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AP photo by Dave Pickoff / New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with running back Herschel Walker on March 8, 1984, in New York after the University of Georgia star agreed to a four-year contract with the USFL football team. The USFL, which played from 1983 to 1985 before folding, is set to return in spring 2022.

The United States Football League is relaunching in 2022, four decades after a short-lived run that featured players such as Georgia Bulldogs legend Herschel Walker and Chattanooga native Reggie White starring on the field and Donald Trump as a team owner.

The new USFL announced Thursday it will play next spring with a minimum of eight teams "and deliver high-quality, innovative professional football to fans," according to a league release.

Although those teams — along with the cities, head coaches and schedules — won't be announced until later, the league said it retains the rights to "key original team names." The USFL also is using the same red, white and blue stars-and-stripes logo it did during its three seasons (1983-85).

Fox Sports, which has a minority equity stake in the company that owns the new USFL, will serve as the league's official broadcast partner.

"I'm extremely passionate about football and the opportunity to work with Fox Sports, and to bring back the USFL in 2022 was an endeavor worth pursuing," said Brian Woods, co-founder of the new USFL and founder and CEO of the Spring League, which is in its fifth season a developmental showcase for NFL hopefuls.

"We look forward to providing players a new opportunity to compete in a professional football league and giving fans everywhere the best football viewing product possible during what is typically a period devoid of professional football," Woods added.

Fox CEO and executive producer Eric Shanks called the USFL's relaunch "a landmark day for football fans and Fox Sports."

"Football is in our DNA, and the return of this innovative and iconic league is a fantastic addition to our robust slate of football programming," Shanks said in the release.

The original USFL crumbled after three seasons because of out-of-control spending and an ill-conceived push led by Trump — the future U.S. president was the majority owner of the New Jersey Generals — to compete directly against the NFL with a fall season.

Launched originally to serve as more of a complement to the NFL than a direct competitor, the USFL helped change pro football in its short lifespan. The USFL featured rules innovations, helped usher in underclassmen being drafted and pushed the NFL to pay bigger salaries and create real free agency.

In the end, the USFL's most enduring legacy was the $3 judgment it "won" in an antitrust suit against the NFL, a ruling that finished off the league in 1986 before it carried out a Trump-backed move from spring to fall.

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