Boston Globe

February 6, 1974

By United Press International

WFL completes college draft

NEWPORT BEACH, California - The fledging World Football League completed the final 30 rounds of its college draft yesterday, confirmed that the Memphis franchise would probably move to Portland, Oregon and said the ownership of the Philadelphia franchise has been settled.

The drafting emphasis was based on players who could be signed and those with local appeal.

"Most people drafted with the idea in mind of those people they could sign and on the basis of territory," said Gary L. Davidson, league president. "The draft went a lot faster than we thought."

The announcement of a likely switch of the Memphis franchise to Portland was made by Davidson and team owner Steve Arnold of San Francisco.

They confirmed that Memphis city officials had withheld agreements on a lease of Memphis Stadium in hopes of obtaining a franchise from the rival National Football League.

"We have a real political problem in Memphis," Davidson said in the league's office here.

"It's a good situation as far as an antitrust suit goes, but it's not good as far as a football franchise is concerned," he said.

"It's likely that we will not go to Memphis. It's also likely that the NFL will not go there either and they won't have a football team.

"We are very interested in Portland. We would like to have another West Coast team," Davidson said.

The WFL teams drafted their first six rounds January 22.

Going in the early rounds of the final 30 yesterday were such better known players as Bill Simpson of Michigan State, drafted by Detroit; Dave Latham of Syracuse who went to Birmingham; Carl Sommerall of East Carolina who was picked by Washington; Mark Vaneghen of Colgate who was also picked by Washington; Jim Allen of UCLA who was drafted by New England and Durwood Keeton of Oklahoma who was picked by Southern California.