Youth Football Among Topics As NFL Annual Meeting Continues


With several hot topics remaining unresolved, one of the significant items to come out of the NFL annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday was the announced appointment of Jack Kemp as the chairman of the board of directors of USA Football.

Established by the NFL and NFL Players Association last December, USA Football essentially provides a centralized governing body for youth football, to ensure a promising future for the sport.

"In this country there are more than 3 million football players below the college level, so that's a key development," said John Jones, Packers executive vice president and chief operating officer.

"Over the next six years, the NFL and NFLPA will provide $200 million to fund the operation of youth football, impacting everything from Pop Warner to local Boys & Girls Clubs.

"Milwaukee will have some developmental programs, and we hope that over time that Lambeau Field can be a focal point for youth football within the state. Certainly we'll do our part to support the development of those programs in Wisconsin."

Discussed but not ruled upon at the NFL meeting Tuesday were the subjects of overtime reform and playoff expansion.

Jones said the NFLPA was in favor of an overtime system that would guarantee each offense one possession before resorting to sudden death after that, if necessary -- thus placing less significance on the coin toss.

"There was a lot of discussion back and forth in terms of how to handle it and the fairness of the current system," Jones said. "It's not really clear yet which way it will go. It's coming up for a vote Wednesday and that will obviously have a lot of impact."

The issue of playoff expansion will be further discussed Wednesday, but most likely won't be decided on until at least May.

Currently 12 NFL teams make the playoffs, but a proposal that 14 teams be eligible is receiving serious consideration.

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