SAN DIEGO -- Another pro league plans to bring a team to San Diego. The Pacific Pro Football League will cater to kids right out of high school who don't want to or cannot play in college.
"The time is right now to start a professional football league for those players that are not yet eligible for the NFL and for them to have an early professional option," Don Yee said.
Yee, who has worked in sports for more 30 years, has teamed up with Jamie Hemann, former vice president of the NFL Network, and three-time Super Bowl champion Ed Mccaffrey, to fill that void with the Pacific Pro Football League.
"The current system in which players participate in -- the NCAA model, the football and the academic process -- is actually conflated during the same part of the year. And neither one really may not get properly served," Yee said.
The NFL, unlike many major league sports, has no development or minor league. Players are required removal from high school by three years.
The league will launch in Southern California's four major counties -- a team in Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County and an emphasis in San Diego County, the intended site for the league's headquarters.
"Longstanding tradition of producing football talent from San Diego. It's a county that's produced many many great football players: Marcus Allen, Alex Smith, Reggie Bush, Junior Seau. We can go on and on," Yee said.
For the eight-game season, the average negotiable salary averages about $50,000 for four 40-man rosters, funded by private investors, not ticket sales.
What Yee believes sets his league apart is pulling talent that has not exhausted college eligibility or already had a stint with the NFL.
"We, on the other hand, will be looking at ascending talent coming directly out of high school," Yee said. "There's a lot of data that shows there's a tremendous fan interest in talent that's always coming up within the next generation."
Once the Pacific Pro Football League launches in 2020, the plan is expansion -- first by four teams on the East Coast after year three and by year five have a third pod, maturing to a 12-team league by 2025.
"Nobody's ever tried this before so we will make our very best efforts to get it underway properly and see if we can extend this into a 3, 5, 10, 15-year period. But a lot of it will be dependent on how effective we are at marketing the product, attracting top talent and executing on the field," Yee said.
Teams will play in July and August to keep the academic calendar open to athletes who want to pursue higher education. The league will also include team counselors to help players with their post-football life path.
Click here to learn more about the Pacific Pro Football League.