The Rock's XFL Announces Exclusive Partnership with NFL Alumni Academy

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 11, 2022

ST LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 23: A view of the XFL logo on the down marker during the second half of an XFL game between the St. Louis Battlehawks and the NY Guardians at The Dome at America Center on February 23, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Jeff Curry/Getty Images

The XFL announced on Monday it is partnering with the NFL Alumni Academy, a training program during the NFL season for players deemed talented enough to potentially play in the league in the future. 

"The NFL Alumni Academy has found great success over the past two years training and mentoring up-and-coming players, many of whom have gone on to play in the NFL, and we are collaborating to create another avenue of opportunity for players to showcase their talent," XFL president Russ Brandon said in a statement. "We are completely aligned in our player-centric philosophy and we're eager to continue to explore the bounds of this partnership."

The XFL and NFL Alumni Academy will combine their "scouting and training expertise to develop the next best players in the game and offer more opportunities to play professional football."

The NFL Alumni Academy essentially serves as a training and developmental camp for players who could land on teams because of in-season injuries or roster cuts, giving NFL teams a pool of prospective free-agent additions. 

In past seasons, NFL Alumni Academy players have gone on to sign with NFL teams.

Alongside football training, it also offers "off-field development opportunities including life skills, cognitive training, and mind-body wellness programs."

"What makes a league successful is its players, which is why we take a holistic approach to player development at the NFL Alumni Academy, ensuring they have skills and resources needed to excel both on and off the field," the NFL Alumni Academy's executive director Dean Dalton said in a statement. "We are really excited for this strategic partnership with the XFL, which will have a positive ripple-effect across the entire football landscape."

The XFL, now in its third iteration after being shuttered on two separate occasions, is currently under the ownership of Dany Garcia, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Gerry Cardinale's RedBird Capital Partners.

"The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that's rooted deeply in two things—my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans," Johnson said in Aug. 2020 after taking ownership of the XFL. "With pride and gratitude for all that I've built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans and everyone involved for the love of football."

The XFL is re-launching in Feb. 2023.