William J. (Bill) Scheffer was a sports writer in the early Twentieth Century who also was a basketball entrepreneur, organizing several professional leagues.
Scheffer was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the editor of The Reach Official Basketball Guide. The Reach Guide was published annually (1901-1926) and provided information about basketball teams from amateur and college teams and leagues to the professional level. It also published standings and results from the previous season, some statistical information and Scheffer's commentary.
Scheffer was also the guiding force behind the creation of the Philadelphia Basketball League (1902-1909) and the Eastern Basket Ball League (1909 to 1936). He also served as league president. The Philadelphia League was the second professional league in history.
Because so many early pro players played for several teams at once, Scheffer and representatives of other leagues sought to enforce exclusive contracts in 1920. That agreement effectively collapsed when the Interstate Basket Ball League backed out of the agreement.