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(Sports Illustrated)   Big 10 commissioner wishes top high school players could enter the NFL rather than play for SEC teams   (tracking.si.com) divider line 24
    More: Dumbass, NFL, restructuring plans, Major League Baseball  
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2013-09-26 03:44:46 PM
High school kids are nowhere near ready for the NFL, not even Adrian Peterson was ready.

/and then there's the complexity compared to high school.......
 
2013-09-26 04:15:16 PM
I think they get paid more in the SEC programs than they do in the NFL
 
2013-09-26 04:23:49 PM
"We need to exploit these kids before they know any better."

Looks like the American Slave Labor Ethic is trickling into the NFL.
 
2013-09-26 04:51:16 PM

basemetal: High school kids are nowhere near ready for the NFL, not even Adrian Peterson was ready.

/and then there's the complexity compared to high school.......


But, that isn't what the BTC is saying.... I think he is saying... "Hey, NFL, set up 60 "farm teams" for football that play in cities like Tulsa and Spokane and Fort Wayne and Dubuque.  Just like minor league baseball and hockey, attendance is only expected to be 5-10k at best.   And the very best players who are on the "NFL Track" will go play in the "NFL MInors" until they are 20-21 and ready to be on their parent club teams..... all the other players will still go to college and play football, just not with the expectation of NFL stardom.  Of course, some still will, just like in baseball & hockey, who have players who played in college, but, that isn't necessarily the norm."

And, by and large, he is right.

But, it likely won't happen, because big time college football and basketball are basically that league already, just dressed up as "College Sports", and dependent on "big stars" who fans know will eventually go to the NFL.   There is too much money in the "College Football" aura with TV and the colleges to have that balloon burst, at least in this fashion.

The NBA has the D-League, but, that has been set up more for post-college "not quite NBA ready" players, not to groom the players from post-HS on like baseball & hockey's minor league systems .... maybe the NBA will some day get it to a size where it can be more of a "full-scale minor league system" like baseball & hockey.

Honestly, I'm not sure where this mantra came in with the NFL & NBA that "college is important" for the players, vs. baseball and hockey where nobody chastises them for having a good portion of their player talent come through their own system and not attend college.   I'm not saying one is better than the other, but, it is interesting that it is two very different attitudes.
 
2013-09-26 04:51:52 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: "We need to exploit these kids before they know any better."

Looks like the American Slave Labor Ethic is trickling into the NFL.


It's not exploitation.  They get the full ride scholarship out of he deal, which will be important to the majority of them that will never go pro.

If someone really doesn't want to play college ball, or isn't academically capable of it, they could always try out for the CFL or AFL.

I'm not inherently opposed to the idea of a US-based minor league for football for those players who don't want to go the college route, but there should absolutely not be pay-for-play in the NCAA.
 
2013-09-26 05:00:47 PM

TuteTibiImperes: If someone really doesn't want to play college ball, or isn't academically capable of it, they could always try out for the CFL or AFL.


The thing is, those leagues don't draft high schooler's either... it is very rare to find someone in those leagues under 21.  They generally just get the college players who don't go NFL.

The contact level in football make it a different animal than the other 3 sports.... the physical size of players between 18 and 21-22 is a real thing (whether that be natural or otherwise), and as others have said, 99% of  "great" 18 year old HS football player's would just get eaten alive in the NFL.

With the other sports, there is much less contract, so, if you have the "raw talent" to hit a baseball or shoot a basketball and have the "moves" on the court... you can go play with the best just about right away.   Even the greatest H.S. lineman will get taken to the cleaners if he was plucked down into an NFL offensive line.
 
2013-09-26 05:02:30 PM

dletter: Honestly, I'm not sure where this mantra came in with the NFL & NBA that "college is important" for the players, vs. baseball and hockey where nobody chastises them for having a good portion of their player talent come through their own system and not attend college.   I'm not saying one is better than the other, but, it is interesting that it is two very different attitudes.


I think you can have a scout watch tape of a high school basketball player and say "this guy could cut it in the NBA" but I don't think you can watch some junior in High School playing safety against his crosstown rival after chemistry class and know if he'd be a good fit for your pro defensive scheme. In college they get some experience operating in more sophisticated systems on offense or defense, and you get to find out what they're like when they're on their own and start making decisions for themselves about how they prepare for their career in football.

