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Don Yee: XFL Validates Need For Football Leagues Outside Of NFL

March 07, 2018 - 5:39 pm

Don Yee is best known, perhaps, for being Tom Brady’s agent, but he hopes to be known as someone who changes amateur – and professional – football as we know it. Yee is CEO of the Pacific Pro League, which is sponsored by Adidas and hopes to debut in July 2019.

“This will be the first professional football league ever attempted in this country for those players not yet eligible for the NFL,” Yee explained on Tiki and Tierney. “The goal of the league is to develop the players within NFL protocols. We’re going to play a safer game, and we’re going to help the players develop a life path outside of football.”



Yee said that teams will play a shorter season than college football and incorporate many rules used in the Senior Bowl. Most of their players will likely be 18-21 years old, with some joining the league right out of high school and others joining from community college or a Power Five conference.

Why would a student-athlete leave Ohio State or Alabama, you ask? Two reasons: one, the player could earn a salary in the Pacific Pro League, and two there are plenty of talented players buried on depth charts throughout the Big Ten and SEC, among other conferences. The Pacific Pro League would give those players a chance to showcase their skills – and make a little money on the side.

The NFL is aware of Yee’s venture.

“At the moment, they’re neutral,” he said. “They are aware of the project, and I also am aware that they’ve undertaken a lot of studies to try to determine what the right developmental path is for the league. I obviously can’t speak for them, but they are aware of our project, and I believe as we go along here we’ll continue those communications with them.”

Yee was also asked about the XFL, which is slated to return in 2020. Brandon Tierney assumed the XFL’s return wouldn’t be good for Yee’s business model, but as it turns out, it might be.

“I was actually excited about that,” Yee said. “No. 1, for someone who is as successful as Vince (McMahon), who’s got a proven track record in business and to be using his own personal funds to try to restart the XFL, means that it’s kind of validating the concept that there’s interest in another alternative leagues. Secondly, I was also excited because it appears to me that Vince’s league is going to use a player population that’s already finished its college eligibility. For our league, since we’ll be using a different player population, once players finish with Pacific Pro Football, they actually will have another potential employment path with the XFL and not just exclusively the NFL.”