Breakers sign ex-Nebraska RB I.M. Hipp......

Sunday, September 24, 2017

'82 Chronology-Canada Calling

Event Date: October 8th, 1982

Event Description: Gold Nuggets

Source: United Press International

Former Denver Broncos running back Larry Canada has begun talks with officials of the Denver Gold of the U.S. Football League.

Canada visited the Gold earlier in the week for discussions with Coach Red Miller and owner Ray Blanding.

“We're happy to have Larry visit the office and get things started,” said Miller, who coached Canada during his four years as coach of the Broncos. “It's the first session we've had with Canada and we'll be talking more with him in the days ahead. I'd love to have him because I know what he can do.”

Gold owner Ray Blanding said 23,000 season tickets have been sold as of the end of September.

“A lot of them were on the basis of 50 percent down payment,” Blanding added. “But we've taken in a million dollars in cash. That's way ahead of what other USFL teams have reported, although I guess that Tampa Bay has sold around 13,000 tickets.”

Blanding said the details of an agreement for rental of Mile High Stadium (capacity 75,123) have been worked out, although the contract is not signed. Under the terms, the team will pay the city 8 percent of ticket sales -- the same as the Broncos.

(Photo-Property Getty Images)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

'82 Chronology-Star Signings

Event Date: September 29th, 1982

Event Description: Future Stars

Source: United Press International

The Philadelphia Stars Monday announced the signing of five players, including wide-receiver Rodney Parker, who played two years for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Stars President and General Manager Carl Peterson said that Parker, originally a sixth round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons, signed with the Eagles in 1980 and played in 18 games including the Eagles NFC Championship victory over the Dallas Cowboys in which he caught four passes.

Also signed were Lester Melontree, a defensive end, who was in the Steelers pre-season camp; Casey Murphy, a punter from Temple, who was in the Eagles pre-season camp; and Greg Bamberger, a tackle from Duke.

All the players were signed to two, one-year contracts. Details of the contracts were not released.

In other USFL news;

Steve Ehrhart, USFL Director of Communications, issues a statement that all USFL teams have access to 352 NFL players who would become free agents February 1, 1983.

Monday, September 18, 2017

'82 Chronology-Devine Intervention

Event Date: September 15th, 1982

Event Description: Devine Rejects Offer

Source: United Press International

Dan Devine, the veteran college and professional coach who now heads an Arizona State University booster group, has withdrawn as a candidate to coach the Arizona Wranglers of the new United States Football League.

Devine said Tuesday he turned down a coaching offer from Wrangler owner Jim Joseph because of a “strong sense of loyalty and obligation” to the Sun Angels Foundation.

Devine became executive director of the foundation last February, more than a year after stepping down as coach at Notre Dame.

Devine, 57, said it was doubtful he would ever take a coaching job in the USFL. However, he said he might return to coaching in the National Football League if Indianapolis ever receives a franchise. A long-time friend of Devine is involved in efforts to get an Indianapolis franchise.

Devine began his coaching career at Arizona State in 1955 and later coached at the University of Missouri and Green Bay in the NFL before going to Notre Dame.

(Story: UPI)

Friday, September 15, 2017

'82 Chronology-Stallions Hire Head Coach

Event Date: September 2nd, 1982

Event Description: Steelers Lose Dotsch

Source: UPI-Pittsburgh Tribune

Pittsburgh Steelers assistant Rollie Dotsch will be named Thursday as head coach of the United States Football League's Birmingham Stallions, team officials confirmed Wednesday.

Team spokesman Hal Hayes said a news conference is scheduled for Thursday morning to make the official announcement.

Dotsch, the Steelers' offensive line coach for four years, has been talking to the Stallions for several weeks. He has been grooming former Kent State Coach Ron Blackledge to take over his position with Pittsburgh.

Dotsch played guard for Michigan in the early 1950s and has spent the last 11 years as an NFL assistant in Green Bay, New England, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Before coming to the NFL, he was an assistant at Northern Michigan, Colorado and Missouri.

He was also a head coach at Northern Michigan, where his teams compiled a 33-15-2 record in five seasons, including the only unbeaten regular season in the school's history.

The Thursday announcement will end a summer-long search for a head coach. Several names were mentioned along the way, and one candidate, Dallas Cowboys assistant Gene Stallings, turned down the job.

