The former president of the current itineration of the USFL has a new venture. And it manages to combine two of the least-successful ideas in sports business — spring football and elite breakaway competition.
USFL founder and former president Brian Woods is launching Prep Super League, a six-week spring high school football league focused on drawing top four-star and five-star recruits, with NIL earnings potential being a major selling point.
The 11-on-11, 12-team league will use NCAA playing rules and host its first season next April 19 to May 24 with teams based in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, New Jersey, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa.
This league is a non-starter for us due to two reasons mentioned later in the FOS story: Players have to pay to participate and provide their own insurance. Not good in our eyes.
Beyond that: If you read Woods’ quotes in the FOS story and elsewhere, it is pretty clear he is aiming to create the football version of Overtime Elite or the NBA G League Ignite team. He told FOS some players “might be coming into the Prep Super League and not thinking about returning to their traditional high school.” And while participation will be confined to the cities where teams will be located, it does not sound like the SPL would prohibit players from moving to town to play.
There may very well be something to this. But it feels like an extremely heavy lift. You need to line up coaching, housing, educational services, money, et cetera. And then there needs to be a market and cooperation with the recruiting industry and college football itself. And that is just off the top of our head. There are undoubtedly myriad other challenges.
As for the presented concept of spring high school football that accompanies the traditional high school season: It makes no sense. Kids will inevitably get hurt (and miss the fall) and/or have their eligibility jeopardized. Safe coaching, equipment and insurance is a major concern. Among others.