I'm sure a few high schoolers are mature enough and polished enough that they could possibly fit in the NFL - but I doubt it's very many.
 
2013-09-26 05:02:57 PM

dletter: TuteTibiImperes: If someone really doesn't want to play college ball, or isn't academically capable of it, they could always try out for the CFL or AFL.

The thing is, those leagues don't draft high schooler's either... it is very rare to find someone in those leagues under 21.  They generally just get the college players who don't go NFL.

The contact level in football make it a different animal than the other 3 sports.... the physical size of players between 18 and 21-22 is a real thing (whether that be natural or otherwise), and as others have said, 99% of  "great" 18 year old HS football player's would just get eaten alive in the NFL.

With the other sports, there is much less contract, so, if you have the "raw talent" to hit a baseball or shoot a basketball and have the "moves" on the court... you can go play with the best just about right away.   Even the greatest H.S. lineman will get taken to the cleaners if he was plucked down into an NFL offensive line.


I agree, and that's a big reason why the NFL won't draft right out of HS.  The average sizes of the players in the CFL and AFL are quite a bit smaller than the NFL, but yeah, the extra few years do certainly allow them to bulk up more.
 
2013-09-26 05:07:20 PM

TuteTibiImperes: dletter: TuteTibiImperes: If someone really doesn't want to play college ball, or isn't academically capable of it, they could always try out for the CFL or AFL.

The thing is, those leagues don't draft high schooler's either... it is very rare to find someone in those leagues under 21.  They generally just get the college players who don't go NFL.

The contact level in football make it a different animal than the other 3 sports.... the physical size of players between 18 and 21-22 is a real thing (whether that be natural or otherwise), and as others have said, 99% of  "great" 18 year old HS football player's would just get eaten alive in the NFL.

With the other sports, there is much less contract, so, if you have the "raw talent" to hit a baseball or shoot a basketball and have the "moves" on the court... you can go play with the best just about right away.   Even the greatest H.S. lineman will get taken to the cleaners if he was plucked down into an NFL offensive line.

I agree, and that's a big reason why the NFL won't draft right out of HS.  The average sizes of the players in the CFL and AFL are quite a bit smaller than the NFL, but yeah, the extra few years do certainly allow them to bulk up more.


You also get more years of game tape on them, you can see how they react in big games, you can see if they can stay healthy against larger and more talented competition, and (although we know they largely aren't getting great educations because the school pushes them through) you at least have some hope that they've considered even a little bit what they're going to do after their NFL career is over. A lot easier for a guy to walk out of the NFL and get a job with a "college degree" even if he's dumb as a box of rocks.
 
2013-09-26 05:15:56 PM

TuteTibiImperes: but there should absolutely not be pay-for-play in the NCAA.


that's fine, but remove the restrictions on outside income and gifts.  if a music student can sign a record deal, the quarterback can endorse the local chevy dealership (or just accept cash for good play).  the restrictions are the problem.  the school can keep their money and let the players see what the market will give them.
 
2013-09-26 05:20:04 PM
Go the full European route. If a kid shows potential, have a team sign him to a contract and get him in their youth academy at age 11. Younger, if possible.
 
2013-09-26 05:31:36 PM
While all you guys agree with me above on why football is different than the other sports in "taking HSers" ..... it still doesn't address how to get around that...

The Big 10 Commish is basically saying "We are not going to become your proxy 'salaried' minor leagues by paying the football and basketball players".    That is the issue... the NFL needs to step up and create a level or two of "minor league" football that is sanctioned by them and feed's up to their teams if the feeling out there is players need to be "paid".

This is the crux of it.... the football and basketball players at the major schools want to get "paid" (although I agree with the opinion that getting an $80,000 education completely paid for is pretty good pay),  because there are billions of dollars of TV contracts and jersey/merchendise sales on their sports, and it is to watch them play.   I hear people on the radio saying "Well, then you have to pay the other sports".... why?   We all KNOW why the pay issue is coming up here..... and none of the other sports get even 5% of the revenues that those two sports bring in.

