Negotiations to relocate the Las Vegas Posse in Jackson, Miss., collapsed again yesterday, and a Canadian Football League spokesman said there will be no further attempts to revive them.
The CFL will play the 1995 season with 13 teams, according to Mike Murray, vice president of communications. He also said a dispersal draft of Las Vegas players will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m.
It was the second time in two weeks that the league announced it was suspending the debt-ridden Las Vegas franchise. Last week's announcement was temporarily rescinded when Norton Herrick, an Orlando, Fla., real estate developer, attempted to purchase the team for Jackson.
But his bid ended when Herrick was unable to secure a sliding ticket guarantee worth as much as $1 million from state officials. Because the Mississippi legislature is no longer in session, the state could not make the guarantee.
"That was the breaking point," said Eric Tillman, general manager for the B.C. Lions and a Jackson native who would have joined the transplanted Posse in Mississippi. "Mr. Herrick was not comfortable enough to pull the trigger, and [commissioner] Larry Smith felt a non-decision was a no."
As a result, no less than three CFL assistant coaches are out of work. John Payne and Jody Allen from B.C., and Joe Paopao and Mark Nelson from Edmonton had quit their jobs to join the new Jackson team. Only Paopao is expected to get his old job back. Payne would have been the head coach in Jackson.
Meanwhile, the league will address the proposed North-South divisional alignment next week, but might go back to an East-West format.