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Sep 20/19
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21u
Monthly Newsletter of the Regional Development Football League
DEV HIST
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TEXAS FOOTBALL LEAGUE

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOOTBALL LEAGUE ACADEMY INSTITUTE

 

 

The Football D-league, where resources are crucial, but locality may be the real key

Instead of big budget and names,

For the year 2016- 16,175 college football players were eligible for the NFL draft. Only 256 of them were drafted. When it comes to playing professional football, the odds are stacked against you is a gross understatement.

College football is the most obvious, direct, route into the NFL. It’s often seen as the pipeline, college resources provide scholarships, opportunities, and support to a great many student-athletes. The prospect of going to the pros, in addition to those resources, is the carrot that draw these athletes in, while the NFL, which maintains a strong relationship with these college programs, the ability to examine and vet potential draft picks, from that relationship.

But for all the potential exposure, for all the time and commitment given by these players to the sport, only 1.6% of seniors will play at the next level.

Standing out from the crowd and impressing a scout is hard enough, but for borderline players, or those from smaller programs, getting in front of one may be even harder, if not impossible even with today’s technology.

Some players simply need more time to develop. Some need a second chance. Others still need their first opportunity.

A developmental football league can fill the need as a niche group.

 D-leagues are a rejection, in many ways, of the traditional college model. They’re for the athlete whose interest would not be met by the college football community; for those whose mistakes have cost them an opportunity; for those who simply have no interest in four more years of school or the price tag that might be attached.  And sometimes, for those who love playing football and would rather have some type of vocational career training while working on their football skills development toward a career.

Professional trades skills school aims to develop the next generation of NFL athletes. Targeted at high school graduates who have not gone to college, and who have not been out of school for more than three years, the spring instructional school/ league aims to offer an educational stipend scholarship for one semester year’s tuition and books used for Lab 1 Classroom study.

 

 For the forty- eight players granted access to the academy team, the RDFL Academy Institute Texas Football League Prospect League seeks to create an immersive professional football environment that’s unhampered by normal NCAA time restrictions, and to use its modified rules to put its players in front of coaches through the Contract To Hire job process used in many other industries but never performed in the athlete sports environment.

 

in the world of developmental football, everything might as well be set in sand. Developmental leagues, and especially competitors or alternatives to the NFL like the USFL, the minor league UFL, and the XFL, have come and gone in America to great fanfare and then financially-burdened debt.

The RDFL Academy Texas Football League has no intentions of competing with the NFL, but rather its option academy feeder-system. This new academy league makes (no) promises regarding salaries and benefits as players and other participates are considered independent contractors, by using a few lessons from other developmental leagues the model is unusual and has never been used within the industry.

 D-league, games are usually played in high school stadiums, in front of family, friends and maybe a local following if the team is popular enough. Our model projects some games played within multi-purpose use facilities and the data used to promote the prospect class A level talent suggest there’s a market for development level talent if its projected as being such to the demography interested in watching developing talent that really is prospect level skilled.

The Texas Football League is aimed at players 21U and over exception 23U who have exhausted their eligibility or never had the opportunity to compete at the next level.  Payment is Educational Stipend based. Those grading out as professional prospect level Class A talent are invited to attend the RDFL Academy Institute, there is a fee once acceptance is granted into academy training school and a $1,500 scholarship toward tuition is awarded to each prospect

The post history is littered with so called developmental leagues.”

referencing high salaries and benefits provide unrealistic numbers to maintain for a startup league even as a developmental one. Considering that many of those past leagues spend about $10 million in salaries by the end of its first season without a major sponsor or TV deal. 

 

But then again, money has never really been the issue, at least initially, for superstar-backed leagues. It’s the lack of interest and support and the poor quality, which catches up to the league, weighs it down, and eventually sinks it.

  But in the long run, if it cannot sustain itself and deliver on its promises, they are just another blip on the radar.

Lower level semi pro leagues attempt to use a franchise model and they expand to large numbers of teams. But because they miss understand what a franchise really is “many owners start franchises without understanding the investment the league first of all has no model to offer as a franchise, it’s simply a league with memberships.

 

The semi pro leagues offer players who missed out on a college experience due to poor choices or financial considerations, as well as experienced players who need help honing their skills for the next level, and pros who need a hand getting back onto a team. It’s a wide net, they cast and some have seen more than a few signings by various professional teams.

However, in part because of its model, payment in these leagues varies per team and per skillset, with some players settling for gas money and others just for the possibility of face time with scouts. They do offer a net for those guys who still may have an opportunity, the Pac Pro League’s figure of $50,000 is mentioned.

In a markedly different approach from the previously mentioned leagues, most semi pro teams that use the term developmental choose not to pay its players helping to preserve their eligibility for college for younger players. In most situations because there just is not enough support for the team from a cash flow point and frankly the product isn’t very good.

 

In that regard, development is it really being taught? Probably not and if so what is the programs announced standard that would suggest it as being so.

Each of the aforementioned has its own goals, policies, and philosophies, as varied as the places and towns in which they operate. Yet, for all their differences, the most striking similarity of the successful D-leagues is their locality. These leagues are still here, in part, because of their humble beginnings, similar to how the NFL began. The original teams were essentially local clubs.

In building from the ground up, the D-league have to establish a firm foundation in small towns and limited spheres of influence. The local fans must be able to see a rising prospect professional level talent   they will keep the teams alive with their support if the product can match the audience expectation’s.

Players with professional prospect skills will attend a combine especially if its free of charge and they have the goods, borderline talent won’t attend a real tryout that test based upon real goals that professional talent will have this process eliminate wasted contact time dealing with well players who can play but just are not professional level talent.

 They’ve been forced to tread the same path that the NFL player once did, football is an average man sport, most players will not make it to the NFL, but a surprising number of them will see chances to play Arena/indoor football, or overseas.

But the NFL is imagined as being only for those who have professional level skills, without it being an average man sport at the lower levels there is no NFL.

It’s not about reinventing the wheel, but about going back into the community and dealing with the people who are already involved.”

Maybe the future of non-NFL football actually lies in the NFL’s past: local teams, with local kids, filled with redemption stories, and players whose primary motivation is a love of the game and a desire to keep playing it.

 Perhaps building a strong relationship between RDFL Academy Texas Football League and these other D-leagues will give the developmental level football, thousands of players, a better chance at beating those odds that are stacked against both of them.

 So as the RDFL/Texas Football League offers its own alternative path to the big show, it should keep in mind that for the next generation of professional footballers, the road to glory might not start with a college program but within an academy school setting that develops football skills as a career choice, alone with attaining general work skills for life after the game has said this is not your path.



 


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