Among others who talked to the Stallions were Jack Gotta, coach of the Calgary Stampeders. Gotta was coach of the Birmingham franchise of the defunct World Football League. The Stallions will be in the league's Central Division along with Chicago, Detroit and Tampa.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

'82 Chronology-Piracy?

Event Date: September 2nd, 1982

Event Description: High on Branch

Source: Chicago Tribune

'82 Chronology-Young at Heart

Event Date: August 31st, 1982

Event Description: USFL Plans

Source: United Press International

The U.S. Football League plans to begin an 18-game schedule the first weekend in March leading to a July 10th championship game, Commissioner Chet Simmons said Tuesday.

League owners and administrators met for three days in Washington and settled a variety of questions, but none pertained to George Allen, coach and general manager of the Chicago Blitz.

Last week, Allen signed 6-foot-6, 280-pound lineman Willie Young from Illinois. Young, 26, has three years of college eligibility remaining and enrolled at Illinois after four years of football in the Army.

Young said he quit the Illinois squad because he could not support his wife and five children. Allen signed him, but USFL rules prohibit signing players with collegiate eligibility remaining.

“Those are our rules,” said Simmons. “In fact, we recognize the fifth year of eligibility in red-shirt cases. But I have made no sanctions against any club. I don't have all the facts in the signing of Young. When I do, I suppose you could say I'll be judge and jury, and probably the executioner. But not until.”

Allen did not attend the meetings but sent his son, Bruce, the club's general manager, to represent the Blitz.

Simmons said the league will comprise of three divisions - Atlantic, Central and Pacific. The three division winners will join a wild-card entry, the team with the next-best overall record, in a two-week playoffs.

New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington and Boston will form the Atlantic Division, with Birmingham, Chicago, Detroit and Tampa Bay in the Central. The Pacific Division will have Arizona (Phoenix), Los Angeles, Denver and The Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland).

Each team will play each team in its division twice and meet each other team once. The remaining four games will be against two teams of each of the other divisions.

“We hope to have the schedule available in the next few weeks,' said Simmons. 'In a few cases, we're working out scheduling problems for stadiums that house major-league baseball. In one case, we're working with scheduling conflicts for a North American Soccer League team.”

The league set its collegiate draft for Jan. 4, after the bowl games but before most of the All-Star games that the NFL uses to help evaluate its talent. USFL teams, all planning to use a scholarship-incentive clause in contracts with rookies, will have 40-man rosters with a 10-man development' squad.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

'82 Chronology-Jauch Jumps

Event Date: August 26th, 1982

Event Description: Jauch Jumps

Source: United Press International

Washington's entry in the new United States Football League has been named the Washington Federals and will be coached by Ray Jauch.

Jauch, coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League, will join the new club at the end of the current CFL season in November.

He has compiled a record of 110-80-4 during 12 years in the CFL.

At a news conference Tuesday, club officials unveiled the new name, and team colors of kelly green and white, with silver and black trim. The logo features an eagle above the words Washington Federals.

Jauch, who was in Winnipeg, said 'We're going to try to build the type of team that the fans can be proud of. There are certain rules governing the acquisition of players. If there are Canadian players who are free agents, I would imagine they would have the opportunity to play in the new league.'

USFL teams can pick players from an assigned CFL team and Jauch will have the chance to pick players from his current team in Winnipeg. Contracts expire at the end of the season for seven or eight players with the Bombers.

Friday, September 8, 2017

'82 Chronology-Armed and Dangerous

Event Date: August 22nd, 1982

Event Description: No Stone Unturned?

Source: Chicago Tribune

A linebacker now in prison for armed robbery wants to play pro football, and George Allen, head coach and part-owner of the Chicago Blitz franchise in the fledgling U.S. Football League, wants to give him a tryout.

Allen wants a look at Michael Stifford, a Berwyn, Illinois, resident serving a 12-year sentence at Logan Correctional Center, the Chicago Tribune said in a story prepared for today's editions.

“If we can't get him a furlough, I will go down to Lincoln myself and give him a tryout,” said Allen, the former NFL head coach who created the so-called “Over-the-Hill Gang” when he coached the Washington Redskins.

Stifford, 23, is eligible for parole next January, just before the USFL is scheduled to begin its first season.

He wrote Allen, saying he is 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, and can bench press 420 pounds and run the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. “I love football. I can play,” he wrote Allen. “Give me a chance and I will make you proud to say you did.”

The Tribune said Stifford was voted most valuable player when he played on the Stateville Correctional Center team.

