Steve Spurrier is returning to football. The Alliance of American Football, a new professional spring league set to debut next February, revealed the AAF's first host city will be Orlando with college football Hall of Famer Spurrier serving as coach.
The Alliance's co-founder Charlie Ebersol, former NFL star Hines Ward, who is serving as an executive of player relations, and Spurrier himself joined "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to discuss the new league, which will kick off just one week after next year's Super Bowl.
The games will be available to stream on a free app, on CBS and CBS Sports Network. Teams in eight different cities will play a 10-game season.
"We brought in the best players and the best coaches to be at the top of the organization. We wanted to give fans not just an opportunity to see great football but to see what would happen if you brought the players and the league together," Ebersol said.
Spurrier, a seven-time SEC champion and Heisman trophy winner, said he was intrigued by the new rules of the game, which include two-and-half hour games and 30 seconds in between plays, and the opportunity to include great players who don't make it into the NFL.
"It's a fine line between who makes a team and who doesn't in the NFL. We don't have a minor league of professional football," Spurrier said. "Those players get a chance to continue playing even if they don't play at the highest level and then maybe someday they play well enough to go to the highest level."
For Ward, it's all about the well-being of the players.
"Player safety, that's top priority. I mean, that's something we want to bring to our league," Ward said. "Not only just help them while they're playing but also helping them when their careers are over. I mean we're -- off the field we're setting up scholarships for players and also having some financial internships and really get them financial counseling.
Other AAF executives include former NFL players like Troy Polamalu, Justin Tuck and Jared Allen as well as ESPN's Bill Polian. But this isn't the first time someone has tried starting a new football league. Back in 2001, Ebersol's father launched the XFL which only lasted one season. So what's different?
"One of the things we looked at was, what had really worked in that area." Ebersol said. "The No. 1 thing that didn't work was quality football. You gotta put quality football -- football has to be the focus. So bringing guys like Hines (Ward), and Troy (Polamalu), and Jared (Allen) and Justin (Tuck) but also really putting coaches on the field who are born champions..... But you'll see that our focus from now until February 9, you'll see a ridiculous laser focus on the quality of the game."