Just yesterday, the NFL announced that 15 colleges had already committed to launching the program. The new sport will create new full scholarship opportunities for women to begin competing in the spring of 2021.
“We just closed 100 years of football,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent told me. “Well, this is an example of what the next 100 years of football might look like. Women who lead the effort, not just as fans, not just as moms supporting their boys. Now young ladies could actually compete and earn a scholarship like they’ve seen for so many years his brothers and fathers. “
The NFL flag and RCX will support NAIA in the development of the league infrastructure, which is still unknown for the territory of the governing body. NAIA says this will be the first women’s flag football competition run by a collegiate athletics association.
Russell Wilson, a Seattle Seahawks player, was recently named chairman of the NFL FLAG, the NFL’s official football league, and the largest youth football organization in the United States.
“I’m extremely excited to be a part of this trip here,” Wilson told CNN. “The partnership with the NFL, the NFL flag and the RCX is really exciting … Football will be a world sport and it should be a great sport for women and they for them to be leaders in the sport. And I think what is great about expanding not only the game, but the access to all women in all sports. I think this is really exciting. This is revolutionary. “
Toni Harris is currently a defensive back for Central Methodist University, NAIA School in Fayetteville, Missouri. She was one of the few women to compete with and against men on a collegial level. In 2019, Harris became the first female person to receive a full football scholarship to play skills at a collegial level. She believes that development is much greater than football.
“I think that says the future of football is female. I think that says that and, you know, women will have their chance now,” Harris told CNN. “I wish I was still in high school, when I could go back and, you know, apply for an athletic scholarship to play football flag, because girls not only open the door to college-level competition, but also open more doors for maybe the NFL to one day he starts the WNFL … I wouldn’t compete with the guys, but I can only take what I have right now, you know. And so, I mean, it means so much to me to be able to see these girls finally get the chances we’ve wanted for a long time. “
Laura Courtney-Todd was the athletic director at St. Louis University. Thomas in Miami Gardens, Florida, since 2000. She has twice been named Sun Conference Athletic Director of the Year, most recently in 2018. Her school will be one of the first to offer football for women’s flags because, she says, the demand for it exists.
“Title 9 is obviously a big reason why the football flag was started in high school,” Courtney-Todd told CNN. “But I think they found that women are really interested in sports and they often switched from their traditional sport to just flag football. That’s why we see such great potential in sports.”
Competition guidelines and procedures for starting schools that are interested in setting up women’s football as a competitive sport are now being created. The NAIA will work with the NFL flag and RCX to determine the next steps.
“They say that in two to three years, somewhere between 30 and 40 schools could be involved. If they get to 40 schools that offer football for women’s flags, that’s somewhere between eight and twelve million dollars in scholarships, which is amazing,” he said. is the RCX President and CEO, Izell Reese. “It will be phenomenal to see it grow.”
Reese is a former NFL player who believes women’s flag football can rise to the highest levels of competition – even the Olympics one day. He says athletes will continue to drive the growth of the sport.
“They’re dedicated, talented, passionate about sports. You see all these girls on the field. I mean, these girls are real. They’re serious about it. Their passion and the energy of these young women playing this game is what drives it.”