(Story-Chicago Tribune/UPI)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

'82 Chronology-Switching Leagues

Event Date: August 20th, 1982

Event Description: Campbell to USFL

Source: Los Angeles Times

Hugh Campbell, who led the Edmonton Eskimos to four straight victories in the Grey Cup -- Canada's equivalent of the Super Bowl -- will reportedly coach Los Angeles' entry in the United States Football League.

Campbell, a former All-American player who has coached Edmonton to Grey Cup victories since 1977, will move to the USFL at the end of the Canadian Football League's current season, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

He was an All-America wide receiver at Washington State in the early 1960s and caught 60 touchdown pases in a six-year career with Saskatchewan. Campbell served as assistant coach at Washington State for two years and became head coach at Edmonton in 1977.

Monday, September 4, 2017

'82 Chronology-Rule Breaker

Event Date: August 20th, 1982

Event Description: Allen Reprimanded

Source: Boca Raton News

'82 Chronology-Contract Talks

Event Date: August 19th, 1982

Event Description: Gold Pursue Knapple

Source: United Press International

The owner of the United State Football League's Denver Gold said he plans to meet with an agent next week to negotiate a contract for former Denver Broncos quarterback Jeff Knapple, whose rights were acquired in a trade with Boston.

Ron Blanding, owner of the Denver franchise, said his team traded the rights to two former Colorado State running backs to the USFL's Boston franchise for the rights to Knapple.

Knapple, who played for both Colorado and Northern Colorado, was at Calgary in the Canadian League last year. His USFL rights went to Boston in the territorial and random allocation of players held recently by the league.

“We wanted Knapple, and we worked very hard to get him,” Blanding said. Blanding said he expected to meet with Knapple's agent next week “to talk contract.”

The Knapple trade materialized after Boston came to terms with former NFL quarterback Mike Livingston. Boston personnel director Tom Marino said his franchise initially wanted the rights to four Denver players in exchange for Knapple, but lowered the price after signing Livingston.

“We had been dealing with Livingston too,” Blanding said. “But we wanted Knapple more than Livingston because of his local appeal and because he has worked with Red (Denver Gold coach Red Miller) before.”

(Story UPI)

'82 Chronology-Pivotal Experience

Event Date: August 18th, 1982

Event Description: Livingston Joins New League

Source: NYT

Saturday, September 2, 2017

'82 Chronology-Landry Enlisted

Event Date: August 14th, 1982

Event Description: Sports People

Source: New York Times

The veteran quarterback Greg Landry yesterday became the second name player to sign with the United States Football League, joining the former U.C.L.A. all-American Tim Wrightman on the roster of the Chicago Blitz.

Landry was entering his 15th National Football League season when he was waived on July 23 by the Baltimore Colts. Landry did not disclose the terms of his two-year contract

In other USFL news:

The Oakland franchise announced that the entry in the new league would be named the Invaders.

Friday, September 1, 2017

'82 Chronology-Dotsch Rumors

Event Date: August 14th, 1982

Event Description: Dotsch to USFL?

Source: Pittsburgh Press

PITTSBURGH -- Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and offensive line coach Rollie Dotsch are keeping mum on reports that Dotsch is about to take a head coaching job in the new United States Football League.

“I can't say anything at this point,” said Dotsch, who would become the second Steeler assistant to jump to the USFL. 'There are several people involved, and anything I say at this time would be inappropriate.”

It would be the fifth change in the Steelers' coaching staff since last season. Assistant coach George Perles left earlier to become head coach of the Philadelphia franchise of the USFL.

However, Steelers president Dan Rooney indicated the team might fight to keep Dotsch, whom one report had headed for the USFL's Birmingham franchise.

“He's talked to us,” Rooney said. “We expect people to honor their contracts. It wouldn't be disastrous for us. It's up to the players and to (head coach) Chuck Noll to do the things that have to be done.”

(Story-Pittsburgh Press/UPI)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

'82 Chronology-Gold Bugs

Event Date: August 8th, 1982

Event Description: Searching for Gold

Source: United Press International

The Denver Gold has everything it needs for the inaugural season of the United States Football League except somewhere to play.

Gold owner Ron Blanding met Tuesday with Mayor Bill McNichols and Joe Ciancio, manager of Denver's Parks and Recreation Department, to discuss a lease for use of Mile High Stadium.

