Go, you Hartford Colonials!

Dan Shanoff has an idea worth trying that’s so sensible it’ll never see the light of day.

If the UFL actually thinks that bringing in Terrelle Pryor alone will juice interest in the largely hapless fledgling football minor league — or if fans actually would have an interest (even passing interest) in the UFL if it did sign a known college star like Pryor — then it makes it all the more obvious what the UFL’s optimal strategy should be:

Undercut the NFL’s draft age-restriction by two years, then recruit star college players after their freshmen and sophomore years directly into the UFL, to spend one or two years getting paid to hone their NFL skills until they are draft-eligible in the NFL.

We’ve been over this before: If the UFL could promise some money and, perhaps more importantly, a full-time focus on maximizing the players’ draft prospects (and, ultimately, their long-term NFL prospects), they could not only bring in the “name” players that would increase interest in the league, but ultimately position itself as a viable development pipeline for NFL talent.

On the surface, it’s a win-win:  players who don’t want to be in school get paid (by teams in an existing league with an existing infrastructure, mind you) and it siphons off a considerable amount of pressure on the NCAA’s amateurism standards.  The catch, as Shanoff notes, is whether players like Pryor would be enough of a commercial draw to make the concept work.  But even if they weren’t, we’d learn something useful about which parties bring value to the table in the world of college football.

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8 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

8 responses to “Go, you Hartford Colonials!

  1. CLT Dawg

    seemed to work out okay for AFL back in the day…the NCAA & the NFL might as well embrace this as their minor league. Most of the 4 & 5 star kids playing D1A could care less about classes anyway, so let this be the solution.

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  2. Go Dawgs!

    Frankly, I’d be okay with it. I do object to the idea that a young man who has the talent to get paid large sums of money for playing football has to wait three years in order for that to happen.

    And, frankly, it doesn’t matter to me if the best 19 year olds are playing college football, or if it’s the group of 19 year olds who are either really good but not good enough to get paid or the 19 year olds who are willing to be amateurs in college. Whichever way, I’ll still be putting my football watchin’ time, effort, and money into UGA.

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  3. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    The same thing happened with the USFL when they ammended their rules to draft Marcus Dupree, who like Pryor was linked to improper benefits. That opened the door for Hershell and many others. The NFL reacted by lowering its age/class limit.

    Would think the same could/would happen again and as such I’m totally against the suggestion.

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  4. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Herschel …

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  5. Macallanlover

    This is what Cuban should get involved with. Call it a developmental league, name the teams after regions of the country, and take the 4.2 guys who cannot make a 900 on the SAT and would never be serious students anyway. My guess is it would only take 6-8 teams to handle all the legit NFL prospects. It would go a long way to cleaning up CFB and make the term “student athlete” mean something again. I would be happier with better behaved athletes, the players who prefer an NFL shot to a degree would be paid for their time and effort and CFB would still be competitive.

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  6. Dog in Fla

    The thing that I can’t figure is how Thom keeps letting Dan have this exclusive obsessiveness

    http://www.timteblog.com/2011/06/tim-tebow-on-daily-show.html

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  7. SF Dawg

    That would suck on so many levels… Ugh

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