The United States Football League (USFL) announced today that Fred Biletnikoff, the Super Bowl XI MVP and 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, and James Bailey, the Executive Vice President of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise for 21 years, have been named to the league’s board of advisors.
Biletnikoff will serve on the football operations branch of the USFL’s advisory board, and Bailey will serve on the business operations branch. Biletnikoff and Bailey join former NFL and San Diego Chargers executive Jim Steeg on the board. Steeg was recently named Chairman of the USFL board of advisors.
“We are excited to have Fred and James on board to share their professional football expertise and insight as we prepare to successfully re-launch the USFL in 2013,” USFL President and Chief Executive Officer Jaime Cuadra said. “Their extensive backgrounds in the NFL will make them invaluable resources.”
The USFL is planning to field eight teams for its inaugural 14-game season in 2013, kicking off in March and concluding with a championship game in June. The league has targeted a number of U.S. cities for franchises.
The USFL’s Board of Advisors will be responsible for guiding and advising USFL management on various areas of operations and, eventually, focus on identifying candidates and selecting the league’s commissioner.
Biletnikoff, a Roseville, Calif. resident, was a six-time All-Pro wide receiver who totaled 589 receptions for 8,974 yards and 76 touchdowns during his 14-year NFL career with the Oakland Raiders. Biletnikoff began his professional coaching career in the in the original USFL, coaching with the Oakland Invaders and the Arizona Wranglers. Biletnikoff reunited with the Oakland Raiders in the coaching ranks from 1989-2006, spending the last 10 seasons as the Raiders’ receivers coach.
The first consensus All-American to play for Florida State, Biletnikoff was voted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991 and is the inspiration for today’s Fred Biletnikoff Award, awarded annually to college football’s best wide receiver.
Bailey, in his role with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns (who relocated to Baltimore after the 1995 season and became the Ravens), was responsible for the management of all business, financial and legal operations for the franchise. He led the effort to obtain a new or renovated stadium for the Browns in Cleveland and, when those efforts fell through, successfully negotiated for the relocation of the franchise to and the construction of a new stadium in Baltimore. He oversaw the construction of the new stadium, on time and within its $220 million budget.
Bailey, a resident of Solana Beach, Calif., also created the model for a new professional football stadium in San Diego, based on the private development of a 160-acre, mixed-use urban village. He presently represents the prospective master developer for the project in negotiations with the San Diego Chargers and the City of San Diego.
Biletnikoff and Bailey were teammates at Florida State University in the 1960s.
They join Steeg and Terrell Jones as members of an advisory board expected to expand in the coming months.
Steeg is a 35-year veteran as an NFL executive and the former COO of the San Diego Chargers. Prior to joining the Chargers, Steeg was instrumental in the growth of the NFL’s Super Bowl, having worked for the NFL for 26 years, where he was Senior Vice President of Special Events.
Jones, CEO and founder of TJones Group, LLC, has been involved in professional sports as a coach and consultant for more than 16 years. He has worked with the NFL, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Jones has successfully negotiated endorsement deals for his clients as well as sponsorship deals with major corporations and will consult with the USFL on its business operations.
The USFL is designed to allow players not drafted by the NFL, or those that have been released by NFL teams, an opportunity to play professional football under the same rules as the NFL. In order to maintain financial responsibility and sustainability, the USFL will structure itself under a single-entity business model. All player and coach contracts will be owned by the USFL, and each team owner will be a member operator of the league.
The USFL intends to create a working relationship with the NFL by allowing access to NFL players and personnel. This relationship will be one of respect and collaboration, but the USFL will operate independently with a focus on developing its players and creating the best fan experience possible.
The USFL will also endeavor to prepare players for life after playing football by providing mentorship and counsel to expand the athletes’ awareness of opportunities inside and, especially, outside of football. Additionally, the USFL plans to enhance the fan experience by providing greater access to its players and employing technology to enhance the viewing experience for its fans.
About The United States Football League
The United States Football League, LLC, a Delaware LLC, is a professional spring outdoor football league owned by EndZone Sports Management and is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. Jaime Cuadra is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the USFL. The USFL’s vision is provide a high-level competitive environment to help develop players for the National Football League, while preparing its players for succeeding as professionals and in life on and off of the field during and after their football careers. While the USFL initially operated from 1983-87, the new USFL plans to debut in the spring of 2013 by fielding eight teams nationwide to play a 14-game season, including a four-team playoff tournament, and providing fans with an exciting and innovative brand of football. The USFL plans to adopt all playing rules of the National Football League. For more information on the USFL’s 2013 launch, please visit the USFL online at www.theusfl.net
and via social media on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheUSFL
) and on Twitter (@TheUSFL).