We are just one year and one week away from the relaunch of the XFL as play is set to begin the weekend after next year's Super Bowl. Everyone is aware of the misfortunes of the original XFL, but it appears that Vince McMahon and co. have a better infrastructure in place this time around.
A big reason for that belief is XFL commissioner Oliver Luck. Luck has decades of executive experience in sports including serving as athletic director of West Virginia and president of NFL Europe. Luck joined Boomer and Gio on WFAN where he talked about what drew him to the XFL.
"I love football and respect football and when Vince McMahon decided he wanted to relaunch the XFL, I thought it was a great opportunity to start from scratch," said Luck. "...This was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Vince has great vision and he's an entrepreneur. But, he's the first one to tell you he doesn't really know football…. He wanted experienced folks to build the game and have credibility in the football space which is obviously important."
Vince McMahon is about as "hands-on" as one could be with his companies and Luck was asked how much control McMahon will have when it comes to the individual XFL teams.
"It's vertically integrated – that's what the experts say," stated Luck. "So, it's Vince owns and operates all of the franchises. I'm in the process of identifying head coaches and developing the team identities, logos, colors and names. We're starting to hire team presidents and get local operations up and running."
Luck said each team will have about 25 people on the business side and another 25 people on the football side. When it comes to salaries, head coaches will earn $500,000 while the top players will earn $250,000.
He was then asked if he studied the original launch of the XFL and what this relaunch can learn from that experience.
"It was 18 years ago," said Luck. "Life has changed and our sensitivities have changed. Nobody was talking about head trauma back in 2001 and now they are."
As related to head trauma, Luck revealed that the new XFL won't have the scramble for the ball like they had back then in place of the coin toss.
Luck dodged answering if the XFL will test for marijuana, but he did confirm they will have drug testing for PEDs.
In addition to his role as XFL commissioner, Oliver Luck is best known for being the father of Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts. Oliver was asked if he had any conversations with Vince McMahon about convincing Andrew to leave the NFL to become the face of the XFL.
"[Laughter] Uhh, I don't think so. He loves Indianapolis," said Luck.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Boomer and Gio with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Boomer and Gio