The issue then is.... would a "minor league" really drive the revenues we see from College Football & Basketball.   Part of what drives these is the history and alumni ties that bring in interest, that if you pluck the best players into a "minor league" and assign

Maybe a "hybrid" approach is what is needed.... at the very highest levels of college football, the teams need to be separate "entities"... they can still be called the school names, play in those stadiums, but, they are not really "College Teams", officially... they can have players that they can pay (if they want to get their college education, that pay can go towards tuition at the school, otherwise, they can just play for the team for $40k a year).    But, as we are seeing with the recent documentaries coming out, these College FB "Student" athletes... the "Student" part is an absolute joke.  Then, you keep the tradition, but, lose the hypocrisy.
 
2013-09-26 05:34:25 PM
Left off the end of my thought here...

dletter: The issue then is.... would a "minor league" really drive the revenues we see from College Football & Basketball.   Part of what drives these is the history and alumni ties that bring in interest, that if you pluck the best players into a "minor league" and assign  them random team names, etc.... I am not very sure you'd have the same level of interest as you do right now that drives these TV deals.  The current College Football revenue streams are generated from a fairly unique mix of history, large alumni bases and recognition that the top players are on their way to the NFL.

 
2013-09-26 05:38:20 PM

A Fark Handle: TuteTibiImperes: but there should absolutely not be pay-for-play in the NCAA.

that's fine, but remove the restrictions on outside income and gifts.  if a music student can sign a record deal, the quarterback can endorse the local chevy dealership (or just accept cash for good play).  the restrictions are the problem.  the school can keep their money and let the players see what the market will give them.


I think those restrictions are necessary, primarily to prevent schools and boosters doing an end-run around payment bans and just hooking up big name players with endorsement deals (or buying the endorsements for the company to give to the player).

The rules against pay-to-play are half about the nobility of amateurism, and half about maintaining as even a recruitment field as possible.  Some schools could easily afford to pay players, a lot can't.  Banning it across the board keeps the schools with more money from abusing it to stack their own decks.

dletter:
  But, as we are seeing with the recent documentaries coming out, these College FB "Student" athletes... the "Student" part is an absolute joke.

That's a bit overly broad.  The vast majority of those playing college football will never play professionally.  Even if you look at the absolute top of the top, the players in the BCS conferences at the FBS level, most of them will not play professionally.  Most realize that, and do go to class and work on their education.  Of those that are legitimate pro-prospects, yes, there's probably some shady dealings regarding academics at some schools.  It's in no way the norm across the board though.
 
2013-09-26 05:41:22 PM

TuteTibiImperes: It's not exploitation. They get the full ride scholarship out of he deal, which will be important to the majority of them that will never go pro.


When half the team- literally, sometimes over 50% of the roster- is being pressured into taking the same majors as their teammates (and easier majors at that), and the instructors are under pressure to pass them so they can play lest they get the entire goddamned campus up in arms (how often do you see a player end up academically ineligible? I guarantee you it's a hell of a lot less often than the student body as a whole), the value of the education they're getting is severely diminished. At some schools the academic stuff is little more than 'that annoying thing we have to get out of the way so football can happen'.

That's probably why they stopped showing the player's majors in the onscreen graphics. If they showed them and like 15 different guys on a team were listed as the same thing, you might start asking questions.
 
2013-09-26 05:43:09 PM

TuteTibiImperes: I think those restrictions are necessary, primarily to prevent schools and boosters doing an end-run around payment bans and just hooking up big name players with endorsement deals (or buying the endorsements for the company to give to the player).

The rules against pay-to-play are half about the nobility of amateurism, and half about maintaining as even a recruitment field as possible.  Some schools could easily afford to pay players, a lot can't.  Banning it across the board keeps the schools with more money from abusing it to stack their own decks.


At some point though, do you just admit that the teams in the major BCS conferences are just on a different "Fan/Media" interest plane than the MACs, Conf USAs, Sun Belt's of the I-A world, and push them to another "level" higher, that addresses the Media revenue income that they receive, and how the players could have some benefit from that.   I mean, we already know that Western Michigan isn't on the same interest level for their football team as Michigan... but, in the world of NCAA Football, they are "the same".
 
2013-09-26 05:48:56 PM
I'm sure he would be thrilled if the NFL started a minor league. They could play their games on Saturdays and affiliate with NFL teams, use the NFL team's stadium.

Yes I bet he'd just love it when the Big Ten's 100,000 seat stadiums start drawing 20 grand a week because every one else is watching the NFL minor league game.
 
2013-09-26 05:54:40 PM

basemetal: High school kids are nowhere near ready for the NFL, not even Adrian Peterson was ready.



