Deal to bring back Colts called off

Augusta will have indoor football in 2010, according to Atlanta businessman Erick Moore. But the Augusta Colts won't be the ones playing.

Moore, who said in a news conference Nov. 16 that he and an ownership group of current and former NFL players had purchased the Colts from owner John Sisson in an attempt to revive the team from its year-long dormancy, backpedaled from those claims Friday and pulled out of the deal completely to start his own team.

Moore and Sisson have acknowledged that a deal was struck in principle for Moore's investment group to buy the Colts, but it was not finalized when the news conference was held. On Friday, the deal fell through completely.

Moore said it made better business sense to drop his proposed deal with the Colts and instead create a new team, which will play in 2010.

"After further due diligence, we figured out it's not going to work. Right before we went to closing, a lot of stuff came out of the woodwork about the Colts," Moore said.

"But we will be playing in 2010, we've got (Colts) coach (Cedric) Roach under contract, and Augusta will have football in March."

Sisson released a statement Friday night announcing the Colts were "suspending operations until further notice" because of an "inability to close a deal with an investment group in time to meet the (Southern Indoor Football League) deadlines for play in 2010."

Sisson said in the statement that the Colts, who last played as a member of the American Indoor Football Association, could attempt to become an SIFL expansion team in 2011.

Moore said his new team will play in the SIFL and already has a deal with the league to do so. He said a name for his new team has not been finalized but said two possibilities are the Augusta Stallions or the Augusta Mavericks.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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