2010 NFL Draft: The NCAA Should Ban On-Campus Pro Days
I thought I was done with Tim Tebow on January 1. But I was wrong.
I thought that he would finally be out of college football after the Sugar Bowl. Once again, I was wrong.
Who would have thought that he would be ESPN front page news in March?
Instead of the college basketball, the NBA, or the NHL, Tim Tebow steals the show three months after the season.
Because in our football-crazed nation, the constant media attention toward college football players doesn't end with the bowl season. It ends four months later with the NFL Draft.
The NFL Draft has been a spectacle for fans to enjoy since its beginnings. It combines the two highest levels of America's most popular sport, and unlike its baseball and basketball counterparts, it's a chance to talk about football during an eight month off-season.
While I support the NFL Draft and think it's great for the sport, it has a major flaw—the presence of pro days on college campuses.
Like the Draft itself, pro days are great. The help NFL teams better evaluate players and allow players to improve their draft stock. It's a win-win for both sides.
But the timing and placement are cause for concern.
Pro days have no place on college campuses, and frankly, I'm surprised they're still allowed.
The NCAA has made every effort to distance itself from the NFL, by changing its rules for the games themselves, not allowing player endorsements, and focusing on academics.
And by allowing on-campus pro days, the NCAA seems to be breaking its own rules.
The first, and most important rule that it is breaking, disrupting the educational environment of the universities.
Let's be serious, most athletes don't make their college choice based on academics, even if they include that as one of their reasons for picking the school. When a player chooses Oklahoma State over Northwestern or Duke, academics become a moot point.
But while the athletes may not be at their school for the education, other students are.
And if academics are a good enough reason to not allow a playoff, they're a good enough reason to not allow on-campus pro days.
The presence of agents is also another "major violation" that the NCAA allows.
Players are not allowed to be involved with agents while in college, and these agents shouldn't even be involved with college programs.
But pro days allow the two to mix.
And I challenge you to name a coach (with the exception of Lane Kiffin) who wants his players anywhere near Drew Rosenhaus.
These current players are the ones the schools should be concentrating on, not NFL Draft entries who are rarely still enrolled in school.
Entrants should be coached by their personal trainers, not their college coaches.
But will on-campus pro days ever be banned?
Without substantial objection, no.
They bring in money and exposure, and as we've seen from the NCAA Tournament expansion debate, the NCAA will refuse to give up either, even if it sacrifices the sport's well-being.
So until a major college program takes a stand, expect on-campus pro days to remain. And expect more Tim Tebow news late into the spring.
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