Clipped From The Miami News

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 - USFL dreams become nightmares LEO SUAREZ Miami...
USFL dreams become nightmares LEO SUAREZ Miami Maws napalm' ORLANDO For every dream that lives in the United States Football League there are probably 10 that died before the league opened camp three weeks ago. Others are becoming nightmares every day. Craig Bradshaw and J.C. Crump are just two of the many hopefuls who have found out that for some, the USFL has not been a league of opportunity and fair play. Bradshaw never even made it to the Tampa Bay Bandits first day of training camp. He was one of many players who found out he had been cut by mail. Crump, the pride of Overtown, says he's in a "do-or-die situation" when the Boston Breakers play the Bandits in a scrimmage tonight at 8 at the Tangerine Bowl. A seven-year Canadian Football League veteran, Crump must look impressive if he is to make the Breakers over some of the big name backs the club has signed from the University of Nebraska. The USFL gave good athletes who couldn't make it In the National Football League hope when it started holding mini-camps for prospective players last fall. But it is now that the not-so-rosy side of the USFL Is starting to show. Not sure of how many college players they would sign from the league's first draft, several teams signed more players than they could realistically look at during training camp. According to Doug Thomas, a spokesman for the USFL, Chicago Blitz coach George Allen Figned 256 players to contracts. Only 90 were invited back for the opening day of camp. The other 166 players received curt letters explaining that their services were not required. The Philadelphia Stars signed close to 200 players and had 145 players present at the first day of training camp the highest figure in the league. The Tampa Bay Bandits signed 145 players prior to the first of two mini-camps. Thirty players were released after their first drill and 15 after the second. Craig Bradshaw, younger brother of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry "Bradshaw, was one of the players cut by the Bandits. He found out by mail. "I felt real good when they signed me," Bradshaw said from Shreveport, L.A. "I was really looking forward to playing. But then they sent me a letter saying they didn't need me anymore. I didn't even get to the first day of camp. It hurts because I had a good mini-camp." Bugsy Engelberg, the director of football operations for the Bandits, said the players were let go in the best interest of the team. "This is a business," Engelberg said. "A wonloss record is the only way to judge success. It hurts sometimes, but we do it. If we feel a kid can play elsewhere, we tell him. If we don't, we tell him to find another field." Reality sets in quickly for those who have made it to the training camps also. According to Crump, the guys with the big names and big contracts have an advantage. "If they grade me on performance, then I should be here when its over," Crump said. "But you never know. The guys with the big names and the ones who got a big bonus have an edge. In football the best guy doesn't always win. If they gave a guy a $50,000 bonus and me a $5,000 bonus, he's going to get the job. They got to get the money out of him." Crump knows he is facing stiff competition. Nebraska's I.M. Hipp, Tony Davis and Anthony Steels also play for the Breakers. Thursday, Boston also signed Andy Johnson, the former halfback for the New England Patriots. And to make matters worse, Crump pulled a hamstring muscle last week. "I'm going to be ready for the scrimmage because I have to be," Crump said. "I pulled the hamstring last Sunday in an intrasquad scrimmage. I had a great scrimmage, too. I had the longest run, 35 yards, and I caught the longest pass out of the backfield. But when you are hurt you are missing out on something. You are not practicing and that means they can't look at you." Crumps says he had a similar experience with the Buffalo Bills last year before being waived on the Please see LISFL, 48 le s have made it o Crump, the Ls have an ad-en I should be Lit you never the ones who I the best guy $50,000 bonus the job. They vetition. my Steels also n also signed :he New Engworse, Crump gage because I tamstring last had a great 5 yards, and I e Id. But when ting. You are ook at you." ?nce with the aived on the as LISFL, 48

Clipped from
  1. The Miami News,
  2. 12 Feb 1983, Sat,
  3. Page 11

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