See Richard Hoffer, USFL
Awarded Only $3 in Antitrust
, during a three-year, springtime run with about 20 teams in some incarnation during the mid-1980s, would regularly get crowds in excess of 25,000, even for the L.
When I transferred to Northern Michigan, the coach was a guy by the name of Rollie Dotsch, who was later a head coach in the USFL
with the Birmingham Stallions.
He tells of his college football career and how he failed to make the jump to the now-defunct USFL
A jury decided in the 1986 verdict that although the NFL was a monopoly, the league did not prevent the USFL
from obtaining a network television contract.
Competition from the USFL
did lead to higher salaries for NFL players.
The first USFL
championship was won by the Michigan Panthers, defeating the Philadelphia Stars 24-22.
He also served as president of the Portland Breakers USFL
Players such as Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie and Anthony Carter became instant multi-millionaires by spurning the NFL for the USFL
folded in 1986, however, and players' salary growth then decelerated.
Although average player salaries in the NFL rose from $90,000 in 1982 to $230,000 in 1987, most of this increase was due to opportunities for players to jump to USFL
clubs for a higher salary or to be paid more by their NFL clubs to stay.
By 1986, the USFL
would file an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL and win, but the league received a token $1 in the judgment and then promptly folded.