NFL reportedly involved in helping create a potential college football Super League

Author:
Sportsnaut

The National Football League has greatly benefitted from college football for decades, using it as a free development system for young players and helping dictate when certain games are played. Now, the NFL is reportedly part of the group behind a potential college football super league.

The NCAA is facing a grim future in an era of player empowerment, with the introduction of Name, Image and Likeness compensation paired with the freedom of the transfer portal dramatically changing college sports. While some efforts are being made to wrestle back control, the future of college sports as it’s been known for decades is increasingly uncertain.

Related: Federal judge calls out NCAA for amateurism model

Amid a growing push for student-athletes to be recognized as employees at a university, there is also conflict behind the scenes. The SEC and Big Ten have poached the biggest programs from other Power 5 conferences, highlighted by the SEC adding Texas and Oklahoma in 2024 while USC, Washington and Oregon are joining the Big Ten this upcoming season.

The consolidation of the colleges generating the highest revenue with the biggest media markets and fan bases has led to a shift of power in college football. It’s why when the College Football Playoff expansion to 12 teams was approved, the SEC and Big Ten were guaranteed to receive at least $21 million annually, per the Washington Post, while the ACC is a distant third ($12.7 million) and the Big 12 is fourth ($12.3 million) in revenue sharing for the 12-team playoff.

Related: NCAA takes huge blow from ruling by National Labor Relations Board

Andrew Marchand and Stewart Mandel of The Athletic reported on April 3 that a group of college presidents has proposed what would amount to a college football super league. The group, called “College Sports TOmorrow”, has floated the possibility of having seven divisions of 10 teams with an eighth division that would come from a second tier of football programs.

“”The perpetual members would be in seven 10-team divisions, joined by an eighth division of teams that would be promoted from the second tier.”

Andrew Marchand and Stewart Mandel on the proposed college football super league (via The Athletic)

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Why the NFL would want a college football super league

In that story, as noted by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, is that NFL executive Brian Rolapp is among the outside figures who are helping push for this college football super league.

From the NFL’s perspective, an early partnership with the college football super league would mean getting to help build it from the beginning and lightly shape it in a way that most benefits college football. While the NCAA and NFL have been aligned for decades, pro football’s only interest is in maintaining a league that will develop its players without NFL owners having to be financially responsible for it.

A college football super league would certainly lead to the NCAA’s implosion and dozens of college football programs facing uncertain futures, but those that would benefit from it might have enough power to eventually make it happen.

Related: NC State star DJ Burns addresses possibly declaring for 2024 NFL Draft

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