Walker eligibility questioned......

Sunday, December 17, 2017

'83 Chronology-Garvey Gamble

Event Date: February 23rd, 1983

Event Description: Garvey Seeks Support

Source: Observer-Reporter

'83 Chronology-Kelley Claimed

Event Date: February 22nd,1983

Event Description: Invaders Claim QB

Source: United Press International

The Oakland Invaders announced Tuesday they have waived rookie quarterback Bill Myatt of Hayward State and claimed quarterback Mike Kelley from the Birmingham Stallions. Kelley played at Georgia Tech and last year was the sixth-round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Invaders also announced they will scrimmage against the Denver Gold on Wednesday and against the Chicago Blitz on Thursday and Saturday. All three USFL teams are training in the Phoenix area.

Beginning next week, the Invaders will switch training sites to San Lorenzo near the Oakland Coliseum by way. Their season-opener is against the Arizona Wranglers March 6.

'83 Chronology-Walker Investigation

Event Date: February 22nd,1983

Event Description:  Walker Eligibility Questioned

Source: United Press International

The NCAA will launch an investigation next week into the question of whether Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker violated eligibility rules during talks with the New Jersey Generals of the new United States Football League.

In a telephone interview Tuesday from Mission, Kan., NCAA Director of Enforcement David Berst said he would visit the University of Georgia next week to interview the star running back, his attorney-advisor Jack Manton, and 'other principals' involved in Walker's meeting last Thursday with Generals owner J. Walter Duncan.

Walker held a news conference in Athens last Friday to confirm he met with Duncan, but said he had rejected the Generals' overtures and would return to Georgia next season to complete his collegiate career.

The Boston Globe reported Saturday that two sources 'close to negotiations' said Walker had signed a $5 million contract with the Generals of the USFL, but two hours later backed out of the deal through a 24-hour escape clause in the contract.

Under NCAA rules, Walker would be ineligible to play out his final season if he signed a contract. He would also be ineligible if Manton negotiated for him, as the Globe story said he did.

In other USFL News;

KEX radio will begin broadcasting United States Football League contests starting March 6, station officials have announced.

Play-by-play will be announced by three sportscasters from the ABC radio network, Fred Manfra, Dan Lovett and Bob Buck. Each of the 12 USFL teams will play an 18-game regular season. KEX also will broadcast two playoff games the weekend of July 9-10 and the championship game on July 17.


'83 Chronology-Williams Waived

Event Date: February 21st, 1983

Event Description: Williams Waived

Source: United Press International

Veteran running back Delvin Williams, plagued by a chronic neck injury, was placed on waivers Monday by the Oakland Invaders, reducing the USFL club's player roster to 58.

According to Invaders head coach-general manager John Ralston, Williams' injury was not responding to treatment. In seven National Football League seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins, Williams rushed for 5,598 yards and caught 152 passes for 1,415 yards.

The Invaders also announced they will break their training camp here Feb. 26 and return to the Bay Area to put the finishing touches on the 40-man squad that will open the season March 6 against the Arizona Wranglers in Phoenix.

In other USFL news;

Los Angeles Express owner Alan Harmon denied Sunday night that USFL owners were prepared to join forces to get Walker to play in one of the major cities in the new league.

“That's incorrect.” Harmon said. “I was not part of any deal that would bring him to New Jersey or L.A.” Harmon said the story may have started with an agent who had proposed in December that the league should pool its resources to lure Walker.

Photo-(Phns Insider)

'83 Chronology-Player Pursuits

Event Date: February 20th, 1983

Event Description: Riggins Offered Contract

Source: United Press International

The Michigan Panthers of the United States Football League have offered Washington Redskins fullback John Riggins a two-year contract worth more than $1 million, according to USFL sources.

Riggins, who led the Redskins to a Super Bowl victory over the Miami Dolphins with a record 166 yards rushing, earned $330,000 last year in the final year of his contract. He is now a free agent.