Which is why the NFL should do what baseball and hockey do .... set up their own minor league developmental system, rather than use the NCAA as their de facto minor league system.
 
2013-09-26 06:02:22 PM

js34603: I'm sure he would be thrilled if the NFL started a minor league. They could play their games on Saturdays and affiliate with NFL teams, use the NFL team's stadium.

Yes I bet he'd just love it when the Big Ten's 100,000 seat stadiums start drawing 20 grand a week because every one else is watching the NFL minor league game.


InmanRoshi: basemetal: High school kids are nowhere near ready for the NFL, not even Adrian Peterson was ready.
Which is why the NFL should do what baseball and hockey do .... set up their own minor league developmental system, rather than use the NCAA as their de facto minor league system.



That's the thing though... as I said.... I think there is some sort of nexus of "school spirit", strong alumni support of the programs and "recognition of future pro players" that, if you ripped that apart, the parts would not be as much as the whole from a nationwide fan/media interest standpoint.

On the college side.... I don't think the drop would be quite as bad... especially on the attendance, a lot of that is just alumni interest, and, people are still alumni.... but, drawing out the very best players would bring down the SEC and other major clubs back down to "earth"... they'd probably be still better than the smaller Div I-A schools, but, not as dramatically as they are now.  Which, in turn, would hurt general sports fan interest in college football.

On the potential NFL Minor League side... I doubt you'd get much better attendance and interest in these "minor league NFL" clubs than a typical minor league baseball or hockey team, or the interest that was seen with the WLAF.  There just isn't any "history" there to draw the interest in like with "Notre Dame vs. USC".
 
2013-09-26 06:08:08 PM

js34603: I'm sure he would be thrilled if the NFL started a minor league. They could play their games on Saturdays and affiliate with NFL teams, use the NFL team's stadium.

Yes I bet he'd just love it when the Big Ten's 100,000 seat stadiums start drawing 20 grand a week because every one else is watching the NFL minor league game.


Well, the NFL did start one.

In Europe.

Really, though, they should. Take eight markets with stadiums and without teams (nobody's going to build a new stadium for a minor league team), give each division rights to one team each, try and get the minor-league cities in the same general area as the NFL division. Perhaps:

AFC East: Hartford (Rentschler Field)
AFC North: Columbus (Ohio Stadium, or at least Columbus Crew Stadium)
AFC South: Memphis (Liberty Bowl)
AFC West: Los Angeles (LA Coliseum, or at least Weingart Stadium)
NFC East: Syracuse (Carrier Dome)
NFC North: Madison (Camp Randall Stadium)
NFC South: Orlando (Citrus Bowl, or at least BH Networks Stadium)
NFC West: Salt Lake City (Rice-Eccles Stadium)
 
2013-09-26 06:11:42 PM

dletter: js34603: I'm sure he would be thrilled if the NFL started a minor league. They could play their games on Saturdays and affiliate with NFL teams, use the NFL team's stadium.

Yes I bet he'd just love it when the Big Ten's 100,000 seat stadiums start drawing 20 grand a week because every one else is watching the NFL minor league game.

InmanRoshi: basemetal: High school kids are nowhere near ready for the NFL, not even Adrian Peterson was ready.
Which is why the NFL should do what baseball and hockey do .... set up their own minor league developmental system, rather than use the NCAA as their de facto minor league system.


That's the thing though... as I said.... I think there is some sort of nexus of "school spirit", strong alumni support of the programs and "recognition of future pro players" that, if you ripped that apart, the parts would not be as much as the whole from a nationwide fan/media interest standpoint.

On the college side.... I don't think the drop would be quite as bad... especially on the attendance, a lot of that is just alumni interest, and, people are still alumni.... but, drawing out the very best players would bring down the SEC and other major clubs back down to "earth"... they'd probably be still better than the smaller Div I-A schools, but, not as dramatically as they are now.  Which, in turn, would hurt general sports fan interest in college football.

On the potential NFL Minor League side... I doubt you'd get much better attendance and interest in these "minor league NFL" clubs than a typical minor league baseball or hockey team, or the interest that was seen with the WLAF.  There just isn't any "history" there to draw the interest in like with "Notre Dame vs. USC".



