against the Denver Gold March 20 at Soldier Field.

“We are pleased to support entertainment activities for Chicagoans which benefit worthy causes,” Thomas O'Donnell, executive vice president and general manager of the Chicago Tribune Co., said during a news conference.

George Allen, coach of the USFL franchise, said: “This sponsorship assures the Blitz of providing a direct link to the people of Chicago, families and kids.”

Story-(UPI/Chicago Tribune)
Photo-(Morning Sun)

'83 Chronology-Calgary Stampede

Event Date: January 22nd, 1983

Event Description: Stars Raid Stamps

Source: Calgary Sun

The Calgary Stampeders are living up to their nickname, but the stampede is by team personnel leaving the club.

The Canadian Football League team Friday announced the departure of assistant coach Jim Erkenbeck to the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League. Erkenbeck, the second Stampeder official to resign in less than a week, returned to Calgary Thursday from his off-season home in California.

“It was an impossible offer to turn down,” said Erkenbeck, who earned $45,000 for handling Calgary's offensive line in 1982 and who will perform the same function in Philadelphia.

“Initially, I wasn't interested in the USFL. The final thing that swung me was my own financial security and secondly, I really believe the league is going to go. I'm leaving with a lot of regrets and uncertainty.”

His decision to leave Calgary followed the resignation of Joe Tiller as director of administration and player personnel. Tiller was reportedly negotiating for a scouting job with Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.

Story-(United Press International)

'83 Chronology-The Union Label

Event Date: January 20th, 1983

Event Description: White Predicts Player Union

Source: UPI

Stan White, the first active NFL player to jump to the USFL, predicts the new league will have a players' association similar to the one in which he was an active member during last season's strike.

But the veteran linebacker, who signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blitz Wednesday, said the philosophy in the new league will be different than the one that existed between the NFL Players Association and the owners.

White was the Detroit Lions' player rep and a vice president of the NFLPA. He was openly critical of the NFL during last season's strike

Story-(United Press International)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

'83 Chronology-Veterans Switch Leagues

Event Date: January 19th, 1983

Event Description: Backer White to Blitz

Source: United Press International/Chicago Sun

Veteran Detroit Lions' linebacker Stan White Wednesday formally became fhe first active NFL player to jump to the new USFL when he signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blitz.

White, 33, said his signing may cause a chain reaction among other established NFL players. But White and Blitz Coach George Allen denied that White's defection will trigger a bidding war reminiscent of the one between the NFL and the old AFL in the 1960s.

“There doesn't have to be a bidding war," Allen said. 'The NFL doesn't have a monopoly on players but we're not trying to start a bidding war.”

In other USFL news;

Mike Friede, a former wide receiver with the New York Giants of the National Football League, has signed a contract with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, it was announced Wednesday.

Negotiation rights to Friede were acquired by New Jersey from the Arizona Wranglers in exchange for the negotiating rights to running back Elvis Peacock.

Story-(United Press)

'83 Chronology-Signing Blitz

Event Date: January 15th, 1983

Event Description: Blitz Sign Star Wideout

Source: UPI

Trumaine Johnson has signed a contract with the Chicago Blitz, becoming the second of the USFL club's first-round draft choices to join the team.

Johnson agreed to a four-year contract Friday. Details were not disclosed. A scholarship in his name has been established at Grambling as part of his contract. Johnson, presently a senior, will return to school to finish the final credits he needs for a degree in child development.

A wide receiver from Grambling University, Johnson has 135 career pass receptions for 2,611 yards and 32 touchdwons. He has totaled more than 4,200 yards in all purpose running.

Story-(United Press International)
Photo-(Black College Sports)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

'83 Chronology-James Joins Feds

Event Date: January 15th, 1983

Event Description: Federals Sign James

Source: Washington Post

The Washington Federals announced yesterday the signing of Southern Methodist running back Craig James, the team's first-round draft choice. Although team officials refused to comment on the terms of the agreement at a press conference at RFK Stadium, the four-year deal is worth approximately $1.5 million in salary and signing bonuses, according to sources.

"We can now say with some good conscience, that we are giving the fans good football with some classy ballplayers," said Federals owner Berl Bernhard.

This signing, like that of Ohio State running back Tim Spencer last week by the Chicago Blitz, could signal the start of an expensive bidding war between the new United States Football League and the NFL, which holds its college draft in April.

