1920 Akron Pros Season - Offseason


The Akron Pros, who were named the Akron Indians, finished 5–5 in their 1919 season in the Ohio League. The Indians lost money because of the constant poor performance; the team did not win an Ohio League Championship since 1914. The Indians was sold to Art Ranney and Frank Nied. The two changed the team name to the Akron Pros, as they hoped to achieve a better record and crowd.

Representatives of four Ohio League teams—the Canton Bulldogs, the Cleveland Tigers, the Dayton Triangles, and Ranney and Reid for the Pros—called a meeting on August 20, 1920 to discuss the formation of a new league. At the meeting, they tentatively agreed on a salary cap and pledged not to sign college players or players already under contract with other teams. They also agreed on a name for the circuit: the American Professional Football Conference. They then contacted other major professional teams and invited them to a meeting for September 17.

At that meeting, held at Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay's Hupmobile showroom in Canton, representatives of the Rock Island Independents, the Muncie Flyers, the Decatur Staleys, the Racine Cardinals, the Massillon Tigers, the Chicago Cardinals, and the Hammond Pros agreed to join the league. Representatives of the Buffalo All-Americans and Rochester Jeffersons could not attend the meeting, but sent letters to Hay asking to be included in the league. Team representatives changed the league's name slightly to the American Professional Football Association and elected officers, installing Jim Thorpe as president. Under the new league structure, teams created their schedules dynamically as the season progressed, and representatives of each team voted to determine the winner of the APFA trophy. Ranney wrote all the information from these meetings on stationary and thus was promoted to secretary of the league.

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