TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Portland Thunder defensive lineman Marquis Jackson is introduced before a 2015 game at Moda Center. The Arena Football League, down to eight teams, has taken over operation of the team for 2016.The Arena Football League has taken over operation of the Portland Thunder.

The AFL Board of Directors announced the move Wednesday, saying the team’s “previous ownership group” would no longer be in place and the Thunder will be run by the league in 2016.

The Thunder are entering their third season, and the first of their 16 regular-season games is set for April 1 at Moda Center against the Arizona Rattlers.

Terry Emmert, who owned the team, told the Portland Tribune recently that he was concerned about the league's medical insurance policies with the players and also was hoping to attract investors to help carry out the Thunder operation.

AFL Commissioner Scott Butera, in a statement, said Wednesday that “after many months of attempting to work out an arrangement for the AFL to provide financial and operational support to current ownership, we were unable to successfully work something out and are thus assuming ownership and operational control of the Thunder. We highly value the Thunder fans, and this step was needed to stabilize the team in the Portland market."

The AFL is down to eight teams this season after the league had to step in late last year and operate two other clubs, in Las Vegas and New Orleans, that did not return for 2016.

The San Jose SaberCats, who won the 2015 AFL title, and Spokane Shock also are no longer in the league.

Three teams that played in 2014 — Pittsburgh, San Antonio and Iowa — dropped out after that season, when the league had 14 clubs.


University of Oregon senior guard Dylan Ennis will miss the rest of the season after reaggravating an injured left foot during Sunday's game at Oregon State.

Ennis, a transfer from Villanova, sat out until Dec. 29 and appeared in only two games for the U of O.


Darlington Nagbe, who passed his audition last year, has been invited to the U.S. national team training camp. It will take place Jan. 11-Feb. 6 at Carson, Calif.

The U.S. will play friendlies Jan. 31 versus Iceland and Feb. 5 against Canada.

Nagbe’s national team debut came on Nov. 13. He also played on Nov. 17, totaling 48 substitute minutes in matches against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.


Andrew Gregor, former Portland Timbers player, is moving up from assistant coach to head coach of the Portland Timbers2 United Soccer League team.

Gregor joined the Timbers Academy coaching staff in March 2014 and led the U-16 and U-18 teams in their 2015-16 seasons, in addition to his T2 duties.

The 40-year-old Gregor played for Sunset High and the University of Portland, then had 10 goals and eight assists in 50 USL games for the Timbers, along with 23 appearances (20 starts) in MLS for Columbus and Kansas City.


The University of Oregon women’s basketball team has added a player for next season. Justine Hall, a 5-10 guard who played for Purdue, is enrolling immediately in Eugene and will be eligible to play after fall quarter next season as a junior.

She is a native of Denver and appeared in 30 games over two seasons with Purdue, after earning Colorado player of the year honotrs as a senior.


It's not often that you see two former Portland Winterhawks stars, who have turned into very good NHL players, involved in the same trade.

Nashville sent defenseman Seth Jones, who helped the Hawks make the 2013 Memorial Cup tournament, to Columbus for Ryan Johansen, star with Portland for two seasons, 2009-2011.

Both were No. 4 overall draft picks. Johansen was MVP of last year's NHL All-Star Game, but he has contract issues with Columbus and has not enjoyed a good relationship with coach John Tortorella. The Blue Jackets are happy to be adding the skilled Jones on the back end.

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