NEW YORK -- New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump has asked the other USFL owners to provide 'partial reimbursement' for quarterback Doug Flutie's multi-million dollar contract, a spokesman for Trump said Monday.
John Barron, a vice president of the Trump Organization, said the New Jersey owner wanted the other owners to honor an agreement reached earlier this year before Trump signed Flutie to a 5-year contract worth between $5 and $8 million.
'When a guy goes out and spends more money than a player is worth, he expects to get partial reimbursement from the other owners,' Barron said of Trump's signing of Flutie.
Had the owners not agreed to provide partial reimbursement, Trump 'probably would have done it (signed Flutie) anyway,' Barron said.
Barron also said that Trump expected reimbursement because he had sought the contract with Flutie at the urging of several other owners.
'Everybody asked Trump to go out and sign Flutie ... for the good of the league,' said Barron.
Trump sent a letter to USFL Commissioner Harry Usher last week requesting the agreement be brought up at an owners' meeting in the near future.
The letter, according to Barron, said in essence, 'Are these owners going to live up to the agreement'?'
Barron said the agreement was a verbal one. He said Trump was not worried about receiving the money from the other owners, but that he wanted 'the record to reflect' that the owners must live up to the agreement.
Barron said Trump had not decided how much of the cost of signing Flutie he would ask the other owners to pay.
'It was a flexible thing,' he said. 'It's dependent on a certain ability to pay. Trump realizes that not all owners are in the same (financial) position.'
Several USFL franchises are in poor financial shape, most notably the Los Angeles Express. Shortly before the season began, the league had to assume ownership of the Express, which gave quarterback Steve Young one of the highest paying contracts in sports history last year.
Barron claimed that Flutie's signing had done a 'great amount' for the league and that he hoped a similar arrangement were worked out for the signing of Bernie Kosar. Kosar, who will certainly be a first-round choice in the April 30 NFL draft if he doesn't sign with the USFL first, is being courted by the USFL's Orlando Renegades.
Flutie, the all-time leading passer in college football history, was signed Feb. 5. He has not had an auspicious rookie season, completing 67 of 146 attempts for 1,036 yards, 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions over six games with the Generals. New Jersey, which finished 14-4 and made the playoffs last year, is 3-3.