John F. Bassett

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from John Bassett (USFL))
Jump to: navigation, search
John F. Bassett
Born (1939-02-05)February 5, 1939
Ontario, Canada
Died May 15, 1986(1986-05-15) (aged 47)
Toronto, Canada
Occupation Tennis player, businessman, film producer

John F. Bassett (February 5, 1939 – May 15, 1986[1][2]) was a Canadian tennis player, businessman, and film producer.[3]

Sports teams ownership[edit]

Bassett owned the WFL's Memphis Southmen and the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits team.[1]

Bassett also owned the Toronto Toros and Birmingham Bulls of the World Hockey Association and the Toronto-Buffalo Royals of World Team Tennis.[2]

Racket sports play[edit]

Bassett was Canadian junior tennis champion in 1955.[2] He reached the second round of the 1959 U.S. National Championships in singles, in his only appearance in the main draw of the tournament. Bassett never played in a Davis Cup match for Canada,[4] though he was on the team in 1959.[1][2] He was also a member of Canada's 1959 Pan American Games tennis team.[2]

Bassett was also an accomplished squash player, having reached the semi-finals of the 1969 Canadian Open,[5] and was champion of Ontario in 1965 through 1967.[2]


Bassett was a motion film producer, President of Amulet Pictures, Ltd.[2] He produced the films Paperback Hero, Spring Fever, and Face Off. Bassett also owned a computer software company and real estate firm based in Sarasota, Florida. [2]


Bassett was the son of Canadian Media mogul John W.H. Bassett and father of former women's professional tennis player Carling Bassett.[5] He and his wife Susan had four children and lived in Toronto and Sarasota.[2][5]

Bassett attended the University of Western Ontario, playing on the varsity football team for a year.[5]

Bassett died on May 15, 1986 in Toronto General Hospital after a long illness due to two brain tumors.[1] A few months before his death, Bassett had been at odds with New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump. Trump favored moving the USFL to a fall schedule. However, Bassett wished to keep the USFL a spring league. When it was decided that the USFL was going to go head-to-head in the fall with the NFL, Bassett announced that he was pulling the Tampa Bay Bandits from the USFL, and looking for another league to play in. CFL Commissioner Douglas Mitchell denied Bassett's team entry due to there US location. The CFL later expanded into the US, 1993-95. [6] Florida businessman Stephen Arky, and Florida actor Burt Reynolds.[7] An USFL-NFL lawsuit was in progress at the time.[8] The USFL then defeated the NFL in New York General District court in their Anti-Trust lawsuit, but was awarded only $6.5 million in court costs and $3 in compensatory damages.[citation needed]


In 2010, he was elected as an inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame in the builders category.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d LA Times (15 May 1986). "John Bassett, Ex-USFL Owner, Dies of Cancer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Bandits: John Bassett". Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (January 15, 1983). "The Last American Virgin (1982) FROLICS IN FLORIDA AND OTHER ANTICS". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Davis "Canada Player Win/Loss". Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Sports (27 June 1983). "Here's Carling, Her Daddy's Darling". Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ WHA Hall of Fame Members