HARTFORD, Conn. -- The United Football League is considering contraction as it struggles to survive for the 2011 season, Hartford Colonials coach Jerry Glanville said Wednesday.
Glanville told The Associated Press he expects to find out within a week whether his team will play in 2011, or be folded by the UFL.
"I know that they have four plans out there, and that is one of the plans," he said. "I don't know all the plans. I'm kind of shocked. The debt from last year is killing the league, not anything from this year. You've got to pay the people you owe or you can't keep on playing."
The Colonials hired the colorful former coach of the NFL's Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons in the offseason to be its coach and general manager. He said he found out later that the second-tier professional league has been struggling to pay a massive debt, including $9 million in workers compensation costs.
"They didn't tell me that when they hired me," he said. "That's a lot of money. Workman's comp is so expensive, it kills off most startup leagues."
The league issued a statement Wednesday in response to questions about the Colonials' future, saying it is assessing all of its options in an attempt to play in September.
"We have made no final decisions though we are considering several options," the statement said. "It would be premature to make any conclusions at this point."
The UFL, which has lost more than $100 million in its two years of existence, announced last week that it would push back the start of its games from August to September.
The league had hoped to gain exposure in the vacuum left by a locked-out NFL. It scheduled several early-season games on Sundays and had hoped to fill television time slots normally reserved for NFL preseason games.
But plans changed when it became clear the NFL would end its lockout.
"This bad news is this is not the time of year to go out and get another job," Glanville said. "I feel bad players that thought they were going to get an opportunity to play and can't and coaches. Coaches love coaching and we may not get that opportunity."
The Colonials moved from New York after the league's inaugural season in 2009 and went 3-5 in Connecticut in 2010.
Glanville said he's been told to expect a final decision by Aug. 2, but hopes to hear something by Friday.
A decision to fold the Colonials would leave the UFL with franchises in Omaha, Norfolk, Va., Las Vegas and Sacramento in 2011.