Reports: Alliance of American Football suspends operations, just weeks into inaugural season

The Alliance of American Football, which has played just eight weeks of games in its inaugural season, is suspending operations.

There are multiple reports, from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, that the fledgling league is at minimum ceasing all football operations on Tuesday though it isn’t folding entirely - yet.

Darren Rovell of The Action Network reports that the decision is being made by league owner Tom Dundon over the objections of founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian.

There is a conference call scheduled for Tuesday afternoon that should shed more light on the situation.

There have been stories for weeks that the league quickly ran into financial trouble, and those clearly continued despite the influx of money from Dundon. Rovell wrote that Dundon will lose $70 million on the investment he made.

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The AAF's inaugural season
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The AAF's inaugural season
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31: Dylan Donahue #54 of the Atlanta Legends celebrates with teammates after a big play during the second half of the Alliance of American Football game against the Birmingham Iron at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31: Jeff Luc #50 celebrates with teammates Carlos Merritt #20 of the Atlanta Legends after a big play against the Birmingham Iron during the first half of the Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31: Trent Richardson #33 of the Birmingham Iron runs runs out for the tunnel before the game against the Atlanta Legends during the Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 31: Tim Cook #20 of the Arizona Hotshots runs around Duke Thomas #21 of the San Antonio Commanders to score a touchdown during an Alliance of American Football game at the Alamodome on March 31, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. The Arizona Hotshots won 23-6. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 31: John Wolford #7 of the Arizona Hotshots looks for running room during an Alliance of American Football game against the San Antonio Commanders at the Alamodome on March 31, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 31: Marquise Williams #12 of the San Antonio Commanders scoops a pass against the Arizona Hotshots at Alamodome on March 31, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes//Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31: Jeff Luc #50 and Brandon Watts #58during the first half of the Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31: Jack Tocho #25 of the Birmingham Iron recovers a fumble by Justin Thomas of the Atlanta Legends during the second half of an Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama.î (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31: Matt Simms #4 of the Atlanta Legends sits under center against the Birmingham Iron during the first half of the Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
TEMPE, ARIZONA - MARCH 24: Pierce Burton #70 of the Arizona Hotshots runs onto the field during the AAF game against the San Diego Fleet at Sun Devil Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. The Hotshots defeated the Fleet 32-15. (Photo by Christian Petersen/AAF/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 31: Luis Perez #12 of the Birmingham Iron is sacked by linebacker Jeff Luc #50 of the Atlanta Legends during the first half Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 31, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 24: Memphis Express wide receivers coach Bobby Blizzard celebrates during the game against the Birmingham Iron at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis won 31-25 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/AAF/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH24: Johnny Manziel #2 of the Memphis Express drops back to pass during a game against the Birmingham Iron at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Express defeated the Iron 31-25. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/AAF/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 24: Xzavier Dickson #51 of the Birmingham Iron sacks Johnny Manziel #2 of the Memphis Express during the game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis won 31-25 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/AAF/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MARCH 23: De'Veon Smith #24 of the Orlando Apollos rushes for a 1-yard touchdown during the second quarter against the Atlanta Legends in an Alliance of American Football game at Georgia State Stadium on March 23, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris Thelen/AAF/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 17: Nick Novak #9 of the Birmingham Iron celebrates with teammates after kicking a 44-yard game-winning field goal during the fourth quarter to defeat the San Diego Fleet 32-29 in an Alliance of American Football game at SDCCU Stadium on March 17, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/AAF/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 17: Terrell Watson #39 of the San Diego Fleet catches a touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Birmingham Iron in an Alliance of American Football game at SDCCU Stadium on March 17, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/AAF/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MARCH 17: Justin Thomas #10 of the Atlanta Legends is tackled by Jordan Thomas #23 of the San Antonio Commanders during the second half in the Alliance of American Football game at Georgia State Stadium on March 17, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/AAF/Getty Images)
TEMPE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Wide receiver Alonzo Moore #19 of the San Antonio Commanders makes a reception against the Arizona Hotshots during the first half of the AAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/AAF/Getty Images)
TEMPE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Marquis Bundy #18 of the Arizona Hotshots warms up before the Alliance of American Football game against the San Antonio Commanders at Sun Devil Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/AAF/Getty Images)
TEMPE, ARIZONA - MARCH 03: Runningback Jhurell Pressley #26 of the Arizona Hotshots rushes the football against the Atlanta Legends during the first half of the AAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on March 03, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/AAF/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 09: Quinton Patton #11 of Birmingham Iron celebrates after scoring a two point conversion against the Orlando Apollos during their Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 09, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/AAF/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MARCH 09: Scott Orndoff #83 of Orlando Apollos celebrates after scoring against the Birmingham Iron in their Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on March 09, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Logan Riely/AAF/Getty Images)
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The AAF had a great opening weekend back in February, playing its first-ever games the Sunday after the Super Bowl and successfully pulling in fans who weren’t ready to go months without their favorite sport.

But those ratings were short-lived, and Dundon, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Panthers, had to step in with a major financial investment.

And yet.

Last week, Dundon told USA Today that the league needed the help of the NFL Players Association and its permission to use NFL players. Blaming the NFLPA for their problems seems short-sighted at best; if the AAF wanted to partner with the NFL and NFLPA, it should have done so before it began playing games.

It makes sense for the NFL to partner with a league like the AAF to help develop younger players and get them game reps, but it’s not the NFLPA’s job to make that happen.

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