The USFL is committed to observing the following Guiding Principles:
SINGLE BUSINESS ENTITY The USFL will be operated as a single business entity, owning all teams and employing all players, coaches and football personnel.
DEVELOPMENTAL LEAGUE The USFL will provide players, coaches, football personnel and managerial employees football and professional developmental opportunities.
SPRING/SUMMER SEASON The USFL will conduct its playing season in the spring, with a championship game conducted prior to the start of NFL training camps.
USFL MARKETS The USFL will place teams in markets not served, or under-served, by major league sports, avoiding cities with NFL teams and/or MLB teams.
NFL COMPATIBILITY The USFL does not have an affiliation with the NFL, and will strive to complement, and not compete with, the NFL.
ENHANCED FAN EXPERIENCE The USFL will strive to maximize fan enjoyment and will utilize innovative technology to connect the fans with the teams.
PLAYERS Players will be compensated on a standardized scale. The USFL will determine squad limits and the methodology by which players will be placed with teams.
COACHES AND FOOTBALL PERSONNEL The compensation of coaches and other football personnel will be determined by the USFL.
VISION & CONCEPT
The USFL is a new professional football league that will present traditional American football games, played by skilled football players with proven ability, at a high level.
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.
The USFL is a developmental league, offering players the opportunity to refine their skills and showcase their abilities at a professional level. Similar opportunities will be afforded to coaches, football support personnel, and team employees.
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 and/or a MLB team.
The USFL will not repeat the mistake of previous attempts to kick off before being fully prepared, so we will not begin play until all capitalization has been secured, teams and stadiums have been selected, local management is in place and coaches and players have been given ample time to present a first-class quality football product.
There are many talented football players who, with the opportunity to refine, hone and showcase their skills, could earn a trip up to the NFL.
Each year approximately 3,000 players are invited to NFL training camps, yet each team is limited to 53 players on its active roster and 8 on its practice squad. Including players also on injury reserve, about 2,000 players make NFL rosters annually.
This leaves 1,000 players who report to training camps that will not be on NFL rosters, leaving 110 to 125 players for each USFL team to choose from every year.
Further, it is estimated that about 3,000 college players become eligible for the NFL Draft each year. Approximately 250 rookies are drafted along with 500 undrafted free agents, leaving 2,250 rookie players, many of whom started for their college teams.
Any player eligible for the NFL will be eligible for the USFL. Eligibility of semi-pro players will depend on their contractual situation and NFL eligibility.
USFL players will be free to move to the NFL at any time. NFL personnel will be encouraged to attend USFL practices and games, and practice and game tapes will be readily available to NFL teams.
Players will be allocated to USFL teams to achieve competitive balance and to match players with markets where fans are familiar with them. This will allow fans to continue rooting for, and supporting the careers of, their favorite players.
Coaches will still handle scouting responsibilities as they will identify prospective players they wish to coach. The league will attempt to honor such requests within the limits of competitive balance.
USFL TEAMS, COACHES & FOOTBALL PERSONNEL
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.
Three players may be moved from the practice squad to the active list for teams participating in the playoffs. All six practice squad players may be moved to the active list for the championship game.
Players who are injured and unable to play will be placed on an injured reserve list (and will be paid) until they are healthy enough to resume playing.
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.
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.
This developmental spirit will be on display at all levels, offering coaches, football support personnel and managerial employees developmental opportunities in the hope of becoming a gateway to the National Football League.
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.
The USFL aims to avoid six critical mistakes made by other minor league football operations to ensure the league's success and longevity.
STRUCTURE Leagues structured as autonomous teams under a centralized commissioner suffered as team owners and philosophies changed. A true single-entity ensures adherence to the founding vision and controls player costs.
TEAM CAPITALIZATION Several previous leagues suffered as a result of under-capitalization. New leagues will operate at a loss in early years until they becomes established. It is critical to capitalize a league to withstand early losses.
SEASON SCHEDULING Some previous leagues attempted to play head-to-head against the NFL. The original USFL was the first to successfully play in the spring, sustaining the league for three seasons before the fatal decision to move to the fall. The XFL enjoyed early success playing in the spring, but succumbed to other flaws.
AVOIDING NFL/MLB MARKETS The success of the AFL is attributable in large part to locating teams in major markets not served by the NFL (except New York). Leagues that placed teams in NFL markets suffered. The two strongest and most popular professional sports in America are the NFL and MLB. The USFL will avoid them.
PLAYER COMPENSATION The WFL competed with the NFL in signing players and learned that would require resources beyond its capabilities. The original USFL sought to implement salary caps but team owners abandoned that concept. The XFL and UFL established a standardized pay for players, and have been successful in attracting talent. Standardized pay places emphasis on the development of player skills.
PLAYING RULES Most previous leagues utilized traditional football with some variations. Some variations were successful and subsequently adopted by the NFL. The XFL implemented wholesale variations allowing more electronic intrusion into the game. Although those concepts played well in pre-season hype, they did not prove to be popular in practice. The USFL will play by traditional NFL rules but may experiment with innovations to improve the game for our league and perhaps the NFL as well.
WELCOME TO THE USFL
The USFL is off to a fresh new start.
On August 1, 2013 the organization was restructured, and is now owned and managed by a group with extensive football managerial experience at the NFL, arena and college levels, as well as general managerial, legal and financial expertise.
While we are virtually starting over in some respects, the new management team has been hard at work since the beginning of 2013 conducting research, developing the vision and concept for the league, establishing the internal operational structure, creating realistic financial forecasts for the league, and developing the business and capitalization plans.
The United States Football League is open for business under new management, and ready to move this exciting new league forward. The current focus is attracting sufficient investment in the USFL to fund operations. Of necessity, much of the fundraising effort will be conducted behind the scenes. We ask for your continued patience as we pursue this vital next step. We will report what we can when we can. Once we attract the first wave of funding, we will be in a position to begin selecting team cities, hiring local management and staffing up to put teams together and commence operations.
The USFL is headquartered in San Diego, CA.
Vision & Concept
USFL Teams, Coaches & Football Personnel
Welcome to the USFL
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