Miller has been in San Diego to look for prospective sites for a February training camp and Blanding said at least 9,500 individuals and businesses have indicated they want tickets to Gold games.

Blanding also said some players already have signed letters of intent to play on the Denver team.

'82 Chronology-Phoenix Rising

Event Date: August 7th, 1982

Event Description: Team on the Move

Source: Lakeland Ledger

Monday, August 28, 2017

'82 Chronology-USFL Inks First Player

Event Date: August 5th, 1982

Event Description: Blitz Sign First Player

Source: UPI

The U.S. Football League will announce the signing of its first player Friday and indications were the Chicago Blitz may be stealing one of the rival Chicago Bears' top draft choices.

Tim Wrightman, the third-round choice of the NFL's Bears last spring, has been a holdout and was given a Saturday signing deadline by Bears general manager Jim Finks.

Wrightman, a tight end who played for UCLA, reportedly met with the new league which begins play next March after he ran into contract trouble with the Bears. However, the Blitz refused to release the name of the player.

“We are working out final details this evening,' a team spokesman said. “It would be too premature to release the name.”

Finks has said Wrightman's agent has made a proposal to the new USFL.

“If it is accepted, they would sign with the USFL,” Finks said. “I told them our offer will not be on the table indefinitely. If it gets to the point where he'll be jeopardizing his ability to play for the Bears, we'll let him know and withdraw our offer.”

Because the league's collective bargaining agreement expired last month, Wrightman must accept the final offer presented by the Bears - reportedly about $25,000 less than he was seeking -- or he can sign with the USFL.

The Blitz also announced that Allen's son, Bruce, would serve as general manager responsible for negotiating all contracts and handling day-to-day business contracts.

Allen became the NCAA's youngest head coach at Occidental College before becoming head coach and general manager of a semi-pro team in California.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

'82 Chronology-Tampa Bay Bandits

Event Date: August 5th, 1982

Event Description: Tampa Bay Bandits

Source: Toronto Star

The Tampa Bay entry in the United States Football League will be known as the Tampa Bay Bandits, taking advantage of actor Burt Reynolds' association with the team.

Reynolds, the star of the film 'Smokey and the Bandit', is a minor stockholder in the team and was on hand for Wednesday's announcement, along with majority owners John F. Bassett and Stephen W. Arky.

Bassett said no coach has been selected, nor has a team logo been designed.

He said the team colors -- at least for now -- will be silver, red, black and white. But he added some blue may be worked into the color scheme later in place of one of the other colors.

(Story-Toronto Star)

Friday, August 25, 2017

'82 Chronology-The Philadelphia Stars

Event Date: August 3rd, 1982

Event Description: Philadelphia Stars

Source: United Press International

The managing partner of theU.S. Football League's Philadelphia franchise said Tuesday the club will be known as the Stars and pledged to build a team worthy of its name.

Myles Tanenbaum said team owners took fans' preferences into account in choosing the name from eight released three weeks ago.

“Our team name in reality was selected by them,” Tanenbaum said of fans, who made their choices known in polls run by area newspapers and broadcast stations.

Other names under consideration were the Colonials, Fireworks, Franklins, Generals, Militia, Sentinals and Spirits. Philadelphia is the sixth of the 12 USFL teams to select a name, said Tanenbaum. The others include, the Chicago Blitz, Denver Gold, Washington Federals, Birmingham Stallions, and New Jersey Generals. 

He said the team would soon announce results of its negotiations for a home stadium. The opening game is scheduled for March 6, 1983.

(Story property UPI)

'82 Chronology-Pittsburgh Plans?

Event Date: July 30th, 1982

Event Description: Pittsburgh Pursues USFL Franchise

Source: United Press International

The stadium authority that recently took over management of Three Rivers Stadium in settling a lawsuit with the Pittsburgh Pirates could be in for more legal headaches if local investors succeed in winning a franchise from the fledgling United State Football League.

The investors, who say they've been promised the first franchise if the 12-team USFL expands, has asked the authority for permission to use Three Rivers as early as March.

But the Pittsburgh Steelers have told the authority -- and repeated their contention during an authority meeting Thursday -- that they beleve their lease agreement with the city prohibits another pro football team from using the stadium.

Authority Chairman George Whitmer said after the meeting he expects the Steelers would sue the authority if the new franchise is permitted to use the stadium that the would-be franchise owners would sue if it is not.

