Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From the "I Wish I Would've Proposed This Myself" File

The Big12 commish proposed getting rid of a redshirt year in college football and giving all student athletes five years of eligibility.

I'll admit it, when WildHawk first emailed me this story, I thought it was brilliant. Why doesn't this make sense? But after thinking about it for a while, I thought that maybe I had overreacted to another football article while passing the time at work. This happens often, and I wouldn't have been surprised if my initial reaction was too extreme in this case as well, but I've been thinking about this all day now, and it just makes sense. Period. Let me explain.

The main argument to redshirt a player is that they are not prepared for the elite level of college football, or that their position happens to be stocked with talented upperclassmen and must wait their turn for stardom. This bothers me for a few reasons, but mostly that it pigeon-holes a freshman player after only a few weeks on the college football scene. It gives that player no chance to prove himself after the first 2-3 weeks of training camp. We can all agree, college football is a big jump from high school ball, and takes time to adjust for most freshman. But players progress throughout the season, and allowing players 5 years of eligibility gives them the opportunity to progress throughout their freshman year and a chance to possibly improve their standing on the depth chart. Maybe even enough to get some PT towards the end of the year, and put themselves in a much better position to succeed later in their careers with more game experience.

Now, having said all that, there are some negatives I see. You know those players that seem like they have been around for 10 years, but it's really only 3? Well, imagine if that 3 years was actually 5. I would have hated the Mike Hart's, Chad Henne's, Paul Posluzny's, and Kyle Orton's of the world at least 10 times as much. At least. But you know what, college football would be better for that. Think about it, without players and teams to hate, college football wouldn't be as fun. And if that hate can be increased by having those annoyingly-old-but-not-yet-graduated-players play an extra year...well, I'll take it. On the bright side, the players that are pure college players...the ones with no shot at the NFL, but they give so damn much on the football field that they become great college players...those guys will get to play longer. And I'm all for that. Plus, I won't have to waste hours trying to decide who to redshirt in Dynasty mode of NCAA Football 2009.

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