The eight-team Professional Collegiate League, which hopes to compete with the NCAA by paying college athletes $100,000 to $150,000 and offering to help pay tuition fees, plans to begin play this summer after agreeing to a media rights deal, CEO Ricky Volante told The Washington Post's Ben Strauss.
The league reached a deal with Next Level, a network that will broadcast games on cable and through streaming platforms. Volante said he's been in contact with over 100 high school recruits and college athletes about becoming participants in the PCL.
"In the conversations we've had, players and coaches wanted to know how they will be seen, how the games will be distributed, so now we can move on to the next stage of this, announcing the teams," Volante told Strauss after coming to terms with Next Level.
Volante said the PCL still requires additional financial investment to launch but hopes to host games outside of Washington, D.C., in the debut season. The next steps for the league involve expanding to eight cities the following year if all goes according to plan.
The PCL follows the NBA's G League Ignite team as the latest endeavor aimed at competing with the NCAA. The Ignite enjoyed a strong debut season in 2020-21 by helping develop some of the game's most highly touted prospects, including Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix.