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Hypothetical: Could/should the UFL sign HS stars?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by LongTimeListener, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Thought brought on by the Bush Heisman story ...

    Mark Cuban's UFL is trying to stake out turf as a minor league for the NFL, but it's currently using nothing but NFL rejects. What if they went a different route and started plucking off the top high school recruits with real above-the-table money?

    Take a guy like Terrelle Pryor. What if, instead of Penn State and Ohio State, he was choosing between college and a three-year, $1M offer from the UFL? He'd get to do what he wants -- major in football -- without the pretense of going to other classes. And NFL draft rules don't say anything about going to college, they just say you'd have to be three years out of high school.

    Personally, I have no interest in watching guys who have been ruled unfit for NFL practice squads, so I'm not paying any attention to the UFL. But if all the guys who were at that agent party and dozens of other "student-athletes" are playing in the league and competing for jobs with those NFL also-rans, I'm a lot more interested.

    Say you have a 53-man roster with a $5.3 million salary cap. There'd be a mix of the Pryors along with guys just out of college trying to keep the NFL dream alive. Figure with administrative costs, facilities, insurance etc. the average budget would be $15 million per team. That's roughly $120 million in annual expenditure. Can they break even after a couple of years with a cable TV deal for an eight-game season plus playoffs? Maybe Wednesday night games, for instance.

    I don't know. The loyalty/fan base factor for college football would be hard to overcome. But if I'm a player looking at abusing my body for the next three years, I'd rather do it for decent money than for free, especially if I'm one of the masses who doesnt plan to get that degree anyway. And with enough big prospects, the games would be hugely more watchable.
  2. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    Outing LTL is Mark Cuban soliciting advice...

    Seriously, though, it is one big way to get people talking about the league. It's not quite apples to apples, but the WHA did this in the 1970s by going after younger players. I think Mark and Marty Howe were the first to break the NHL's agreement about signing/drafting players under age 20. A couple years later some kid named Gretzky signed at age 17.

    Physically, it is not a good idea. Most 18-year-olds can't handle pro ball even watered down UFl ball.
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    The XFL floated this idea during its one season of existence. It was a bad idea then. It's a bad idea now.

    It would be the equivalent of a high school basketball player forgoing his college eligibility to declare himself eligible for the CBA draft.

    An 18-year-old isn't physically ready for the rigors of professional football. Baseball, basketball and hockey are hard on the body but not to the extent football is.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    The human body only has so many professional snaps from scrimmage in it.

    To throw away two years of NFL prime playing against Joes for $1 mil a year is stupid.

    Plus, 90% of these kids will wash out anyway.
  5. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    They don't get hit in college?

    If 90% are going to wash out, why wouldn't they take the money?
  6. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    It's also a way to get people to hate your league.
    Take an OT away from the Crimson Tide, see how that flies.
  7. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Regarding washing out, you are assuming that the UFL would provide a comparable opportunity to develop to what a college program has. That is very unlikely, at least in the short term.
  8. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    The only way this would work is if colleges got serious about academic standards and guys saw this as a legit option. However, I get a feeling the NCAA would look the other way on recruiting standards real quick if there was a real threat of grabbing kids straight out of high school.

    However, I think some parents and their kids would be interested. Take Jerrell Powe for example. He spent three years trying to get into Ole Miss because of academics. Would he do the same if he could make quick cash in the UFL?
  9. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    That's true...but if your team is Shreveport (they have a UFL team right?) would the fans there be mad if they stole an OT from Saban? (provided he was not going to Baton Rouge)
  10. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    If someone said when I was 19 they would trade me $1 million for my college degree, I would tell them they were nuts.

    At least if they give college a shot, if they wash out there is a chance they might have a college degree. And I'm guessing getting the degree with the help of athletic tutors is a lot easier than getting it on your own.
  11. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    and you're making an assumption that the majority of college athletes care about their degree. Check out graduation rates of "student athletes" and get back to me.

    For the record, I think the idea is ridiculous but not for the idealistic bullshit reasons that devil is spouting.
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You're assuming the $1 million and the college degree are mutually exclusive -- but in reality a kid could put $100,000 aside and get himself a degree if he's interested. I'd take that deal for my kids right now in just about any endeavor. And the percentages show there isn't a whole lot of interest in getting a degree among players at the football factories.

    I know this would never fly, or at least it would take owners who could stomach a few years of collective eight-figure losses. Just seems like the appetite for football is there, and if Cuban is serious this might be a better way than the silliness he has going right now. The difference from the D-league is that with the NFL draft restrictions, you could eventually make a legit argument that your league is the home of the premier 18- to 21-year-old talent in the nation.
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