Now, as a professional, the Olympics are out for Walker, and college coaches warned Wednesday that the signing of the talented junior by the USFL could lead to a war between the colleges and the new league. Walker's signing followed five days of controversy which prompted an investigation by the NCAA into the reports that he had signed with the USFL team last Thursday in violation of the NCAA's rules on eligibility. ", He continued: "Their success isn't going to depend on this type of acquisition. Walker passed up a chance to become college football's all-time rusher. "Both agreed Walker's actions would cause him to be ineligible on two potential points: the negotiation of an agreement and the involvement of Walker's attorney in the matter. He ran for 1,752 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in winning the Heisman last season. All rights reserved. "He told me to go get the contract, and it came back, but he had a change of heart. The USFL's initial season begins March 6. "It's obvious from a purely financial standpoint that competing with the NFL squadwise would be self-destructive because there is not the money available in TV at that time of year. ", "For over 50 years, the NFL has had rules pertaining to eligibility and the draft that we believe to be in the best interests of colleges, players and professional football," the spokesman said. "Our league not being able to push up the draft date (from late April) is looking like a bigger mistake all the time," said Bobby Beathard, general manager of the Washington Redskins. "No one realizes more than I that I am a human being. . Walker was whisked away from his Athens apartment while Manton held a news conference, and Manton said the tailback did not wish to speak to the media. Of the players they've signed, I don't think any are household words nationally.". Historically, Schramm said, "You have problems when there is a great variance in players' salary . I've never seen anything like it in a dozen years in pro sports.". ", "This is indeed a sad day for Georgia," said Dooley, who was in Colorado for a speaking engagement. . "The USFL has just slammed the door in our face, and it hurts," said Charlie McClendon, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. "Once a pro, always a pro," said U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Bob Paul. But he said a source in Philadelphia had told him the figures were closer to the original estimates than Bryant's agent contended. ", Meanwhile, Dooley, the Georgia athletic director in addition to serving as football coach, said, "He (Walker) made a mistake and he admits that. The university's statement Wednesday said information about Walker's agreement with the Generals was brought to Dooley's attention Tuesday afternoon by assistant football coach Mike Cavan, who had met on the Georgia campus with Vanek and USFL attorney Steve Earhart. "His contract will be the guideline for the future. An NFL spokesman said that Manton approached the NFL overnight "and asked if we were interested in signing Herschel and placing him in a franchise city of his choice. After warning Manton of the consequences regarding Walker's college eligibility, Walker's attorney indicated he wanted to forge ahead with negotiations, Simmons said. But his agent, Perry Deering, said today that Bryant signed for four years with a contract value closer to $2 million, making him the highest-paid USFL player. .
"I think the agent inflated them a bit," Beathard said. North Carolina running back Kelvin Bryant and UCLA offensive tackle Irv Eatman, two of last season's top college players, signed multiyear contracts with the Philadelphia Stars of the United States Football League today. USFL commissioner Chet Simmons said Manton first approached him about Walker going pro in early January. ". Simmons said both the league and the Generals believed Walker was ineligible even before the original signing because he had hired an agent who came to the USFL team for the purpose of negotiating a contract. While he could not disclose details of the contract, Manton said various news media reports were close. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. The Heisman Trophy-winning tailback, a three-time All-America, signed a three-year pact worth an estimated $5 million just hours after university officials declared him ineligible to finish his college career.
"It's the highest contract ever in pro football history by far.". The top annual salaries in the NFL are believed to be $750,000 for Cleveland linebacker Tom Cousineau and $700,000 for Chicago running back Walter Payton. Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. In his three years at Georgia, Walker frequently had been the subject of speculation about his future in professional football, but had often said he wished to complete his education and planned to remain at Georgia. Even through this, when it became apparent Herschel had signed something in violation of NCAA rules, I guaranteed him as a lawyer, he would win his appeal if he wanted to fight it and stay at Georgia," said Manton. . "Whether that will gain them recognition, I don't know. As Walker's story unraveled Wednesday, it became apparent that New Jersey had not been Walker's only option. Simmons, at a news conference in Orlando, promised that Walker's signing was not a precursor to a wholesale raid on collegians, calling it a "special circumstance.". "We'll see you in three years,"' Rozelle said. Eatman is believed to have been given a four-year deal involving close to $1 million. . "Herschel Walker has meant so much to our program the past three years.". "We have no intention of waiving them for Herschel Walker. There also were fears in the established National Football League that the rich contract Walker signed could lead to an escalation of salaries through pro football, such as occurred when Joe Namath signed with the New York Jets of the old American Football League in 1965. The success will depend first on the level of competition, the evenness of competition . "After discussions with his parents, Walker has decided it would be in his best interest to pursue a professional football career at this time.". . "In denying I signed a contract (last week), I made a mistake," Walker said in the statement. 2022 www.oklahoman.com. It's still a good draft but it is looking less attractive all the time.". Manton said, however, that Walker made the decision 10 days ago to turn professional. Other USFL first-round draft choices who have chosen the new league include running back Craig James of SMU, signed by Washington; running back Tim Spencer of Ohio State, signed by Chicago, and quarterback Reggie Collier of Southern Mississippi, signed by Birmingham. However, that ended with his USFL signing. Asked if the $16.5 million figure was accurate, he replied, "It could be more, it could be less.". At a news conference on Friday, he said there had been no actual offer, adding, "I am planning to return to Georgia for my fourth year.". Tex Schramm, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, said the large contracts of Bryant and a few others could hurt the development of the USFL. . General vice president of business affairs Charles Theokas said Walker's arrival in the USFL would "absolutely have a huge, huge impact on the credibility of the franchise," much as the signing of Namath out of Alabama gave instant credibility to the American Football League. Now it's time for him to look ahead. I ask for your forgiveness and ask God for his forgiveness," Walker said. He said he didn't think he was taking a gamble by choosing the USFL over the NFL because his long-term contract is guaranteed. Last week, Walker denied the reports. He's had an early education in the hard reality of the business profession. . "I came here to visit, was pleased with the organization and liked the idea of playing in the spring," Bryant said. The Stars also announced the signing of wide receiver Scott Fitzkee, who played out his option with the National Football League's San Diego Chargers, and Roger Jackson, a safety on Penn State's 1982 national collegiate championship team.