NFL Draft: Adding Eligible Juniors to Senior Bowl Would Be Ideal Move
The Senior Bowl, one of the longtime stalwarts of the NFL Draft process, could be getting a few extra participants in the very near future. Phil Savage, the new executive of the Senior Bowl, has decided that the time has come to allow a select group of junior into the showcase game. As reported by the Mobile Press-Register:
"Under Savage's idea, Senior bowl eligibility for players listed as juniors would be limited to those who meet four criteria: A player must declare early for the NFL draft, be graduated by December, be with a program for four years and have the blessing of his college coach."
Given the more fluid nature of class determinations in college football, this leniency will allow for guys to become part of the process. Savage is quite clear about who he wants go give access to; not the third-year junior who is leaving school early. Rather, this rule is for the fourth-year college student who is only a junior on the field.
Would you like to see fourth year juniors rewarded for graduating early by being eligible for the Senior Bowl?
In looking at the rule itself, it would require a player to be tracking early in terms of degree progress. Not just graduating in a full four years, graduating in three-and-a-half, prior to his eighth semester, in order to qualify for the game. Most certainly, it is doable with summer school and seven semesters; guys have the time to accumulate the credits.
It boils down to a matter of whether or not they push for the early graduation or stretch it out given their time remaining.
Now, pushing for that early graduation, following a redshirt or medical redshirt year, has an added reward: the Senior Bowl. It's great incentive for a player to finish early and reap the benefits of his progress.
Much like the transfer policy that allows a player to avoid the one-year sit-out penalty, this is another positive benefit that should be bestowed upon players who get their degree. A solid push out of the NFL and a measure everyone should be behind as it pushes towards fruition.
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