The USFL was a noble failure, a league that came and went during the go-go 80s while serving as an early habitat Hall of Famers including Steve Young, Reggie White and Jim Kelly. Also, Donald Trump has been cited as a reason the league folded, which is always fun.
Former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia is now part of a group planning to bring the USFL back from the grave. Having learned the lessons of its predecessor, a new USFL would not try to compete with the NFL. Instead, it would promote itself as a spring league set up in eight non-NFL cities, operating as a feeder system for the big show. Kickoff is scheduled for 2013.
Garcia is on the board of advisers that hopes the league can secure a TV contract and sponsorships necessary to make the endeavor work. The vision, Garcia explains, is that the USFL serves as a developmental home for players, coaches, management staff and scouts.
"Unlike the UFL, that has tried over the past few years to get themselves going, the USFL will not lock a player in contractually if the NFL wants to go pick him out of the league right now," Garcia told WDAE in Tampa (via SportsRadioInterviews.com) "I think that's one of the great things. Granted, you may only have a few guys that get picked out of the USFL to the NFL, but if you give everybody that dream that they could possibly use this as a stepping stone, that's what the whole thing, the vision, is all about."
Garcia's logic is solid, though one can point to a large and successful developmental system already in place with college football. It's a bit of an underdog venture, and we all know the grisly track record here (Vince McMahon's XFL anyone?), but Garcia & Co. clearly believe this will be different.