Another Potential Professional Football League?

uflOn October 19, 2007, I reported that a new football league under development, the United Football League (UFL), wanted to kick-off its inaugural season in August 2008.  A year and a half later, I am sitting in Gainesville writing this post and still waiting for the UFL to show up on my HDTV.  But wait, could there be hope that I will be watching a UFL game sometime soon?  October 8, 2009?

There have been many announcements concerning the UFL over the past week.  Several coaches have signed up for its first season, including: Dennis Green (San Francisco), Jim Fassel (Las Vegas), Jim Haslett (Orlando) and Ted Cottrell (NY).  The league is also being innovative with its rules and following the wishes of many NFL fans by allowing end zone celebrations and adding technological advances like the addition of a GPS chip in the UFL’s footballs (will it include Google Lattitude?).

But can a league really get started with only four teams?  Time will tell.  The league has already beat its major hurdle: securing a TV partner.  All games, which will occur mostly on Thursday nights, will be broadcast on Versus network.  At first glance I question the move of signing on with Versus, but then I think about Spike TV before the UFC.  There is no reason that the UFL and Versus cannot work.  It just will be tougher for the UFL than signing on with an ESPN.

Even though the UFL has scored a TV deal, it will still have to overcome the terrible stigma involved with being a potential “competitor” of the NFL.  The XFL failed, NFL Europe collapsed, the AAFL and UNGL never got started, and the USFL is trying to start up once again.  The UFL has a TV deal, strong backers (financially and solid backgrounds), and only has to compete against college football games on Thursday nights (besides when the NFL schedules a Thurs. night game).

If you think that the UFL is a place that you want to offer to your clients, you can register to become an official agent right over here.  I did not find any qualifications needed to become licensed by the UFL, but I assume that there is some sort of background check involved.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Another Potential Professional Football League?”

When does their season start and end? Does it run at the same time as the NFL or in the Spring/Summer? Hopefully, they will grow more teams, possibly doubling in size after year 1. What happened to the other league (AAFL)?

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