Asked about the risk of signing on with a new league, James said, "The Joe Namaths and the Billy Cannons, everybody laughed at them when they went to the AFL. No one is laughing about it now."

Photo-SMU Blog

'83 Chronology-Stallions Ink Pivot

Event Date: January 14th, 1983

Event Description: Stallions Sign Collier

Source: New York Times

The United States Football League made another big score yesterday when the Birmingham Stallions signed their top draft choice, Reggie Collier, the quarterback for Southern Mississippi. He is the third top college player in less than a week to pass up a likely draft by the National Football League and sign with the U.S.F.L.

In other USFL news;

The Chicago Blitz of the United States Football League announced Wednesday the signing of kicker John Roveto, who was dropped by the Chicago Bears after complaining of a sore leg.

“It is a make-good contract.” He'll be competing for the position with others in camp,' a Blitz spokesman said. Roveto signed the contract late Tuesday night, the spokesman said. Details were not disclosed.

Story-(United Press International)

Monday, November 13, 2017

'83 Chronology-Wranglers Hire Head Coach

Event Date: January 10th, 1983

Event Description: Wranglers Name Coach

Source: United Press International

Doug Shively, a defensive specialist with nine years experience in the NFL, was named Monday head coach of the Arizona Wranglers of the new United States Football League. Shivley, 44, signed a three-year contract with the Wranglers.

He had been linebacker coach for the past six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and previously worked three years with New Orleans. At New Orleans, Shivley worked with Harry Hulmes, now chief operating officer of the Wranglers.

“It's a challenge to me to be involved with a football team from the ground up,” said Shively. He added there were not a lot of jobs that could have persuaded him to leave Atlanta.

His immediate task, he told a news conference, will be to hire a staff of six assistants and to help sign players taken in last week's USFL draft. Shivley has less than three weeks to do that as USFL clubs will begin practicing for their spring season about Feb. 1.

Shively, a native of Lexington, Ky., graduated from Kentucky in 1959 after lettering three years as an end. He was co-captain of the Wildcats in his senior year. Before he reached the pro coaching ranks, Shively was an assistant at five colleges.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

'83 Chronology-Blitz Sign Spencer

Event Date: January 9th, 1982

Event Description: Blitz Sign OSU Star

Source: Washington Post

Big Ten rushing leader Tim Spencer of Ohio State signed a four-year contract yesterday with the Chicago Blitz, marking the first signing of a collegiate draft pick by the United States Football League. Said Spencer, a 6-foot-1, 212-pound tailback, "It was not in my best interest to wait for the National Football League draft."

It marked the second such coup for Blitz Coach George Allen, who spirited Tim Wrightman, a consensus all-America tight end from UCLA, from the Chicago Bears' roster last fall. At that time, Allen said he did not anticipate a bidding war with the older, more established NFL. But he changed his tune yesterday, saying, "I didn't get into this (the USFL) to get into a second-rate outfit" .

Story-(Washington Post)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

'83 Chronology-Swann Song

Event Date: January 7th, 1983

Event Description: Swann Could be Announcer

Source: Beaver County Times

'83 Chronology-Canadian TV Rights

Event Date: January 7th, 1983

Event Description: USFL on CTV

Source: Toronto Star

Friday, November 10, 2017

'83 Chronology-Blitz Draft Babe

Event Date: January 6th, 1983

Event Description: USFL Draft Complete

Source: United Press International

All-America kicker Chuck Nelson of Washington and all-Big Ten guard Joe Lukens of Ohio State were among 96 players selected by the 12 United States Football League teams Wednesday in the last eight rounds of the college draft.

Nelson, who set an NCAA record for consecutive field goals this season, was selected by the Chicago Blitz on the 23rd round of the draft and Lukens was taken by the New Jersey Generals on the 20th round.

Quarterback Babe Laufenberg, a second team all-Big Ten selection, also was selected by the Blitz, in the 20th round.

Don Elliott, an offensive tackle from New Mexico, had the distinction of being the last player selected in the open phase of the draft. He was taken by the Los Angeles Express.

There were 600 players chosen in the two days of the draft, 288 in the round-by-round open phase and 312 in the territorial phase. Of the 600 players selected, 323 were offensive players, 263 were defensive players and 14 were specialists.

