After XFL shutdown, former Baylor, XFL punter Drew Galitz reflects on experience

FILE - In this March 5, 2019, file photo, XFL Commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck speaks during a news conference at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The XFL filed for bankruptcy on Monday, likely spelling the end of the second iteration of the league. Associated Press

By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer

The XFL suspended operations last week for the foreseeable future and laid off most of its employees. A day later, the league filed for bankruptcy.

Former Baylor punter Drew Galitz, who was named All-Big 12 twice in college, was in the midst of a successful season for the XFL’s Dallas Renegades. Galitz said he did not expect the league to declare a complete shutdown.

“It came as a shock,” Galitz said. “I kind of thought it would come back next year, just because that’s kind of what we heard. Once the virus shut us down, they were saying that there still could possibly be a season even this year. . . They didn’t really give us a heads up. I found out on Twitter, which is unfortunate. But that’s fine.”

According to Forbes, people have reached out to investment banker Andrew Kline about potentially buying the XFL. Kline is a former NFL player who now helps with the buying and selling of professional sports organizations.

“There are many folks interested and calling us, but we are not working on anything, and without a billionaire stepping in for Vince, we are not interested,” Kline reportedly told Forbes in an email. “If [XFL founder] Vince McMahon was 100% committed to the XFL, I think it could have survived COVID-19 and much worse.”

Galitz tore his ACL during both his junior and senior year of college. He said that regardless of the XFL’s return, he appreciates the opportunity it provided him to show he is still a very good punter.

“A bunch of NFL teams told me they didn’t know if they would be able to trust my knee or not,” Galitz said. “Then I went to the XFL and showed that I would be able to play. It helped me out a lot. I got a lot of really good game film, showing that I could play coming back from two torn ACLs and be better than ever.”

Now, Galitz said he is on the workout list for the Dallas Cowboys and expects to be hearing from NFL teams after the draft in late April. In order to stay ready for when this crisis is over, he said he has been lifting weights and practicing with a close friend of his, Cleveland Browns kicker Austin Seibert.

“He lives ten minutes away from me, which is really nice,” Galitz said. “So he and I work out together and kick and punt together. I hold for him and he underhand snaps for me.”

Overall, Galitz said he enjoyed his experience in the XFL as well as the people he met during his time playing.

“It was good,” Galitz said. “Pro experience, going from college to the XFL. It was a lot of fun. I met a lot of really good guys. The coaches were amazing, the staff was amazing. Anyone from the trainers to the front office to [head coach Bob Stoops], the whole nine yards. It was a really good gig for me.”