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Friday, April 23, 2010
Cuban is newest league owner in UFL

By Jeff Caplan
ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The fledgling United Football League announced Friday from its annual meetings in Orlando, Fla., that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the newest league owner.

Cuban is investing in the league rather than owning an individual team.

"I didn't want to take on the responsibility of a franchise," he said before the Mavericks' playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Cuban had interest in joining the UFL ownership group in the early planning stages but initially chose to limit his participation to a broadcasting commitment, using his HDNet to televise games during last year's inaugural season along with Versus.

Cuban said one reason he joined the ownership group now was because of the timing of a potential NFL lockout of the 2011 season, which would focus more attention on the UFL.

"It will make things really interesting, potentially," Cuban said. "Now if there's not a lockout, it's a valid league. But, that just made it more interesting."

The UFL's 2010 season begins Sept. 17 and concludes with a championship game during Thanksgiving week. Most games will be played Fridays and Saturdays.

"It's good football," Cuban said. "There are guys, obviously, that have NFL experience, guys who have been all-stars in the NFL, guys who've gone from the UFL to the NFL. It was kind of still in beta last year, it will probably get a higher beta release this year, and I think next year is when it really starts to kick in."

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.