The Power Five and the University of Notre Dame should break away from the NCAA and partner with the NFL to bring back the XFL.
When the XFL filed for bankruptcy, it was a shot in the arm to many fans. Many thought this would be the spring football we’ve been waiting for. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shutdown, the league stopped play and ceased operations.
What if there was a way to bring it back? There is.
There has been a lot of chatter about the Power 5 Conferences breaking away from the NCAA.
Dennis Dodd on the Power 5 conferences breaking away from the NCAA. It seems more likely now than ever before. https://t.co/4qSMsHYTy8
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) May 27, 2020
Imagine a mix of professional football with college pageantry. The ACC, Bg 12, B1G, SEC, and Pac-12 already have the television infrastructure in place having television contracts with FOX, CBS, and Disney. They also have a sellable product that people already watch.
Since the XFL is for sale, the Power 5 should consider purchasing the assets and rebranding the league under the guise of college football. This is where the NFL should step in.
Since these colleges are major universities, even though college football makes money, the money made goes to the school, funding athletics and other entities. The NFL should help the Power 5 with funding and partner with them to bring the league into existence.
Broadcasting and the US Code
Here comes the tricky part: The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961. According to the US Code, no professional football games can be televised on games 75 miles from a college or high school from the second Friday in September until the second Saturday in December under the following conditions:
- The game must be between colleges conferring four-year degrees
- The game had to be announced by August 1
So, to get around this, the NFL and the Power 5 Conferences would have to maintain the football teams as college teams while still paying the players. The law doesn’t stipulate amateur status, just that the game be between institutions granting four-year degrees.
Location of Games/Schedule
This is the easy part. All of the colleges already have home stadiums where the games are played. They could just use those stadiums and keep playing the games on Saturdays as they have in the past.
Many professional sports leagues have balanced divisions and conferences. However, this would be a blend of professional and college football. So, the conferences can keep their current alignment and only play within their region because it would be better for the students who are participating until the postseason.
The Affect Campus-wide
The football players would still be students. They would be getting paid, but they would have to be attending the college in order to play in the league. So, in essence, they’d still be student-athletes, but they’d be professional athletes while attending school. The players could get scholarships too, and there would be no limits.
Other sports could benefit from this as well. The money brought in from this could go to paying the students in other sports.
What about their draft eligibility? They’d still need to be three years removed from high school, but they’d also be eligible for the draft because they’re still preparing for the NFL. In essence, this would be like the NBA’s G-League. Players can enter the G-League straight from high school and still be eligible for the NBA Draft. So, it would work the same way.
This is a winning scenario for everyone: the universities, the NFL, and most importantly the players.