Michigan's only "big-name" player is David Greenwood, a defensive back from Wisconsin. The Panthers are still holding talks with representatives of Michigan receiver Anthony Carter. His agent, Boston attorney Bob Woolf, said today that Carter likely will sign a four-year contract reportedly worth $1.25 million with the club on Monday.

The owners of the USFL teams have an unwritten agreement that they all spend $1.5 million per year on salaries for 38 of the 40 players on their rosters. They do, however, have a "sky's the limit" understanding for the remaining two spots.

Photo-(Rogers Revue)

'83 Chronology-Walker Contacted

Event Date: February 18th, 1983

Event Description: Walker Overtures

Source: United Press International

Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker said he has received “overtures” from the United States Football League but had not signed anything, a University of Georgia spokesman said early Friday.

There were widespead reports that the All-American running back had been talking with a USFL team, believed to be the New Jersey Generals.

Efforts to reach USFL officials proved fruitless late Thursday and early Friday and no one answered the telephone at the Generals' training site in Orlando, Fla.

Claude Felton, sports information director for Georgia, said that Walker was in Athens and had talked with Georgia Coach Vince Dooley about the reports.

“Herschel told Dooley that a USFL team made overtures to him but that he absolutely had not signed anything that would jeopardize his NCAA eligibility,” Felton said.

Felton added that he would be “really surprised' if Walker, a junior, did jump to professional football before he graduates. He has said he wants to participate in the Olympics,” Felton said. “Track is his first love and he sees the Olympics as a real possiblity.”

Dooley had said Thursday night that he did not know anything about the reports of a USFL offer to Walker, but said he has received calls “from around the country.”

“From what I understand, a team from the USFL has made overtures to Walker,” he said. “If this is true, they broke their pledge not to recruit players with college eligibility left and I think that is a terrible way for the USFL to get started.”

Friday, December 15, 2017

'83 Chronology-Ready to Romp

Event Date: February 17th, 1983

Event Description: Young Stallions

Source: United Press International

These young Stallions of Birmingham plan to be romping through the USFL in a few years.

Birmingham Coach Rollie Dotsch Wednesday said the Stallions, preparing for a March 7 opener in Birmingham against the Michigan Panthers, are among the youngest teams in the new league.

"Only Tom Banks, Robert Woods and Kevin Miller have played much in the NFL. We have a lot of young puppies out there," said Dotsch, a former assistant with the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers. "But that was our thinking coming in. It may hurt us early on, but I think in the long run, it will work out."

“We're not pampering these guys and they are responding well.”

Quarterback Reggie Collier, Birmingham's No. 1 draft pick, is battling Matthew Reed for a starting slot. Reed was a star quarterback for the old Birmingham Vulcans, leading them to a World Football League championship.

“Right now, Reggie has the edge,” Dotsch said. “But Collier still has room for improvement. He will look better in a game than in practice, because he'll be able to run more. Once everything starts, he'll be fine, though.”

The Stallions were to play the Washington Federals in a controlled scrimmage in Jacksonville, Fla., Wednesday, as the teams prepare to trim 12 from their 70-player rosters by Monday. Last week, the Stallions scrimmaged the Philadelphia Stars and Dotsch was pleased with the results.

"We were competitive against them -- we'll be competitiveagainst everybody," he said.

Dotsch said he was happy with the way training camp has gone. "We're a little bit behind schedule,' he said. 'We've lost about four days because of rain, but I guess everybody is in the same situation."

Among the standouts in camp have been former Alabama players Jackie Cline, a defensive lineman, and Eddie Lowe. Stallions coaches say Lowe, who at 5-foot-9 is considered small for a pro linebacker, has been a pleasant surprise. "He has been the biggest surprise of the camp," Stallions linebacker coach John Mitchell said. 'The people at Alabama did a heckuva job with him. It is really a shame Eddie is not two or three inches taller. “But even though he is small, when you watch him on film, he is in there making every play. He has a knack for getting to the ball.”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

'83 Chronology-Season Ticket Sales

Event Date: February 16th, 1983

Event Description: USFL Season Ticket Sales

Source: Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

'83 Chronology-CFL Meetings

Event Date: February 16th, 1983

Event Description: CFL Expansion

Source: United Press International

Competition to draft players from the University of British Columbia will highlight this week's annual Canadian Football League meetings, but backroom talk may focus on events south of the border.