Each USFL team now has 50 players on its drafted list and will begin the arduous task of trying to sign them. The USFL opens its regular season on March6.

'83 Chronology-Eye on the USFL

Event Date: January 6th, 1983

Event Description: Buckeyes to USFL?

Source: Lakeland Ledger

'83 Chronology-USFL Star Power?

Event Date: January 5th, 1983

Event Description: Colleges Stars Weigh Options

Source: NY Times

John Elway of Stanford and Dan Marino of Pitt, two of the leading quarterbacks in college football last season, were among the players chosen yesterday as the most desired by the United States Football League for its first season, which is scheduled to begin March 6.

Marino was the first player selected in the league's first draft, and Elway was one of 312 territorial choices from 60 designated colleges. Those players were exempted from the drafting process after the teams had released their territorial lists.

Marino, who went to Los Angeles with his father at the invitation of the Express after Pitt's 7-3 loss to Southern Methodist in the Cotton Bowl at Dallas last Saturday, said, ''I'm not counting out either league. I'm going to sit back and weigh my options.'' Marino and Harmon spoke by telephone to reporters at the draft headquarters in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. 

The Oakland Invaders announced that they offered Elway a five-year contract last week. Speaking for himself and his father, Jack, the head football coach at San Jose State, Elway said, ''We were pleased with what was put in front of us.''

Elway has several options. He was an outfielder last summer in the Yankee minor-league system, and he could choose a career in baseball. Like Marino, he is regarded as a probable first-round choice when the N.F.L. conducts its draft April 20-21.

Marino and Elway face a dilemma because the U.S.F.L. will want them to sign and report to their training camps starting in the first week in February.

In other USFL news:
Allen Goes All Out

The Chicago Blitz, coached by George Allen, has tried out 3,148 players and has 272 under contract, and the selection process will add 45, for a total of 317. Chicago has 45, rather than 50, Allen having already traded five draft choices. But Allen will have to release 217 players by the time training camp begins in February.

Photo-(Pro Football Talk)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

'83 Chronology-Territorial Schools '83

Event Date: January 4th, 1983

Event Description: U.S.F.L. Territorial Schools

Source: NYT

Each of the 12 teams in the United States Football League may select and protect a total of 26 players from five colleges chosen by the team. Those players are exempted from today's draft.

In most cases, the colleges chosen were within the U.S.F.L. team's region. 

ARIZONA Arizona Arizona State New Mexico New Mexico State Northern Arizona 

BIRMINGHAM Alabama Alabama State Auburn Mississippi Troy State 

BOSTON Boston College Boston University Harvard Massachusetts Nebraska 

CHICAGO Illinois Northern Illinois Northwestern Notre Dame Western Illinois 

DENVER Colorado Colorado State Texas Tech West Texas State Wyoming 

LOS ANGELES Cal-Lutheran Fullerton State Long Beach State Pacific Southern Cal 

MICHIGAN Central Michigan Eastern Michigan Michigan Michigan State Western Michigan 

NEW JERSEY Colgate Oklahoma Rutgers Syracuse Tennessee 

OAKLAND California Cal.-S.L.O. Fresno State San Jose State Stanford 

PHILADELPHIA Delaware Lehigh North Carolina Penn State Temple 

TAMPA BAY Albany State Bethune-Cookman Florida Florida A&M Florida State 

WASHINGTON Clemson Maryland Richmond South Carolina Virginia

'83 Chronology-College Draft II

Event Date: January 4th, 1983

Event Description: U.S.F.L. Draft Day

Source: New York Times

The new United States Football League, whose 12 teams plan to play a spring-summer schedule beginning March 6, will conduct its first draft of college players today and tomorrow. Such a draft amounts to a strong challenge of the National Football League because the two leagues in many instances will be competing for the services of the same players.

The order of the draft was determined by lot and the Los Angeles Express will have the first selection, the Generals the third. The order will be reversed for the second round and that reversing process will continue through the next 22 rounds. 

Territorial Rights

The process, which will involve 600 athletes, comes in two parts. Each of the 12 teams will have one selection in 24 rounds of the draft, which is to follow the familiar N.F.L. format. In addition, each team may choose a total of 26 players from five colleges that each specified last summer. In most cases the colleges were picked with territorial considerations in mind so that the teams would have on their rosters some players of regional renown.

