Washington's entry in the new United States Football League will be able to draft players exclusively from the University of Maryland, Clemson, Virginia, South Carolina and Richmond, according to a territorial plan approved earlier this week at league meetings in Denver.
According to Washington General Manager Dick Meyers, each of the league's 12 teams was given five schools. They can protect 26 players from those schools going into the draft, which will be held in January. Players from schools not assigned to USFL teams may be drafted by any team.
There were some intriguing matchups of teams and schools. New York, for example, has Oklahoma on its territorial list. Chuck Fairbanks, the New York president and head coach, once coached the Sooners. Because his franchise is located in an area without many major college football powers, Oklahoma is one of his schools, along with Tennessee, Syracuse, Colgate and Rutgers.
George Allen, who runs the Chicago franchise, has Notre Dame on his list. Birmingham has rights to players from Alabama and Auburn; New England to Nebraska; Los Angeles to Southern Cal, and San Diego to UCLA.
A number of highly regarded major college teams were not assigned, schools like Texas, Ohio State, Missouri, Arizona State, Pitt, Washington and many others. The league also announced at its meeting that expansion probably will take place and most of those schools eventually will be assigned to new teams.
Meyers said he was satisfied with Washington's schools. "I think everybody has schools they'd rather not have, but I think it was equitable," he said. "It will only be used the first year, and it can be adjusted at any time."
Each new team also was assigned two NFL and one Canadian Football League team for the purpose of signing players placed on waivers by those clubs. Washington will have the rights to discards from the Redskins, Baltimore Colts and Winnipeg of the CFL.
Meyers also indicated the Washington team will hold its first training camp in Florida, most likely West Palm Beach. He said he has spoken with several people about coaching the team, has "eliminated no one from consideration" and hopes to name a coach by mid-August.
"I want somebody who has coaching experience in the pro game, but we're not excluding anyone," he said.
Following are the USFL franchises and their territorial schools: New England--Nebraska, Boston College, Boston University, Massachusetts, Harvard; New York--Oklahoma, Syracuse, Tennessee, Colgate, Rutgers; Philadelphia--Penn State, North Carolina, Temple, Delaware, Lehigh; Birmingham--Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Alabama State, Troy State; Tampa--Florida, Florida State, Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman, Albany (Ga.) State; Detroit--Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Michigan; Chicago--Notre Dame, Illinois, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, Western Illinois; San Francisco--California, Stanford, San Jose State, Fresno State, Cal-San Luis Obispo; Los Angeles--Southern Cal, Long Beach State, Pacific, Cal-Fullerton, Cal Lutheran; San Diego--UCLA, San Diego State, Nevada-Las Vegas, Hawaii, Nevada-Reno; Denver--Colorado, Colorado State, Wyoming, West Texas State and Texas Tech.