The 33rd Team Andy Benoit Screen grab: The 33rd Team

While still relatively new, The 33rd Team has managed to make waves in the football media space with big-name hires, high profile investors and key partnerships, including one with NFL Films.

So it has been curious to see one of the faces of the NFL website, Andy Benoit, take to X (formerly Twitter) multiple times this week to attempt to recruit “volunteers” to work for the company. (Update: Benoit later said these roles are paid, as discussed below.)

“We at The 33rd Team are working on a project for NFL teams and are looking for volunteers for 1 of 2 roles,” Benoit’s posts read.

The two roles include a football analyst, which is described as needing “a high-level understanding of NFL schemes and strategy,” as well as a data scientist, described as needing “a strong working knowledge of the NFL and high-level expertise in Excel and Python.”

Benoit posted the ad three times this week, but deleted them after his post on Friday received widespread attention and backlash.

Andy Benoit 33rd Team
Screen grab: Now-deleted social media post by The 33rd Team’s Andy Benoit

Update: Benoit later told Awful Announcing these roles are paid:

“This was simply a poorly worded post on my part.  The 33rd Team is NOT looking for volunteers….this is a paid role. I’m looking for people who are first and foremost motivated by football. I did a poor job trying to convey that.”

Our original post continues below:

Maybe there’s more to the story, but based on the information shared by Benoit, it appears The 33rd Team is looking for people to perform full-time jobs for free. Even if the actual time commitment is minimal (and there’s no indication that it would be), the expertise the website is seeking for the roles far exceeds that of an intern or even entry-level employee.

That The 33rd Team appears to be seeking free labor in such a public fashion not only calls into question the company’s financial situation, but also the site’s credibility. Considering that the self-described “Football Think Tank,” which was founded by former NFL executives Mike Tannenbaum and Joe Banner, has received multiple investments and lays claim to an impressive roster of former executives, coaches, analysts and even some current NFL players, one would think that the website would be in a position to pay for analysts and data scientists rather than relying on volunteers.

Perhaps there’s more to the story, or at the very least, an explanation for why The 33rd Team is looking for people to do work for free. But based only on the information Benoit has now posted three times in the past week before deleting, it’s a pretty tough look for the website.

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.