The authority asked its solicitor for an opinion on the Steelers' exclusivity rights. Nelson Goldberg, a cable television executive involved in the group seeking the USFL franchise, said he expects Pittsburgh to get a USFL team no later than 1984.

(Story Property of UPI)

'82 Chronology-Simmons Sets Agenda

Event Date: July 21st, 1982

Event Description: USFL Preps Plans

Source: United Press International

United States Football League Commissioner Chet Simmons said Tuesday the league has established a committee to study drug and alcohol abuse in an effort to avoid the drug problem that has plagued the NFL.

Simmons, in Denver for four days of meetings with USFL owners and coaches, said Dr. Edward Diethrich of Phoenix, had been named chairman of the Committee on Drugs and Alcohol. Also named to the committee was George Allen, former coach of the Washington Redskins and a co-owner of the USFL's Chicago franchise.

“We will have the best drug program in professional sports,” Simmons said.

League officials also finalized a four-level player-selection process, which San Francisco owner T.N. Taube said would “facilitate a very complicated problem for a fledgling league.”

Players will be chosen first on a territorial basis. After that has been completed, the league will open up the selection process to players passed over by the franchise in their territories, and they will have an opportunity to sign with other teams.

Thirdly, the league will begin signing free agents. Next will be players who once had NFL or Canadian Football League contracts.

Simmons said the league would announce application deadlines for future franchises and fees later. He said fees would be “substantial.” He said the USFL schedule posed a peculiar problem of signing players who have completed their college elgibility, but have not yet graduated. “The USFL recognizes that it has an obligation to assist the student athlete in returning to his studies and to earn his degree,” Simmons said.
(Story Property of UPI)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

'82 Chronology-Leaving the Den

Event Date: July 21st, 1982

Event Description: Furness Retires; Joins USFL

Source: United Press International

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

'82 Chronology-Federals Move Forward

Event Date: July 18th, 1982

Event Description: Federals Pursue Coach; Stadium Deal

Source: New York Times

Jimmy Raye, an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons, is the most likely candidate to become the head coach of the Washington franchise in the new United States Football League, according to sources in both cities. 

If he lands the job, the 35-year-old Raye would become the first black to serve as head coach in the new league. There are no black head coaches in the National Football League.

In other USFL news;

The D.C. Armory Board agreed in principle today to allow the Washington franchise in the new United States Football League the use of 55,000-seat Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

Terms of the Washington Redskins' contract with the Armory Board, which oversees the stadium's operation, calls for the National Football League club to enjoy exclusive football rights.

Robert Sigholtz, general manager of the Armory Board, said he foresaw no problem with allowing the U.S.F.L. to use the facility because its games, which are to be held between March and July, do not overlap the N.F.L. schedule.

Story-New York Times

Sunday, August 20, 2017

'82 Chronology-Free Agent Gold?

Event Date: July 17th, 1982

Event Description: Examining All Options

Source: New York Times

'82 Chronology-Politely Declined

Event Date: July 17th, 1982

Event Description: Stallings Stays Put

Source: Associated Press

Gene Stallings, saying that he had a commitment with the Dallas Cowboys, today turned down the head coaching job with the Birmingham Stallions of the new United States Football League.

Stallings, the defensive backfield coach for the Cowboys, met last week in Cincinnati with the owner of the Stallions, Marvin Warner. ''After carefully considering the opportunity, I have asked them to withdraw my name from consideration,'' Stallings said. ''The decision was based on the fact that I am under contract with the Dallas Cowboys, and feel I should honor my commitment.''

Stallings said that he would have enjoyed being a head coach, but that the timing ''was just not right.''

(Story Associated Press)

'82 Chronology-Wedge Issue?

Event Date: July 16th, 1982

Event Description: Limited Options

Source: New York Times

After negotiations stalled between the Chicago Bears and their first-round draft pick, Jim McMahon, the quarterback from Brigham Young, a threat was made by McMahon's agent to take his client to the new United States Football League. 

But at least two teams in that new league - Los Angeles and San Francisco - say they are not interested in the man who set 56 national collegiate passing records.

John Ralston, who represents the owner of those teams and will coach the San Francisco franchise next year, told radio station WGN in Chicago that he would advise Jerry Argovitz, McMahon's agent, to sign with the Bears. ''There's no doubt that certain agents are using the United States Football League as a wedge,'' said Ralston. ''We are not interested in players that were drafted in 1982.'' 