These 312 players from the 60 specified colleges will be placed on the ''territorial protection lists'' and their names announced before the draft begins at 10 A.M., with headquarters at the Grand Hyatt here.''With that many already protected,'' said Fairbanks, ''there will be a limit on the number of top players available for the actual draft.''

There may also be a limit in the amount of money the U.S.F.L. teams intend to spend on signing players from among the 60 they draft, many of whom can expect to be drafted in late April by the N.F.L.'s 28 teams. The new league's clubs have informally agreed to limit player salaries to a total of $1.7 million per team, or an average of $42,500 for the 40 players each will be allowed on its roster. The average salary in the N.F.L., before the new contract, is approximately $100,000.

The college players selected today and tomorrow will augment the free agents, most with some N.F.L. experience, who have already been signed by the U.S.F.L. clubs. 

Story-(New York Times)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

'83 Chronology-Star Sigining

Event Date: January 4th, 1982

Event Description: Stars Sign Mitchell

Source: UPI

The Philadelphia Stars Wednesday signed former Penn State and NFL running back Lydell Mitchell to a contract to play with the U.S. Football League team.

“It's a challenge but I know I can still play and the USFL is offering me a chance,” said Mitchell, 33, who was cut by the Los Angeles Rams in 1981 after an eight-year NFL career.

Story-(United Press International)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

'83 Chronology-USFL College Draft I

Event Date: January 1st, 1983

Event Description: USFL Set

Source: United Press International

Hoping to get the negotiating jump on the NFL, the United States Football League holds its inaugural college draft Tuesday with a selection process sporting a few new wrinkles.

A total of 600 players will be involved in the USFL draft, which begins at 8:30 a.m. EST in a midtown hotel with the announcement of the 26 eligible college seniors on the protected list of each of the 12 teams in the spring league. The formal draft of the remaining 288 players will begin a half hour later, with the proceedings open to the press but not the public.

Peter Hadhazy, Director of Operations for the USFL -- which will open its first regular season March 6 and conclude with a championship game July 17 -- explains the reasoning behind the territorial list of 26 players from each team.

'This method has two advantages,” Hadhazy says. 'The first is to provide a methodical, organized list for our teams in the first year of the league and the second point is that a player from that school will have the opportunity to play in the same city he went to school in or lives in. We thought that would be very alluring to a college senior.”

Each of the league's 12 teams has been allocated five colleges from which to choose a total of 26 eligible seniors to protect. Those names will be announced prior to the formal draft and no other USFL team but the franchise involved can select a particular player on the territorial list unless the negotiating rights are traded.

“In that way, we are guaranteed that a least some players announced in the formal draft will be big names,' says Hadhazy.”

The order of selection for the league's first draft is: Los Angeles Express, Arizona Wranglers, New Jersey Generals, Washington Federals, Birmingham Stallions, Chicago Blitz, Oakland Invaders, Philadelphia Stars, Denver Gold, Michigan Panthers, Boston Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits.

Friday, November 3, 2017

'82 Chronology-Invaders Eleven

Event Date: December 30th, 1982

Event Description: Invaders Add Eleven

Source: United Press International

The Oakland Invaders announced Thursday the signing of 11 more players, increasing their roster to 54 less than a week before the first United States Football League draft.

Among the newest signees are four NFL veterans -- cornerback Kevin Donnalley, running back Clarence Hawkins, defensive end Alva Liles and safety Mike O'Brien. Donnalley played previously with the Patriots and Raiders, Hawkins with the Raiders, Liles with the Lions and Raiders and O'Brien with the Seahawks.

The other players signed were tackle Kurt Jonker, defensive tackle Dupre Marshall, fullback Ted Torosian and cornerback John Willis, all of whom previously attended a pro camp, plus rookie linebackers David Shaw and Dwayne Wilkes and rookie guard Steve Houston.

The first USFL player draft is scheduled for Jan. 4.

In other USFL news;

KNX Radio, a CBS-owned station, has signed a contract to broadcast the entire 18-game schedule of the United States Football League's Los Angeles Express, it was announced Tuesday.

The USFL has already signed contracts with ABC-TV, ESPN and the ABC Radio network while New Jersey, Oakland, Denver and Washington had already secured local radio outlets.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

'82 Chronology-Coaches In Motion III

Event Date: December 24th, 1982

Event Description: Stars Pursue Perles

Source: United Press International

The Philadelphia Stars of the fledging U.S. Football League have gone to federal court in effort to block their one-time head coach, George Perles, from becoming head coach at Michigan State University.

