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Report: Dundon can pull the plug on his AAF investment

AAF chairman Tom Dundon details investing $250 million into the league and explains what led to him making the move, as well as the challenges the AAF has going forward.

Billionaires didn’t get to be billionaires by being stupid.

Despite the sense of impulse, wonder, and naiveté that accompanied Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon’s decision to commit $250 million to the Alliance of American Football, Dundon hasn’t handed over the money yet -- and there’s a chance he may never surrender all of it.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the money has yet to be fully paid, and that the cash will be transferred over an undisclosed period of time. Unless it won’t be; Dundon reportedly has the ability to stop throwing good money after bad.

“Two sources said Dundon can stop funding if he decides the investment is no longer worth it,” Kaplan writes.

The AAF continues to tap dance around questions regarding the details of Dundon’s deal. Responding via an AAF spokesperson to a question on whether he can bail out from the bailout, Dundon told Kaplan, “I have committed to investing $250 million into the Alliance of American Football. We now have the necessary capital to accelerate growth. We have the capital to make this a sustainable and profitable league.”

If Dundon changes his assessment, however, he reportedly can do an about-face.

Kaplan, citing unnamed sources, called it a “week-to-week” deal, and that Dundon could quit funding the AAF “on almost a moment’s notice.” It’s unclear what would happen at that point; beyond the AAF going away, Dundon presumably would own the majority share of the player-tracking technology that has fueled the app that allows fans to guess plays and outcomes in real time -- a key component for real-time betting and other interactive uses.

If Kaplan’s report is accurate (and there’s no reason to dispute that it is at this point), the message is clear: The AAF nearly disappeared after one week of play, and it could in theory disappear after any week of play.