The American Alliance of Football (AAF) has announced the addition of the Clemson Tigers as the league’s first expansion team. The AAF currently has teams in Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis, Birmingham, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Tempe and now in the small town of Clemson.
Clemson has agreed to terms in conjunction with the AAF and the NCAA to pay the athletes. The athletes will not receive the base salary that other AAF players make rather, the athletes will make money from their likeness (jersey sales, commercial appearances, etc.) and also receive shares of ticket sales. This will make Clemson a very popular target for recruits, as other colleges will not be able to (legally) offer money to players.
The AAF season is played in the spring so Clemson will play one more season of NCAA football, after which it will formally join the AAF. The current record attendance in the Alliance is just over 30,000. Clemson should be expected to shatter this as they currently average over 80,000 per game.
After being the first 15-0 team in history, Clemson players feel like this change is for the best. Many players said, “we have no competition anymore.” Others said, “even if we lose, we’re getting paid.”
Clemson Football will play their first AAF game against the Atlanta Legends in Death Valley on February 10, 2020.