On June 25th, it was revealed that the HUB Football program would be ceasing operations after a three-year run. Don Yee, a notable sports agent and the HUB founder, released a statement on the company’s website sharing his thoughts. “Since our inception in June 2020, HUB Football has helped further the professional football careers of hundreds of young men,” he says. “HUB’s wonderful staff and coaches have proven an alternative platform and pathway to professional football is possible.” Yee finishes the statement with “My sincerest thanks and gratitude to all who were associated with HUB. It was a privilege to work with all of you, and you helped change many lives.”
HUB Football was a program designed to connect free agents with professional teams in a showcase-type setting. Initially, they welcomed NFL scouts to the camps as visitors, but shifted their focus to the alt-football market after forming a partnership with the USFL last year. While most of the attention was directed on athletes who were already out of college, the launch of the “Portal CAMP” in 2022 allowed younger players in the transfer portal to receive their own training and evaluations. These camps all took place in Southern California, mostly in the San Diego area. There were a handful of events closer to the Los Angeles area as well. A planned camp in Naples, Florida, was canceled due to Hurricane Ian.
The idea of HUB Football came from Pacific Pro Football, a planned developmental league also created by Don Yee. Pacific Pro Football was to consist of four teams in Southern California, with Ed McCaffrey serving as commissioner. In September 2019, the league hosted a three-day workout called “Scrimmage,” which would later become the structure for HUB (besides the number of days). Pacific Pro Football was supposed to launch in July of 2020, but Yee backed out in May and turned his attention to this next endeavor, which was formally announced in June.
While the camp structure that HUB was known for worked well, there were plans for expansion involving a Senior Bowl-type game. Unfortunately, this never materialized, and the last HUB camp took place on April 16th, 2023. While it’s a shame to see such a unique product go, the idea of HUB lives on through Tom Goodhines and GRID Camps. Goodhines, who was once the General Manager of the Philadelphia Soul and Executive Vice President of the Arena Football League (AFL), will host the first GRID event on August 13th at West Chester University. Don Yee is supporting the new venture, as Goodhines was also a part of HUB in both a Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer role.
Best wishes go out to all of the former HUB staff, and the further development of GRID Camps will certainly be exciting to follow. Registration for the August 13th event can be found at gridcamps.com.
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