Would-be developmental leagues are a dime a dozen, and one out of every dozen actually manages to make a few dimes. The latest new developmental league could manage to make some money by actually paying players who are not yet eligible to play in the NFL and who aren’t inclined to play for free at the college level.
Via multiple reports (we didn’t get the press release, for some reason), agent Don Yee is launching Pacific Pro Football. The L.A.-base developmental league will be limited to players four years or fewer removed from high school, giving former high school players a for-pay alternative to college football.
Players will receive, on average, $50,000 per year. While that may not match the retail value of “an education,” plenty of college football players end up playing college football not because they want to go to college but because they want to play football. With the NFL keeping them out for at least three years after high school (an obvious attempt to protect college football), plenty of young football players had no viable alternative to playing college football.
They now do. And while “Pac Pro” remains in its infancy and possibly will never learn how to walk much less run, it’s already a clear threat to the college football model. Which, given the extent to which the NFL tiptoes on eggshells when it comes to protecting college football, makes it cause for concern for the NFL.
Which could make things very interesting, very quickly, for a professional football league that will become the first one to directly challenge college football. And which could, if this new league has any success, could force college football to finally find a way to pay its players.