In a suit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Philadelpia, the club requested $1 million in damages and an injunction to prevent MSU “from employing or utilizing the services of George Perles,” said Barry Schwartz, an attorney for the Stars.

Perles, 48, left the Stars Dec. 3 with 2 years remaining on his three-year contract as in order to take the job at his alma mater, where he was reportedly to receive $95,000 a year for five years. The Stars have yet to play a game in the USFL, which opens its first season in March.

When Perles took the college job, Stars officials expressed displeasure at the manner in which MSU hired him, but indicated they did not plan to prevent him from leaving. 

However, Stars owner Myles Tanenbaum said he would try to force MSU to buy Perles' contract. Neither Perles, Tanenbaum, nor team president and general manager Carl Peterson could be reached for comment.

In other USFL news;

The New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League have signed the running back Terry Miller, who finished second to Earl Campbell in the Heisman Trophy balloting of 1977 but whose career slumped after he had gained more than 1,000 yards as a rookie for the Buffalo Bills.


'82 Chronology-Coaches In Motion II

Event Date: December 19th, 1982

Event Description: Sweeney Denies Reports

Source: United Press International

Fresno State University football coach Jim Sweeney, on the eve of his team's game against Bowling Green in the California Bowl, confirmed Friday he will meet next week with officials of the Arizona Wranglers of the new United States Football League. 

Sweeney denied a local television report he had already signed a contract with the USFL team. “The report I heard on a local television station is absolutely false,” Sweeney said Thursday night. “There is no way in the world that is true.” He said he had a “verbal commitment” to negotiate with the Wranglers following the California Bowl game.

A Phoenix newspaper reported Thursday that Brad Liebman, minority owner of the Wranglers, said the choice for head coach was either Sweeney or University of Illinois head coach Mike White. “I'd say that we will have a coach within 24 hours, certainly within the next two days,” Liebman said, adding an announcement would not be made until next week.

Story-(United Press International)

'82 Chronology-Coaches In Motion I

Event Date: December 18th, 1982

Event Description: White Spurns Pro Offers

Source: United Press International

Football coach Mike White has put to rest rumors that he would leave Illinois for a career in the professional ranks, saying he does not plan “to pursue any pro coaching opportunity.”

White, who has a 17-15-1 record in his three years at Illinois, had been the focus of numerous rumors whether he would stay with the Illini.

In a statement Friday night after returning from a week on the West Coast, White said he had discussed a job with the new USFL franchise, the Arizona Wranglers, but was not interested. He said he had not been involved in discussions with the Los Angeles Rams.

Photo-(University of Illinois)

Monday, October 30, 2017

'82 Chronology-In The Mood

Event Date: December 10th, 1982

Event Description: USFL Sidelines

Source: New York Times

Keith Moody is planning a dual football career in 1983, having signed to coach Brockton State, a Division III team in western New York, and to play for the New Jersey Generals in the new United States Football League. The schedules mesh neatly for him: As a return specialist and backup defensive back, Moody will play from March through July - if he makes the team - and then take up his coaching role in the autumn.

In other USFL news:

The Boston Breakers of the U.S.F.L. signed Roman Gabriel, the former pro quarterback, as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach...Sources close to the Arizona Wranglers said the team had offered Jack Elway the job as head coach. Elway, father of John Elway the Stanford quarterback, has been coach at San Jose State for the last four years and has two years left on his contract.

Story-(New York Times)

Friday, October 27, 2017

'82 Chronology-Training Camp Dates

Event Date: December 9th, 1982

Event Description: USFL Training Camps

Source: United Press International

The United States Football League said Wednesday it will open training camps in Florida, Arizona and California on Jan. 31 in preparation for its 108-game inaugural season that begins March 6.

Twelve teams, competing in three divisions, play an 18-game schedule of nine home and nine away contests in a regular season grind that ends July 3. The three division winners plus a wild card team play in the July 9-10 semifinal playoffs with the championship game scheduled for July 17.

