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Cam Newton, Overtime to Launch New High School Football League

After launching a high school-level basketball league just over a year ago, media company Overtime is starting another league designed to appeal to young football players. 

The company will launch a low-contact, seven-on-seven football league called “OT7”, it announced Tuesday, per CNBC. The football program will run from June 9 through June 12 and take place in Las Vegas.

Overtime told CNBC that it plans to pay for expenses related to the league by using a portion of the $80 million it raised in April 2021 from investors including Jeff Bezos’ investment firm and Drake. However, the company will also welcome a new investment partner in NFL quarterback and former league MVP Cam Newton.

“It’s one thing to find somebody with a big platform who can help validate what you’re doing and bring that audience, but he’s deep in [youth football] and cares about it passionately,” Overtime co-founder Dan Porter said of Newton’s involvement with the league, per CNBC.

Newton, who is currently a free agent after spending part of the 2021 NFL season with the Panthers, told CNBC that he actually contemplated launching a youth football league himself. However, he ultimately “felt with the muscle that Overtime possesses, where this society is going with social media platforms, and giving these kids the exposure that they most direly want and need, I think it made the most sense.” 

OT7 will feature up to 24 teams playing eight games each followed by a playoff round to determine a champion. The games will be played on 40-yard segments of a regulated 100-yard NFL field with tackling restricted. OT7 will allow one-hand touch for stoppage of play and players will not wear pads.

Overtime estimates that 500 to 700 athletes could participate in the league. The company plans to pay for participations expenses such as hotel rooms and meals. but players will not be paid for playing in order to protect college eligibility.

“There has been this untapped market in seven-on-seven for years,” Newton said, per CNBC. “We’ve seen kids receive scholarship offers because of their seven-in-seven film.” He said OT7 would provide “kids the exposure from the visual content that they need. Whether you have five stars or no stars, we want to give you that platform that highlights your skill set.”

More NFL Coverage:

Giants GM Says He Hasn’t Made Any Calls to Trade Saquon Barkley
MAQB: ‘Extended Period’ Overtime is Gaining Momentum
NFL Announces Creation of New ‘Diversity Advisory Committee’ Amid Brian Flores’s Lawsuit
All Panthers: Fitterer, Panthers are Leaving the Door Open for Cam Newton

For more Carolina Panthers coverage, go to All Panthers