Financial problems threaten Augusta Colts' future

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, July 11, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The season is over, but the hard hits keep coming. The Augusta Colts are having money troubles. News 12 has exclusive information that could change the future of arena football in Augusta.

Augusta Colts General Manager John Sisson knows how to have a good time. "It's some good stuff...hard hitting action and a lot of fun," said Sisson.

However, the party may be coming to an end. It turns out the team has failed to pay up for the last four games. "In the broad scheme of things you're really not looking at we've been owing this for years...I mean we've been owing this for a few months," said Sisson.

Even still the team's contract calls failure to pay within 30 days an immediate breach of their agreement with the James Brown Arena.

"This is the time for us to collect, and it's supposed to happen on Monday," said coliseum authority board member Keith Brown.

More than $13,000 is owed, but the arena is still granting over time. "Our citizens seem to enjoy it, and I think that it's important that we do what we can to help them to stay here. But we certainly have to keep the business end where it should be at all times," said Brown.

What has taken so long to pay up? "There's a lot that goes into this, but I'm not complaining. There's been a learning curve for me as well," said Sisson.

There has also been some shake-ups on the sidelines. Assistant General Manager Kelli Pierson is no longer with team effective July 1, 2008, and long time head coach Bubba Diggs tells News 12 that he's being told he'll stop getting paid at the end of the month.

"There's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that I really can't speak to...I mean...I know how it looks," said Sisson.

The arena is set to collect Monday morning. As for coach Diggs, he tells News 12 his contract was through December. He would be owed $16,000.

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