CFL commissioner Jake Gaudaur played down any troubles that might be brewing over the new United States Football League and pointed Monday to the Canadian college draft as the highlight of this week's annual league meetings.

“It'll be a mundane meeting compared to last year when we had all the problems with Montreal and (Nelson) Skalbania,” Gaudaur said. “But then again anything would be mundane compared to that.”

Although Gaudaur denied the USFL would be a topic of discussion during the meeting, it couldn't help but be on the minds of some of the team owners. “I don't see any need to discuss the USFL,” Gaudaur said. “Why worry about something you have no control over. We need to worry about improving our own product.”

But the new league, which opens its season March 6, has so far lured two head coaches, Edmonton's Hugh Campbell and Winnipeg's Ray Jauch, one general manager and 11 assistant coaches from the CFL into its fold.

Gaudaur said the league was able to weather the challenge created by the World Football League without “any long range impact on the league and it won't have much affect this year.”

But some CFL coaches have expressed apprehensions about the new competition. “I think the one thing that's so different between the USFL and the WFL is the USFL is paying their coaches exceptionally well, up to NFL standards,” Calgary coach and general manager Jack Gotta said.

The meetings would also receive a report from the Atlantic Schooners expansion team, set to begin play next season in Halifax or Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, depending on availability of a stadium. 

'83 Chronology-Worth the Wait?

Event Date: February 16th, 1983

Event Description: Bandits Pursue Bengal

Source: United Press International

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth says reports that he is considering an offer to do promotional work and eventually play for the United States Football League are "greatly exaggerated."

“I would not do anything that would jeopardize what I have in Cincinnati... The rumors are greatly exaggerated,” he said.

Collinsworth met Saturday with Tampa Bay Bandits owner John Bassett, who reportedly is interested in signing Collinsworth to a contract to do public relations work for the USFL the next two years and play with the Bandits in 1985.

But Collinsworth, who has played two NFL seasons, said no contract was discussed at the meeting. “There was no offer of any PR job,” said Collinsworth, a Pro Bowl selection in both his years with the Bengals. “No deals were made and nothing is in the works right now.”

Collinsworth's visit with Bassett may have been motivated by the efforts of his agent, Richard Bennett, to renegotiate the final two years of Collinsworth's contract with the Bengals. His salary is believed to be about $100,000 a year.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

'83 Chronology-Sole Survivor

Event Date: February 16th, 1983

Event Description: Express Cut Foreman

Source-New York Times

Chuck Foreman got the bad news yesterday in the camp of the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League: At the age of 33, attempting a comeback after two years on the sidelines, he was cut from the squad.

Foreman had unusual credentials. Five times he was an all-pro running back for the Minnesota Vikings; three times he played in the Super Bowl. But he also had extra weight, about 15 pounds extra. ''He gave us a maximum effort,'' said Coach Hugh Campbell of the Express, ''but the time factor simply caught up with him.''

His departure left Anthony Davis as the senior veteran in camp, and Davis was conceded a better chance of surviving. But his comeback attempt is an even more difficult one. He is 30, he has played in three other football leagues, he has suffered repeated injuries and he has not played football in four years.

Davis began his travels as a star running back at Southern California, where he was an all-American twice and played in the Rose Bowl three times. In 1975, he was the first draft choice of the Jets but instead signed with the Southern California Sun of the World Football League, which folded. In 1976, he went to the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League but broke his leg. 

In 1977, he switched to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League and his former coach at U.S.C., John McKay. Then the next year he went to the Houston Oilers and the Los Angeles Rams. But injuries again hampered him.

