Harry Usher, general manager of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee that enjoyed such success with the 1984 Summer Games, will be named commissioner of the United States Football League early this week, says the Boston Globe.
The newspaper said Usher met recently in Florida with a group of USFL club owners and agreed to a multiyear contract to replace Chet Simmons, who has presided over the two-year-old USFL since its inception. Usher is a Los Angeles attorney, close friend and business associate of Peter Ueberroth, who went from the LAOOC presidency to commissioner of baseball.
However, Usher told RKO Radio Sports yesterday, "The inquiry from the USFL is a matter of exactly that right now, an inquiry. There is interest on my part, certainly, but no consummated agreement."
When the league failed to gain the network contracts its owners had expected, a group headed by owner Donald Trump of the New Jersey Generals started searching for a successor to Simmons . . .
The Generals, in their bid to sign Doug Flutie, reportedly are offering the Boston College quarterback a four-year, nondeferred deal worth more than $5 million, the New York Times reported.
The Times, quoting unnamed sources, said Trump had gone beyond any previous nondeferred money offer to a football rookie, proffering $1.3 million a year. That would about match the second-year pay of Generals running back Herschel Walker.
Quarterback Steve Young of the USFL's Los Angeles Express has a contract worth an estimated $5.5 million for four years, but the nondeferred part is about $4.2 million, the newspaper said.
Bob Woolf, Flutie's attorney, here last night for the Touchdown Club dinner, said, "I've never gone into the figures, but he is certainly as available to the USFL as Steve Young or Herschel Walker. We're dealng from that position. And I think he'll be compensated accordingly. Right after the first day (of negotiation), we accomplished what usually takes two months.
"If we don't hear from the NFL (which will not hold its draft until April 30), Doug's got a heck of a decision to make. We are progressing rapidly. He (Trump) is dealing in good faith. They want him and they may get him."
Flutie and his family were in Japan for last night's Japan Bowl college all-star game . . .
NFL officials claim the largest Super Bowl ticket counterfeiting ring ever has been uncovered in a San Francisco suburb and as many as 500 bogus tickets to next weekend's game could be in circulation.
"It is a buyer-beware situation," said the NFL's executive director, Don Weiss. "We will be inspecting tickets closely on the day of the game and those holding bogus tickets will not be accommodated."
Police broke the counterfeit ring in Millbrae City Friday night, the league claimed, arresting Dean Scott Foes, 26, of Honolulu; another man was sought. Foes was charged with grand theft and forgery. Police said they confiscated 28 phony ducats.
"Police were made aware of this," said Weiss, "by a man who had bought some of the tickets. He paid $225 and $250 for them.
"He first bought four tickets in Millbrae City and then bought 10 more in a meeting at Fisherman's Wharf . . . he became suspicious of the tickets and eventually went to the police. A third meeting was arranged, at which time an arrest was made" . . .
Robert Irsay says he thinks the shots fired at his car in Chicago were a prank and not revenge for moving his Colts from Baltimore to Indianapolis.
Irsay told the FBI his auto was shot at on Jan. 4 on the city's Near North Side. "I sort of feel Rush Street has a lot of young kids and pranksters who get drunk very easy," Irsay said. "I would think some kids did it."