According to Bruce Feldman, the NFL is considering not inviting academically ineligible players to the NFL Combine. “The move is being discussed because of the increased scrutiny on the maturity and commitment of the prospects entering the NFL,” according to Feldman.
This seems like a weird and reactionary rule to the recent “maturity issues” of arrests. Teams should be free to decide who they want, and removing players from the Combine process is a serious issue. Can specific teams decide that a player has issues that they do not want to deal with, in part because of behavior that included completely blowing off school knowing they were entering the draft at the end of the football season? Sure.
This feels more like a favor for the NCAA, with the NFL once again acting like an enforcement arm for its minor league, which instituted the APR system a few years ago. We have seen some teams, notably Connecticut in basketball, receive a post-season ban because of academic performance. A big issue is that players that leave while not in good standing academically (transfer, leaving early before graduation) really ding the schools in the APR measure. College coaches could use such a NFL rule as a hammer to keep athletes with one foot out the door on the NFL in class through the finals.
I’m assuming such a rule would not carry over to coaches who end up leaving on less than good standing with the NCAA.
Related: NFL Offseason Reported Arrests Are Up 61% Since Roger Goodell Implemented Personal Conduct Policy in 2007
Related: NFL Draft in 2014 Moving to May 15-17, NFL Combine Will Move to March in 2015, 2016
Related: NCAA Considering Transfer Changes: Players With 2.6 GPA Would Not Have To Sit Out a Year
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]