With the latest episode of the Maurice Clarett soap opera hitting the airwaves...I am curious to know everyone's opinion on the situation that initiated Mr. Claretts downward spiral. Although I'm sure this question has probably been discussed in some form on this board, the question remains:
Should these kids be allowed in the NFL?
The current NFL regulations require a player to either be out of high school for three years or have finished three college football seasons before joining the league. (Lupica, M. 2004) The NFL is the only major professional sport that prohibits the drafting of players who have not completed three college seasons or who are not three years removed from high school graduation (Gehring, 2004; Nieporent 2004). The NFL claims that this rule is in the athlete's best interest. The NFL argues that this rule protects player’s physical safety.
Opponents of the issue claim that injury is the biggest reason kids should not be forced to wait to enter the draft. They claim these individuals have a right to support themselves and their families, and that waiting puts them at extended risk for injury.
In my opinion (which counts for very little), I believe these kids SHOULD be made to wait. I am all for supporting yourself and your family but I side with the NFL for the following reasons:
- VERY FEW of these kids are physically ready at 18. There is an important phase of development that occurs when we stop growing vertically and add muscle mass, density, and bone strength. Kids at this stage cannot withstand the punishment dished out in the NFL.
- EVEN FEWER of them are ready mentally. Jumping from a high school scenario to being a millionaire NFL player is too great a leap. College provides an important time for young athletes to mature. I know that those who disagree with this statement are going to point to leagues like the NBA and the few high-school-to-pro success stories...but those are few and far between.
- These kids haven't proven SHIT....even those who have played 1-2 years of college ball. They've shown potential to be sure....but what about traits like durability, perserverence, patience, and committment? If you want me to blow millions on a twenty year- old...I'd like to see some more please. Especially from those wanting to jump right out of high school. Can anyone tell me that the high school game even REMOTELY resembles the college game....much less the NFL?