Charlotte News

October 24, 1975

By Phil Whitesell

*** CONTACT ***

Hornets Huff, Douglas Approached By NFL

Charlotte Hornets linebacker Marty Huff and defensive tackle David Douglas have been personally contacted by the National Football League teams who may be interested in signing the former World Football League players.

Douglas was in Philadelphia today talking with officials of the Eagles and Huff was scheduled to fly to Chicago tonight to talk to the Bears management.

Douglas could not be reached for comment but Huff's wife Martha said several other teams had also contacted the 6-3, 235-pound defensive standout.

"He talked to Chicago, Buffalo, San Francisco, and Detroit and he's supposed to hear from New England," Mrs. Huff said. "He's just going to go up to Chicago and check out the situation."

No other players contacted by The News had been personally called by NFL teams and Hornets assistant publicity director Bob Dickinson said he had not heard of any others getting personal calls.

The Hornets last official team meeting was held yesterday at the Gus Purcell Day Camp on Kuykendall Road and Hornets president Upton Bell and head coach Bob Gibson told the players they would help them in getting jobs or furthering their careers.

SOME PLAYERS nearly cried at yesterday's meeting, linebacker Jere Brown said, but added for some the end of the league was a relief.

"Some guys were kind of relieved. There's been a lot of pressure every week not knowing whether you're going to get paid," Brown said.

The team always got paid, he said, but when the news of the league's folding was announced Wednesday, the bank froze the team account and the players weren't able to cash their checks Wednesday.

"Everything is worked out now," he said, and Bell also said the bank would cash the players' checks.

Bell also said reports that a new league involving Charlotte, Shreveport, San Antonio and Jacksonville weren't realistic.

"You can't do that (form a new league now)," Bell said. "You're just kidding yourself."

Bell said he expected it would take at least two weeks to get the Hornets financial affairs in order and that he planned to operate out of the same offices at NCNB Plaza with volunteer help. He said he hadn't decided what to do with the team's equipment such as shoulder pads and helmets.

Bell and as assistant coach said 10 National Football League teams and two Canadian Football League teams have already called expressing interest in Charlotte players.

Other Hornets players including Randy Rhino, Greg Lens and Jeff Woodcock, said they hadn't been contacted by any NFL teams.

"I've had some people call and talk about permanent (non-football) stuff," Rhino said, but nothing else.

"I've got to go back to school in January. I've got 14 hours left (to earn a degree in industrial management). I can't put it off any longer."

BUT RHINO SAID he would be interested next year if he were contacted.

"I've still got this thing in my mind that I want to play professional football. I'd hate to quit football right now because after playing this year I've proven to myself that I can play."

With three children, moving won't be easy, but Mrs. Huff, said "I'd like to see Marty go somewhere where he can play."

The children, she said, "make it a little bit difficult. Even with the kids, Marty's situation is a lot better than some of the other players."