If he makes it, he will be a rare one: four professional leagues. The coach says: ''He's one of the three or four quickest players on the club, at this point.'' But for Davis, the problem is to keep his comeback alive until Los Angeles opens the season March 6 against the New Jersey Generals.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

'83 Chronology-Elway Out

Event Date: February 16th, 1983

Event Description: Elway Rejects Offer

Source: Stanford Daily

'83 Chronology-Agent Seeks Franchise

Event Date: February 16th, 1983

Event Description: Dixon Mum

Source: Times Picayune

Its first game won't be played until next month, but the United States Football League is already getting its first expansion club. Or so says Jerry Argovitz, the dentist turned sports agent, who disclosed plans yesterday to start a U.S.F.L. team in Houston next year. 

Argovitz said that he and a group of fellow investors would pay $6 million for the franchise over the next four years. David Dixon, the New Orleans businessman who has an option on a Houston franchise because of his role in founding the league, declined to discuss the matter. 

League officials said they knew nothing of any arrangements between Dixon and Argovitz but noted that the 12-team league had previously announced a plan to add four franchises - in unspecified cities - next year. 

Argovitz, who represents many prominent players in salary negotiations with the National Football League, said that to avoid conflict of interest he would sever his business relationships with the players as their contracts ran out. 


'83 Chronology-Woolf Talks

Event Date: February 15th, 1983

Event Description:  Woolf Opens Negotiations

Source: United Press International

All-America wide receiver Anthony Carter of the University of Michigan has retained sports attorney Bob Woolf as his agent and will begin serious negotiations with the Michigan Panthers of the new USFL.

“I talked with Carter on Monday,” Woolf told UPI Thursday, “and I met with him yesterday in West Palm Beach Florida. He authorized me to negotiate with the United States Football League for him.”

The Panthers, who reportedly have offered $2 million for a four-year contract, thought they had three meetings set with Carter last weekend but the NCAA record-holder for all-purpose yardage average did not show up for any of them.

“We have been in touch with the Panthers and they are going to get back with us on setting up a meeting,” Woolf said. “We are going to conduct good faith negotiations. I've always had an open mind to these new leagues. I've been a sports attorney for 20 years.”

Carter was a territorial selection of the Panthers. He is expected to be a first round draft choice by the NFL if he elects to pass on the Panthers.

'83 Chronology-Lone Star Leverage

Event Date: February 14th, 1983

Event Description: Argovitz Expansion Plans

Source: UPI

United States Football League Commissioner Chet Simmons Friday would not confirm sports agent Dr. Jerry Argovitz's claim that he owned rights to an expansion franchise in Houston.

Argovitz, the dentist-turned agent, said on Thursday that he would announce within 30 days the acquisition of a USFL franchise in Houston that would begin play in 1984. Argovitz, 44, said he had sole rights to the franchise. Simmons said the USFL is considering expanding to Houston, but that no rights have yet been assigned.

“David Dixon, founder of the USFL, has certain contractual arrangements with the league regarding the Houston franchise,” Simmons said. “At this time, the league has received no notification from Mr. Dixon regarding his plans for the Houston franchise. In any case, any action Mr. Dixon would propose would require review and approval by the league.”

According to Simmons, the USFL intends to add four teams to the league in 1984. The four new cities have not been determined, however. “At this point, no final award has been made to any city,” Simmons said. “The league is currently reviewing excellent applications from more that 10 cities.”

Argovitz said he and a group of investors will make a $2.5 million down payment for the Houston franchise. He said another $3.5 million would be paid over the next four years. He said the names of investors would be made public when the franchise is acquired.

Argovitz said he has spoken with representatives of the Astrodome and Rice University about using one of the stadiums, and said he's “keeping both options open.” Argovitz, who represents many prominent players in the National Football League, said team ownership would present a conflict of interest for his clients. He said he planned to sever his business relationships with the players as their contracts run out.

In other USFL news;

Jim Skipper, who has been an assistant football coach at the University of Oregon since 1980, has resigned to coach running backs with the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

'83 Chronology-Bouier Balks

Event Date: February 14th, 1983

Event Description: Bouier Eyes NFL

Source: UPI

University of Maine football star Lorenzo Bouier has put out the word among professional scouts that he wants to play in the National Football League.

