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Outlaws, PSFL face fourth-and-long

The Professional Spring Football League shut down Tuesday, all but dooming the Tampa Bay Outlaws and nine other teams. PSFL Commissioner Rex Lardner said if $3-million can't be raised by March 3, the league will cancel its proposed 1992 season and try to regroup for 1993.

"What we're trying to do is buy ourselves two more weeks to see if we can come up with some financing," Lardner said from PSFL headquarters in New Jersey.

Rich Fried, who headed a partnership that paid $250,000 for the Outlaws franchise, said Tuesday: "I don't have a lot of hope at this point in time. The only thing that makes sense is that with no money they (the league) got pretty far."

The league, founded last September by New Jersey entrepreneur Vincent Sette, was to have 10 teams (Tampa Bay, Utah, Boston, Washington, Miami, Columbia, S.C., Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Little Rock and Portland, Ore.) and a 16-week season starting Feb.

29 and ending with the Red White and Blue Bowl on July 5.

Last Thursday, the league canceled the first two weeks' games. Lardner said Tuesday that if the PSFL could raise the needed cash, it would try to play a 10-game schedule starting March 28.

But Fried didn't sound hopeful.

"Back in the (1980s), it would have been easier to get the money to do this," he said. "The whole economy is so different today. Maybe what we needed was a sugar daddy, someone with big bucks. There wasn't a Lamar Hunt from the '60s, a Donald Trump from the '80s, someone who would have stood there and dispensed dollars until it worked. Maybe we should have called this the Poor Man's Spring Football League."