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Courtesy: Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment

College football stars and undrafted NFL hopefuls will be spending the rest of the season in Canton, Ohio training at an elite feeder program for a chance at pro ball.

Between the lines: The program is just one component within the Hall of Fame's elaborate plan for the former steel and automotive city to be the new resource center on all things football.

  • By 2022, the company hopes to move the program from its initial location within the Hall of Fame Village to an 80,000-square-foot, indoor field house and training facility.

Driving the news: The NFL Alumni Academy announced its first roster of players and coaches last week and marketed as an invitation only.

Details: Coaches include Mike Tice, Anthony Muñoz and Jay Hayes. Auburn standout DaVonte Lambert, four-year Syracuse starter Evan Adams and Louisiana Tech tackle O'Shea Dugas will join the group of 15 players.

What they're saying: "The NFL Alumni Academy is designed to develop NFL-ready talent to become complete professionals, giving them exposure to all 32 NFL teams to generate the best opportunities to successfully sign with an NFL franchise," says NFL Alumni Academy executive director Dean Dalton.

The big picture: The NFL's preseason opener, which takes place in Canton and draws about 700,000 visitors in August, was canceled due to the pandemic and its enshrinement events were postponed to 2021.

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2020 - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground, and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

25 mins ago - Health

The floodgates have opened for vaccine mandates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

State governments, private businesses and even part of the federal government are suddenly embracing mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for their employees.

Why it matters: Vaccine mandates have been relatively uncommon in the U.S. But with vaccination rates stagnating and the Delta variant driving yet another wave of cases, there's been a new groundswell of support for such requirements.

Ina Fried, author of Login
25 mins ago - Sports

Axios at the Olympics: Softball on the brink

Cat Osterman, pitching here against Japan on Monday, came out of retirement to play in the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: ina Fried

TOKYO – When the U.S. and Japan take the field in Yokohama on Tuesday, they are playing for more than just a gold medal. As badly as both teams want to win, they also want to show the world their sport deserves a permanent place in the Olympics.

Why it matters: Softball is returning to the Olympics after a 12-year absence, but its long-term Olympic future is uncertain, with the sport not part of the 2024 Games in Paris and plans up in the air after that.