College Football Getting A Competitor?

Christian McCaffery’s father Ed is one of the backers of a proposed football league that would offer college football players a pro option.




There is another proposal for a new football league floating around. Pacific Pro Football would be a development league for players between the ages of 18 to 22 and would pay the players unlike college which clings to the notion of so-called amateurism and the dodge known as “student-athlete” which is designed to deny players benefits. Starting a new football league and having it succeed is difficult. Only two have made it. The National Football League and the American League League. The AFL that “made it” was the fourth American Football League and the circuit lasted from 1960-1969. The NFL took in all 10 AFL teams. Three other AFLs failed although the Los Angeles Rams franchise can be traced back to one of those AFL’s, as the Cleveland Rams team played in the AFL in 1936 and moved to the NFL in 1937.

The All American Football Conference lasted four years between 1946 and 1949. Three AAFC teams, Baltimore, Cleveland and San Francisco survived and joined the NFL. Lamar Hunt’s AFL started in 1959 with eight teams. Minneapolis bolted to the NFL before the first kickoff but the AFL survived. There will be two more leagues that failed the WFL and the United States Football League. Other smaller operations including various incarnations of the NFL owned or sponsored World League of American Football, NFL Europe and NFL Europa all failed.

In May, 2001, after some $70 million in losses, Vince McMahon and General Electric threw in the towel and ended the XFL.  A league that featured alumni of big time colleges never got off in ground in 2008 and the UFL joined a long list of “alphabet” football leagues that stay alive only in football history books. New football leagues are difficult sells.