Bouier, a senior at the University of Maine at Orono, travelled to Tampa, Florida, last week to join 100 top college players at the United Scouting Bureau camp. The USB represents 16 of the 28 NFL teams.

The Hartford, Conn., native gained 3,827 yards rushing during his four-year college career, and, for a short time, held an all-time New England rushing record. But Bouier knows he must overcome the obscurity of playing for the University of Maine if he hopes to realize his lifelong dream of running in the NFL. “It's always been my dream to play in the NFL,” Bouier said last week. “When I saw all the pro people standing on the sidelines at the camp, my eyes bugged out.”

The 6-foot 1-inch, 200-pound senior recently turned down a chance to play in the fledgling United States Football League. The USFL Boston Breakers talked with Bouier's agent, Tom Toner of Swampscott, Mass., but couldn't reach an agreement. Toner asked for a guaranteed contract and the Breakers balked at the idea. 

“The (Breakers) strongly considered accepting our terms,” Toner said. “But in the end, they wound up getting some quality running backs who cost them less than Lorenzo Bouier would have.”
When the Breakers opened their pre-season training camp in Orlando, Fla., last month, Bouier didn't go. He decided instead to finish out the school year and set his sights on the NFL.

'83 Chronology-Homeward Bound

Event Date: February 12th, 1983

Event Description: Express Sign UCLA Pivot

Source: New York Times

Tom Ramsey, the U.C.L.A. quarterback, signed a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League. The club had failed to sign its first draft choice, the Pitt quarterback Dan Marino. Contract terms were not disclosed.

In other USFL news;

Andy Johnson moved from the N.F.L. to the U.S.F.L. but stayed in the Boston area. The running back, who spent eight years with the New England Patriots, became a free agent and signed with the Boston Breakers. No terms were released.


Monday, December 4, 2017

'83 Chronology-Power Plays

Event Date: february 11th, 1983

Event Description: USFL Radio Coverage

Source: New York Times/UPI

The United States Football League, which has television contracts with ESPN and ABC, also will have national radio coverage on the ABC radio network.

ESPN's play-by-play announcers will be Jim Simpson and Tom Kelly and the color commentary will be done by Paul Maguire and Don Heinrich. The radio team will be Fred Manfra and Dan Lovett.

Simpson and Maguire will do the Monday night games and Kelly and Heinrich the Saturday night games. The ABC radio network will carry two games a week.

Simpson was a broadcaster in the American Football League and Maguire was a player. Kelly is a veteran West Coast play-by-play man and Heinrich a former NFL quarterback with the New York Giants.

ESPN's 34-game schedule begins on Monday, March 7, with the former O-State coach Jim Stanley taking his Michigan Panthers to Birmingham to face the Stallions. ABC, which will televise the playoffs on July 9-10 and championship game on July 17, will carry Sunday afternoon telecasts throughout the season. Keith Jackson will do ABC's play-by-play and Lynn Swann will do the color. Unlike the NFL, the USFL will allow microphones on the sidelines. Tim Brant, a Washington, D.C., sportscaster, will do ABC's sidelines work.

In other USFL news;

The United States Football League hasn't played its first game yet, but it has already produced a hot rivalry: between competing unions. Ron Baron, a New York lawyer who heads a new group called the United States Football League Players Association, said his representatives had visited seven training camps and come away with authorization cards representing 30 percent of the players on five of the teams.

''The overwhelming majority,'' he said, ''want nothing to do,'' with the National Football League Players Association and its president, Ed Garvey. That's not the way Garvey sees it. ''They have not had too much success,'' he said, ''We've had about 12 players call us and say, 'Can you help? We don't want to end up with this outfit."


Sunday, December 3, 2017

'83 Chronology-Star Power!

Event Date: February 9th, 1983

Event Description: New USFL Stars

Source: New York Times

Kelvin Bryant and Irv Eatman, two of last season's top college players, signed rich multiyear contracts today with the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League.