It's still a better option than forcing kids who have no business being in college to go the NCAA route just because it's the only viable option to get to professional sports.    Let the kids who want to be amateur student athletes in exchange for an education and the college experience choose that route.   Let the kids who want to skip an education and take a gamble on their talents go that route.   Let the NFL pay for their own minor league development system (Lord knows they could afford it).   Let Saturdays still be filled with college football rivalries for the alumni and fans.   Let the major college programs who want to steam roll lesser competition by 50 points   and pay their coaches $8 million a year get over themselves.
 
2013-09-26 06:15:59 PM

dletter: On the college side.... I don't think the drop would be quite as bad... especially on the attendance, a lot of that is just alumni interest, and, people are still alumni.... but, drawing out the very best players would bring down the SEC and other major clubs back down to "earth"... they'd probably be still better than the smaller Div I-A schools, but, not as dramatically as they are now. Which, in turn, would hurt general sports fan interest in college football.

On the potential NFL Minor League side... I doubt you'd get much better attendance and interest in these "minor league NFL" clubs than a typical minor league baseball or hockey team, or the interest that was seen with the WLAF. There just isn't any "history" there to draw the interest in like with "Notre Dame vs. USC".


The other minor leagues based in North America were working without NFL affiliation. (NFL Europe was doomed by being in Europe.) That was the big hurt. Without NFL affiliation, at this point, any minor league is doomed. The UFL knew that, explicitly positioned themselves as a minor league, got player buy-in to treat it like one, and it was still doomed. The NFL label gives it instant credibility that it would need in order to survive.

As for a dropoff in college football fanbases... quite frankly, good. I think college football needs to get brought down to earth a bit so that the focus can return to being a little more about the 'college' and a little less about the 'football'.
 
2013-09-26 06:45:54 PM

dletter: js34603: I'm sure he would be thrilled if the NFL started a minor league. They could play their games on Saturdays and affiliate with NFL teams, use the NFL team's stadium.

Yes I bet he'd just love it when the Big Ten's 100,000 seat stadiums start drawing 20 grand a week because every one else is watching the NFL minor league game.

InmanRoshi: basemetal: High school kids are nowhere near ready for the NFL, not even Adrian Peterson was ready.
Which is why the NFL should do what baseball and hockey do .... set up their own minor league developmental system, rather than use the NCAA as their de facto minor league system.


That's the thing though... as I said.... I think there is some sort of nexus of "school spirit", strong alumni support of the programs and "recognition of future pro players" that, if you ripped that apart, the parts would not be as much as the whole from a nationwide fan/media interest standpoint.

On the college side.... I don't think the drop would be quite as bad... especially on the attendance, a lot of that is just alumni interest, and, people are still alumni.... but, drawing out the very best players would bring down the SEC and other major clubs back down to "earth"... they'd probably be still better than the smaller Div I-A schools, but, not as dramatically as they are now.  Which, in turn, would hurt general sports fan interest in college football.

On the potential NFL Minor League side... I doubt you'd get much better attendance and interest in these "minor league NFL" clubs than a typical minor league baseball or hockey team, or the interest that was seen with the WLAF.  There just isn't any "history" there to draw the interest in like with "Notre Dame vs. USC".


The Bears Minor League Team v. The Packers Minor League Team will have plenty of interest.

That's the key if the NFL was to start their own minor league. Affiliate them with their NFL club, play in the NFL stadiums on Saturdays and you crush Notre Dame v. USC. The thing to remember is that while there is alumni interest in the college game, it isn't a driving force. Lots of folks watch if because it's football.

The people who buy Notre Dame (or Alabama or whoever) shiat and go to the games and watch on TV didn't all go to school there. It's not alumni that makes Alabama football popular, it's the people who identify with them because of regional affiliation. Sure, you'll still have alumni who go to games, but you'd lose all the non alumni "fans" who watch college football as a surrogate for pro. And that's a big chunk who are going to no longer be supporting the college football programs because they never had a real tie to the school anyway. They do have a real tie to their favorite NFL team though.
 
2013-09-26 07:57:00 PM
js & Gosling..... I agree with you for the most part.... and that is why the colleges and ESPN, FOX, etc are going to try their damndest to not let it go that route.... there is too much at stake with how popular they have made College Football to allow the NFL to pull all the better players out and have the Madison Pickers vs. the Rockford Bufords play on a Wednesday night on NFL network with the Bears & Packers "farm players".
 
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