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UFL says it will return in 2012

Michael Huyghue

FILE - This April 15, 2010, file photo shows United Football League commissioner Michael Huyghue during a news conference, in Omaha, Neb. A person familiar with the situation says the UFL will push back the start of its third season because of ongoing financial problems. A league official said Tuesday, July 19, 2011, the season would begin in mid-September instead of mid-August. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the UFL has not officially announced the move. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

AP

I thought that the weekend item regarding the latest UFL title game would be the final UFL post ever appearing on these pages.

As I do once or twice a week (OK, day . . . OK, hour), I thought wrong.

In a recent letter to UFL fans, Commissioner Michael Huyghue indicates that the league will be back in 2012. “Our owners told our staff last week that they believe in our product and the UFL as a whole,” Huyghue writes. “They told the players that they look forward to seeing them on the field in 2012. I know that the players for the Locos, Nighthawks and Mountain Lions are already excited to try to take down the new champions.”

Huyghue also says that expansion is possible, with former Hartford Colonials coach Jerry Glanville (he wasn’t fired; the team imploded) recently wrecking his health in Jackson, Mississippi, while also scouting the town as the potential location for an expansion franchise. Huyghue solicited fan input on other potential markets into which the UFL could move.

The league that played its first three seasons during the traditional football season also could be pulling a reverse USFL and retreating to the spring.

With the NFL considering the creation of a developmental league that would play in the spring, the UFL’s idea likely isn’t a coincidence. The best way out of the financial mess that the UFL has created would be for the NFL to buy the league, and with the NFL now thinking about a minor league that would play in the spring, moving the UFL schedule to that same period of time becomes an obvious decision, if the UFL hopes to get the NFL’s attention.

Until then, UFL owners may have to continue to throw good money after bad. And if, at some point, they decide to stop, the UFL will simply disappear from the sports landscape in the blink of an eye.