(Story New York Times)

Friday, August 18, 2017

'82 Chronology-Boston Beckons

Event Date: July 16th, 1982

Event Description: Boston Team Hires Coury

Source: New York Times

Dick Coury, an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles since 1976, was named head coach and general manager of the unnamed Boston entry in the new United States Football League.

Coury, who is 52 years old, said at a news conference that he had agreed to a three year contract. Terms were not announced.

'82 Chronology-Philadelphia Freedom

Event Date: July 7th, 1982

Event Description: New Philadelphia Franchise

Source: United Press International

Carl Peterson and George Perles, two integral figures in the success of Pennsylvania's two NFL teams, Wednesday officially were named to direct the Philadelphia franchise in the fledgling United States Football League.

Peterson, who as director of player personnel helped turn around the fortunes of the Philadelphia Eagles, was appointed general manager. 

Perles, an assistant coach and key contributor to the Pittsburgh Steelers' four Super Bowl championships, was tabbed head coach.

Myles Tanenbaum, managing partner of the franchise, introduced his two top officials at a news conference but said a nickname for the new team and a home stadium haven't been decided on yet.

Tanenbaum said a nickname for the new team would be decided by the public. He said he and his fellow owners decided on six finalists, but he declined to reveal the choices until next week.

He also said negotiations were continuing with Veterans Stadium and Franklin Field for a home field for the franchise's inaugural season beginning next March. Although he prefers Franklin Field for its excellent view, Tannenbaum acknowledged the facilities at Veterans Stadium are better.

Story-United Press International

Thursday, August 17, 2017

'82 Chronology-Bay Area Booster

Event Date: June 30th, 1982

Event Description: Ralston Returns

Source: United Press International

John Ralston is back in professional football.

Tuesday, it was announced Ralston had been named head coach and general manager of the San Francisco franhcise in the new United States Football League.

Terms of his agreement were not disclosed except that he had signed a two-year contract. The league expects to start its first season next March.

“I'm happy to be back in professional football,” Ralston said at the news conference announcing his signing, “and I'm especially happy it's in the Bay Area, where I have my roots.”

Ralston grew up in Oakland, played football at the University of Califorina and served as head coach at Stanford for nine years, leading the Cardinals to Rose Bowl victories in 1971 and 1972. He left Stanford to serve as head coach and general manager of the Denver Broncos but resigned under pressure in 1977.

In more recent years, he served as an administrative assistant to Bill Walsh with the San Francisco 49ers.

Ralston becomes the third former NFL coach to sign with a USFL team. George Allen is the coach and general manager of the Chicago franchise, while the New York based team has recruited Chuck Fairbanks.

The league as yet has no players or playing sites, but has awarded 12 franchises. Still, it will not be starting on a shoestring since it already has signed three three-year television contracts with ABC, ESPN and Canadian broadcasting. It is estimated the television package is worth more than $32 million.

Story property of UPI

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

'82 Chronology-Windy City Welcome

Event Date: June 22nd, 1982

Event Description: Allen Returns to Coaching

Source: United Press International

Former Washington Redskins Coach George Allen will be head coach and part owner of the Chicago franchise in the new United States Football League, league officials announced Monday.

Allen said he is confident the league will succeed and that his as-yet unnamed Chicago team will be competitive with National Football League squads within three years.

The USFL is scheduled to start play next March with a season running through July. It has contracts with ABC-TV and ESPN for television of many of its games. Allen is the third coach named for the 12-team league. Previously, Chuck Fairbanks was named to head the New York franchise and Red Miller to handle the Denver team.

David Dixon, a New Orleans businessman who founded the league, said at a news conference he originally wanted the Chicago franchise for himself. But when he discovered that Allen wanted to return to Chicago, where he also coached for eight years with the Bears, Dixon said, he decided to step aside.

Allen said he believes the league will succeed, despite the failure of the World Football League and other competitors of the NFL, because it will have solid ownership, proven coaching, major stadiums, television contracts, presence in the major markets, experienced front office personnel and an $18 million reserve fund.

“The World Football League put players first,” he said. “We'll create our own league and our own stars. There are plenty of players. When I was with Washington, we cut enough players to stock another franchise.”

He said the USFL won't compete directly for fan support with the NFL because the seasons will not overlap. But he said he thinks the USLF teams will improve rapidly to the point they could compete on the gridiron with the NFL.

'Within three years, I think our teams would be competitive with any team in the NFL,' he said.

(Story property-UPI)