The Stars also announced at a news conference the signing of Scott Fitzkee, a wide receiver who played out his option with the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League, and Roger Jackson, a safety on the Penn State team that finished the season as the No.1-ranked team of 1982.

It had been reported that Bryant, a running back from North Carolina, would earn about $300,000 a year for three years. But his agent, Perry Deering, said that those figures were low and that Bryant had signed a four-year guaranteed contract worth closer to $2 million.

Bryant, a 6-foot-2-inch, 195-pounder who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his final three seasons, said he might have waited to make a choice between the leagues if the N.F.L. draft had been earlier. ''But I came here to visit, was pleased with the organization and liked the idea of playing in the spring,'' he said.

Eatman, a tackle from U.C.L.A., reportedly received a four-year pact worth close to $1 million.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

'83 Chronology-Instant Karma

Event Date: February 7th, 1983

Event Description:  ABC Plans Grid Broadcasts

Source: United Press International

ABC-TV plans a few innovations in telecasting United States Football League games starting March 6 but instant replays to help game officials rule on close decisions probably won't be one of them.

“We were asked to consider that,” said Jim Spence, vice president of ABC Sports. “The reaction is probably negative. We're not sure we should be involved in the game that extent.”

It is planned, however, to arrange to talk to players during certain time out periods and to 'wire' the head coaches with microphones. Remarks by coaches on play-calling and general strategy would be shown on tape after-the-fact so as not to tip off representatives of the opposing team.

The network, with a 2-year-commitment to USFL telecasts, will show 18 regular season games this year, two games in the playoffs July 9-10 and the championship game July 17. The title game will be aired in prime time starting at 8 p.m. EDT. On Friday, June 17, second day of the U.S. Open Golf championship, a USFL game will be presented at 9 p.m. EDT.

Keith Jackson, former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann and Tim Brant form the broadcasting team. At least four regional telecasts are planned, Spence said, and a second broadcasting team is being formed.

Friday, December 1, 2017

'83 Chronology-Asking Price

Event Date: February 5th, 1983

Event Description:  Wranglers Pursue Dickerson

Source: NYT

If the United States Football League is supposed to be a low-budget version of the National Football League, somebody had better tell the Arizona Wranglers. The team has already offered Eric Dickerson, the Southern Methodist tailback, $1.5 million for three years, and it is expected to come up with an even higher bid.

That, at least, is the word from Dickerson's agent, Jack Mills, who said he had turned down the $1.5 million on the theory that Dickerson could get much more than that from the National Football League. 

An average of $500,000 a year may seem like a lot, but it would not be a record for the U.S.F.L., according to Mills. He said that S.M.U.'s other star tailback, Craig James, whom Mills does not represent, was getting $2 million over four years from the Washington Federals.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

'83 Chronology-A.D.

Event Date: February 4th, 1983

Event Description: Davis Joins Express

Source: NYT

Anthony Davis became a four-league man yesterday when the former running back from Southern California signed on with the Los Angeles Express of the new United States Football League. After Davis left U.S.C. in 1975, he went to the Southern California Sun of the World Football League for one season, spent another with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League then joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League in 1977. He also played for Houston and the Los Angeles Rams in the N.F.L.

In other USFL news;

The New Jersey Generals of the USFL Friday signed NFL veteran linebacker Rod Shoate and draft choice Bryan Mallard. Shoate, a second round draft choice of the New England Patriots in 1975 out of Oklahmona, played with the Patriots until the 1981 season, when he was traded to Chicago.

Shoate was released by the Bears late during the 1982 training camp. Mallard, an offensive guard from Texas, was New Jersey's 12th round pick in the USFL's inaugural draft in January.

The Generals also waived defensive back Donnie Love from Houston. New Jersey now has 88 players on its roster and must get down to 70 by Feb. 7. Of the players in camp, 15 are from Oklahoma and seven from Syracuse, which are two of the Generals' territorial schools.