In league openers on March 6, Boston is at Tampa Bay, Chicago at Washington, New Jersey at Los Angeles, Oakland at Arizona and Philadelphia at Denver. Birmingham entertains Michigan on Monday night, March 7. The schedule calls for four games to be played on Friday night, 20 each on Saturday and Monday nights and 64 on Sundays.

Two rules differ from National Football League regulations. The USFL will have a two-point conversion attempt after touchdowns and kickers have the option of using a 1-inch kicking tee on placement attempts. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

'82 Chronology-USFL Owners

Event Date: December 9th, 1982

Event Description: USFL Owners

Source: Washington Post

Washington Federals

Berl Bernhard: Senior partner and president of a prominent Washington, D.C., law firm. Served as general counsel and member of the board of directors of the Washington Star Newspaper Co. and special counsel to the Democratic National Committee. Was presidential campaign manager for Edmund Muskie in 1972 and senior adviser to the Secretary of State. Earned a degree from Yale Law School. 

Boston Breakers

George Matthews: General partner of the Matthews Group, a limited-partnership holding company with diversified interests. He also serves as chairman of the board of Nuclear Metals, Inc. in West Concord, Mass., and FF Industries Corp. of Puerto Rico. A native of Boston, he is a trustee of Northeastern University.

Randy Vataha: An outstanding pass receiver at Stanford and in the NFL with Green Bay and New England. Was the Patriots' player representative in 1975 and '76. Now president of of LMV, Inc., a company that owns and manages recreational facilities throughout the Northeast. 

New Jersey Generals

J.Walter Duncan Jr.: Founder and principal owner of Walter Duncan Oil Properties, a leading oil and gas-producing company located in Oklahoma City. Serves as member on board of directors of Liberty National Bank in Oklahoma City and the Marquette Cement Co. of Nashville.

Chuck Fairbanks: A successful coach at the University of Oklahoma and with the New England Patriots before going to the University of Colorado. Also will serve as coach. 

Philadelphia Stars

Myles Tanenbaum: Executive vice president of Kravco, Inc., a major developer and manager of shopping centers and other commerical real estate. Director of the Atlantic City Racing Association. Graduated cum laude with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Tampa Bay Bandits

John Bassett: President of Amulet Pictures, Ltd., a producer of motion pictures. Served as chief executive officer of Memphis in the World Football League plus Toronto and Birmingham of the World Hockey Association. Has numerous real estate and business interests.

Stephen Arky: President of a law firm with offices in Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Member of board of directors of Great American Banks, Inc., Founders Financial Corp., and the Insurance Exchange of Americas, Inc. 

Birmingham Stallions

Marvin Warner: Chairman and chief executive officer of ComBanks Corp and Great American Banks, Inc., of Orlando and Miami. Owner of Warnerton Farms, a thoroughbred breeding and racing operation, and a principal owner of Warner National Corp., a financial holding company. Appointed ambassador to Switzerland in 1977. Also served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations. 

Chicago Blitz

Dr. Ted Deitrich: A cardiovascular surgeon and founder and director of the Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix. Has lectured to NFL teams, coaches and owners on heart disease.

George Allen: Successful NFL coach and general manager at Washington and Los Angeles. He will also serve as coach and his son, Bruce, will be general manager. 

Michigan Panthers

Peter Spivak: Former judge, now counsel to a law firm in Detroit. A trustee of New Detroit, Inc. Earned a law degree at Northwestern. 

Arizona Wranglers

Jim S. Joseph: President of Interland Corp, a real estate development, management and construction company in San Mateo, Calif. Director of the Jewish Welfare Federation of San Francisco. 

Los Angeles Express

Bill Daniels: Described in many national publications as "The Father of Cable Television." Former president of the National Cable Television Association. Through his company in Denver, he is credited with developing the cable industry within the media. He was a candidate for governor of Colorado in 1974.

Alan Harmon: President of a Denver-based cable television operator with 20 systems in seven states. Former vice president of Daniels & Associates. 

Denver Gold

Ron Blanding: President of Blanding & Co., a leading Denver-based commerical real estate development and construction firm. Also, president of the Colorado Athletic Clubs. 

Oakland Invaders

Thaddeus Taube: Chairman of Taube Associates, Inc., a diversified real estate investment, development and management company in Belmont, Calif. Involved in industrial and commerical real estate operations throughout the West. Served as chairman and chief executive officer of Koracorp Industries Inc. until its merger with Levi Strauss in 1979.