Another pro football league is in development
A recent story in The New York Times reveals someone else hopes to capitalize on the popularity of football by forming another new professional league, but one that is entirely different than the NFL.
It would be for players who would be paid $50,000 a season in lieu of going to college.
Yes, it will be aimed at kids coming out of high school who will play for three years in what would be a developmental league. While others have tried to take on the NFL — see USFL and XFL — this one wants to be a feeder league to the NFL.
It is the brainchild of Don Yee, a sports agent who represents New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Yee has some seed money from an anonymous investor and is looking for more to start his four-team league in Southern California in 2018.
On paper it seems like a good idea, but so did the NBA Developmental League, although the NBA has never opened its doors to graduating high school seniors.
The Pacific Pro Football League would have a six-game schedule and playoffs, but it has to be considered a long shot, even though NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has admitted NFL owners have discussed a developmental league.
A lot of football fans would say the NFL already has a developmental league — it is called college football and it doesn’t cost the NFL or its owners any money.
The PPFL most likely will get off the ground. Staying off it will be another thing.
There are some thoroughbred tracks running right now, and starting today Oaklawn Park will be one of them. In many ways, it outshines them all.
Only Aqueduct is offering more in purses today, $463,00 to $421,500, but the New York track has only two races with full fields on its nine- race card.
Oaklawn has five full fields in its nine races.
Fairgrounds and Santa Anita have eight races today, but not one race is full. The total purses are $190,000 and $281,000, respectively.
Gulfstream in sunny Miami has six full fields on its 10-race card, but total purses are $217,000.
All things considered, it is no surprise why this time of year more owners and trainers are focused on Oaklawn. Thanks to the success of Instant Racing, the purses and quality of racing continue to buck the trend of other tracks.
To put it in perspective, American Pharoah — the 2015 Triple Crown winner and the first to do that in more than 30 years — ran all his 3-yearold prep races at Oaklawn Park. His owner and trainer picked Oaklawn over all other tracks in the country.
There are also pluses for on-track fans with the new show bet bonus. Saturday also is the annual 50-cent corned beef sandwich day, and Monday there are free hats while supplies last. And this is just the opening weekend.
A reader called attention Thursday to the irony in an offensive coordinator — who was calling the plays but was obviously having trouble with the head coach — taking a step down to a smaller school for less money and the head coach saying it was a great opportunity for the coordinator to implement and run his offense.
No, it wasn’t Houston Nutt and Gus Malzahn. Fast forward a decade to Malzahn and his former offensive coordinator, Rhett Lashlee, who is leaving Auburn and $600,000 a year for Connecticut and $350,000 a year.
Lashlee played for Malzahn at Shiloh Christian in Springdale and had been on his staff the past four years at Auburn and was twice a finalist for the Broyles Award.