Speros seeks settlement with NFL over name use

October 12, 1994|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Sun Staff Writer

In a move that could end the expensive fight for the Colts name, Baltimore CFLs owner Jim Speros has initiated talks with the NFL aimed at producing an out-of-court settlement before the case goes to trial.

Speros made some offers to the rival league last week, and his attorneys are in communication with the NFL, he said. He declined to discuss his offers in detail, but acknowledged a settlement may leave his team unable to use the cherished Colts name.

"I am not looking forward to going to court again, and do not think it would come out favorably," Speros said.

Speros named his expansion franchise the Baltimore CFL Colts earlier this year. The NFL and its Indianapolis Colts sued, claiming ownership of the name. The NFL won a temporary court order barring Speros from using it until the matter can be settled at trial, now set for Dec. 5 in Indianapolis.

A series of court rulings has gone against him, leaving Speros with one legal avenue: a costly trial against the wealthier NFL on its home turf and before a judge who previously sided with the Indianapolis team.

"We're looking into some other areas. We're in contact with the NFL attorneys to throw some ideas at them, to see if they will work with us," Speros said. "I will not walk away from the table with nothing."

He said he's asked the league if there is any use of the word Colts that it would permit. Barring that, he at least wants assurances from the NFL that an alternative name will not draw a lawsuit, he said.

"I do not want to be back in court with them. I'm not going to go through with this on another name," he said.

"I would love to settle this thing," he said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "Yes, the attorneys are talking, but we don't have anything to say about it now."

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