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Blog Entry

A New Professional Football League

Posted on: May 21, 2010 9:16 pm
 

There is great appetite in Ameica for football. It is not shocking that more sports fans tuned in to the NFL draft over playoff games in hockey/basketball a couple weeks ago. Everyone knows that the NFL is the number 1 sports league in America. The billions of dollars that TV rights are worth has capture the eyes of business people who want to grow their wealth. Even college football has started to see the green as well with ACC, Big Ten, and SEC all having TV contracts that gurantee them over a BILLION dollars each with payouts ranging from ($150-300 million a year).

With that type of money in play college athletics is no longer simply "scholar athletes" playing kids games. As a society we lost our moral compass on the matter a long time ago. Once universities starting handing out scholarships for intercollegiate athletics, scholarships are a form of compensation to entice students to enroll and participate in athletics at the schools behest, the university was admitting that these particular students bring unique value to the school. The same notion applys to academic scholarship, the university grant them to students because there is a positive outcome for the university be it more diversity (culturally, socio-economically) or a prized mind/talent. Basic economic principles state what the university is doing is a form of bartering. They are trading something of value (subsidized education) for something else of value (athlete's particpation and marketing rights).

The fact that the public refuse to acknowledge that scholarships are a form of compensation, with a binding contract for the student athlete, it is taken for granted that student athletes will not see a great change to current benefits regardless of how much more the colleges cash in. It sounds sacrilegious, but outside of college athletics can you think of any other multi-billion dollar industry that workforce receive no monetary compensation. Without competition, college athletics has been able to strong-arm athletes. If given a choice would some of the star high school/ college athletes choose to pursue a professional career instead of going to college?

Without a doubt the answer is yes! The first question athletes will ask is will the NFL scout them, the answer to that question is yes. Eric Swann, never attended college (he went Semi-Pro out of high school) and he was the 6th overall selection in the 1991 draft. If NFL teams found Swann 20 years ago there is no reason why they would not find players now. Every year players outside of Division I-A football are selected in the draft. The teams will search high and low for the talent. In fact teams would look favorably on players playing in a professional league and having a little money in their pocket before getting into the league.

No professional football league will be able to compete against the NFL. The UFL is taking NFL rejects and intend to classify itself as a minor league organization. There are a lot of wealthy people who back it but it is hard to believe that the success of the UFL could be much greater than the AFL in its heyday which had a national tv deal but still was not profitable.

A Young Adult League (18-23) that competes with colleges for high school athletes could bring new competition to the market and in time it could grow into a multi-million dollar enterprise. Possible sources of revenue: gate receipts, sponsorship/marketing, player termination of contract (players sign a 5 year contract which can be voided by the player or NFL team paying a fee), tv/media broadcasting, digital rights.

My vision:
Single Entity Ownership
Initially 12 teams (competition can force growth just AFL/NFL) 
14 game season (Sept. to Jan. > 4 team playoffs)
Budget $3 million for player salaries (60 players, minimum salary of $35,000, max $100,000 - 50 minimum and 10 max)
$0.5 million for subsidized education ($7800 per player a year)

I pitched the idea in email to Mark Cuban (no response), but I classify this as multi-million dollar brainstorming.

Category: NCAAF
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