New United States Football League
The United States Football League (USFL) is a proposed American professional football league founded in 2008. Three different owners have directed the league since 2008. The current ownership group assumed control in August, 2013. The league is also known as the New United States Football League to distinguish it from the 1983-85 league of the same name.
Immediately after taking over the league, the new ownership group postponed until 2015 the previously announced 2014 kick off date. Since then they have indicated through dialogue with fans on their Facebook page that they are working to meet the 2015 goal but will only kick off once they have completed their capitalization efforts, and have sufficient funding in hand to operate the league for several years from launch until it can generate enough revenues to sustain itself and become profitable.
The USFL does not intend to become one of the “major league” sports organizations but rather is committed to serving as a developmental league more akin to minor league baseball. As a developmental league, the USFL will offer players the opportunity to develop and refine their football skills and to showcase their abilities at a professional level. To prepare players for advancement to the NFL, the USFL will use NFL playing rules.
The USFL will consist of eight teams playing a fourteen game regular season schedule, two playoff games and a championship game; all played in the spring and early summer to avoid competition with the NFL and major college football. Each USFL team will have 44 players on its active lists, along with six practice squad players. Only players on the active list will be permitted to participate in regular season games. Each team will employ 10 coaches, including the head coach, an offensive and a defensive coordinator, four position coaches, one special teams coordinator and two quality control coaches. Each team will also be assigned, and limited to, eight football operations staff.
Knowing not all players will earn the opportunity to advance, the USFL will provide mentorship and training programs, centered on financial and career education, as well as exposure to local business leaders, to help prepare players for their lives after football.
Teams will be located in cities large enough to support a USFL team but not presently served by major league sports. The USFL will pursue cities that do not have an NFL team or an MLB team.
The USFL is governed by an independent Board of Managers that is responsible for managing the business, property and affairs of the League.
- Board of Managers
- Jim Bailey, President & CEO
- Fred Biletnikoff, Jr., Chief Operating Officer – Football Operations
- Jeff Diamond
- Robert Graff
- Jim Miller
- Jack Mills
- Bill Miltner, Executive Vice President – Administration & Legal
- Jay Moyer
- Paul Warfield
- Other officers
- Paul Byrne, Chief Financial Officer
- Hylton Lonstein, Senior Vice President, Operations
The new USFL has not released the locations of its teams.
In terms of team names, because most of the old USFL teams were located in cities that have NFL or MLB franchises the names will not work for the new USFL. Once new markets are determined, new team brands and identities will be developed. The proposed A-11 Football League ended up acquiring the intellectual property rights to most of the old USFL team names.
The New USFL was founded in 2008 by Southern California businessman Michael Dwyer. Dywer announced 12 target states for USFL teams in 2008. States specified were Nevada, California (2), (Portland) Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama and assembled an advisory board of people who had previously worked in pro football before drastically limiting the information he released to fans.
After three years of failed efforts to build a functional league, Dwyer sold the USFL brand to EndZone Sports Management, an entity headed by Jaime Cuadra headquartered in San Diego.
Cuadra was a natural promoter very open to discussing the league's progress. On July 20, 2011, on the radio show "Vegas Unwrapped", Cuadra said the league was close to getting their funding secured and hoped to start play in the spring of 2012. He named a series of team locations.
States and cities Cuadra listed were Michigan, Columbus (OH), Norfolk (VA), Orlando (FL), Memphis (TN), Jackson (MS), Los Angeles (CA), Salt Lake City (UT), and either Little Rock (AR) or Shreveport (LA), San Antonio (TX) or another Texas city, and either Sacramento (CA) or Portland (OR). He also mentioned that there were a couple of groups that might be in play for a fourth northeastern slot.
In that interview, Cuadra also suggested the New USFL leadership would be open to inviting some UFL teams to join the New USFL. Such a merger did not occur and the New USFL did not launch in 2012.
By May 10, 2012, the Cuadra-led league was trumpeting Portland (OR), Salt Lake City (UT), San Antonio (TX) or Austin (TX), Columbus (OH) or Akron (OH), Oklahoma City (OK), Omaha (NE), Raleigh/Durham (NC), Birmingham (AL) and Memphis (TN) as team sites.
Later the Cuadra-run USFL expected to play a 14-game regular season from March to June starting in the spring of 2013. The league did not launch in the spring of 2013 either.
There were plans to launch in 2014, but those plans were delayed after President and CEO Cuadra was forced to resign from his league duties in February 2013 in the midst of a scandal. On June 24, 2013, Cuadra plead guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from two San Diego companies and using the money to fund the new USFL.
Jim Bailey (a former longtime NFL executive) took over as the new CEO of the new USFL and posted an official statement from the league on their new website the following day.
The rights for the New USFL were acquired by a new entity, Touchdown Management, LLC (headed by Bailey) on August 1, 2013. Bailey posted an official statement on the league's blog stating a commitment to continue developing the new league and a desire to move on from the messy Cuadra era of the recent past. The new ownership initially announced they still planned to field eight teams and play a 14-game regular season but with the projected launch date been pushed back to start in mid-March 2015. However, by the spring of 2014 the USFL management began stating on their social media sites that announcing the 2015 start date had been overly optimistic and a mistake. The USFL has since announced there will be no player combines or teams announced until they meet the requisite funding to operate the league for multiple seasons.
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