David Kent became Commissioner of The League in 1958. A former quarterback for the Boston Spirit, Kent was chosen to replace Guy Cooper, who resigned and fled the country after being indicted in connection with a betting scandal and ties to the Mafia. Upon taking the position, Kent promised to restore The League's credibility, and bring a new era of moral accountability to its players and front office.
Kent also set about strengthening The League's business operations, signing its first television contract for a few thousand dollars. He also ended the practice of "Ironman" football, which required players to play both offense and defense. One of the few defeats Kent suffered during his tenure came when he unsuccessfully attempted to abolish the "Stretcher Rule," which states that players can only be substituted for injuries. Instead, he created a measure that shortened quarters to 2 minutes.
During his three decades as Commissioner, David Kent oversaw many significant events in The League's history, both good and bad. Unlike Guy Cooper, Kent was willing to work with Tex Coleman to organize exhibition games between The League (at the time called the Eastern League) and Coleman's Western League. Kent's tenure included the establishment of the exhibition series, the death of the New York Shamrocks team following a plane crash that killed every player and coach on board, the ultimate merger of the Eastern and Western Leagues into a 10-team league that reintroduced the two-division system of play, the creation of the New York Nightmare and Cincinnati Crusaders expansion franchises, and the first and only exhibition football game between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Overall, David Kent is considered one of the most successful Commissioners in League history. However, a tragedy occurred in 1989, his final year as Commissioner, that called his leadership into serious question. The death of Las Vegas Aces player Deacon Taylor from an overdose of steroids brought the issue of drug use in sports into prominence, and many blamed Kent for failing to adequately address the problem. Weary from many years on the job and the pressures on the drug issue, Kent retired after the 1989 season, and was replaced with Percival Truman. He Died of cancer in 2003.