The fledgling United Football League takes a significant step in its quest for credibility with a skeptical public today when it announces who will coach its four franchises.
One of the new coaches will be Jim Fassel, who will guide the Las Vegas-Los Angeles franchise.
Fassel, 59, spent seven years as coach of the New York Giants, leading them to Super Bowl XXXV. He has been out of coaching since 2006, when he was fired as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator.
The UFL’s first season begins in October, and games will be played on Thursdays and Fridays.
The league announced Monday that its games will be televised on Versus. After today’s announcement, the UFL’s next big event will be its player draft in mid-April.
Commissioner Michael Huyghue said Tuesday that the plan is to bring in players who have NFL-level talent but might not have been good enough to get on the field.
“There’s a lot of players who can play in the NFL but never get a chance for a variety of reasons,” he said. “We hope to give those players an opportunity in our league, and I think people will be surprised in the caliber of players we’ll have in our league.”
The league will have a salary cap of between $4 million and $6 million. The minimum salary will be $6,000 in the inaugural season with a maximum of around $800,000. In 2010, when the league expects to be fully operational, the top salary will be $2 million.
Huyghue defended the UFL’s decision to move forward despite the depressed economy.
“Fans are looking for affordable entertainment,” he said. “Our average ticket price will be $20.
“We all know what the economy is. But that’s exactly why we’re launching now.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913.