Harbaugh is right for thinking outside the box, but are young kids ready for the violent world of the NFL?




TOP OF THE TOWN – You know Jim Harbaugh’s idea that football players should be allowed to enter the NFL draft after one year of college needs to be seriously looked at. The Michigan coach, at the very least, is looking outside the box and that is good. First thing we need to acknowledge when we discuss high school kids playing football on scholarship at a college of choice is that many of these kids may not be thinking of getting an education as their first priority. Look at the one-and-done basketball players for your answer. Kids like Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels are not really looking to get a college degree when they sign a letter of intent to play basketball at a college. They know the rule so they are forced to college for at least one year before they jump to the NBA. That is what these two did. They played for Washington last basketball season and have declared for the draft. If I’m honest with myself, kids like Stewart and McDaniels, who are talented as they are, should not have to be even forced to go to college for one year. They were ready right out of high school to make the jump to the NBA. So let them go. In fact, kids now are realizing they can jump from high school to the G League, the NBA development league where kids can play for $125,000 for the five-month season. They only stipulations are that they have to be elite prospects (Stewart and McDaniels would have fit that) and to be 18 by Sept. 15 of the year they play in the league. Many college coaches don’t like the idea of the G League because it could deprive them of the one-and-done kids. But, hey, this is a capitalistic society and why shouldn’t they be able to skip college completely, especially because many of them are not looking to get a college degree anyway, and immediately make some good money right out of high school? I have a problem with Harbaugh’s idea, though. Football is much different, and more difficult, to play than basketball from a physical standpoint. A high school football prospect that might not yet be 18 is not going to be physically ready to go up against grown men battling to make a good living in a sport where violence is not just tolerated, but encouraged. It would be extremely rare for a kid with just one year of college football to be ready for the punishment dealt out by grizzled men that is the NFL. You might be able to do it if you had a football C league where top prospects could hammer on each other to tough them up. Such an idea if it was developed would wreck havoc on college football. It definitely would cheapen the product.  But maybe it’s time we stopped fooling ourselves that such a thing as student athlete is genuine. Yeah, there are plenty of high school kids that get scholarships to play college football that never see an NFL game unless they buy a ticket, but for the numerous top prospects who go to college for one reason and one reason only, and that is because they are forced to before they can enter the draft, going directly into a paying job in a C football league would be a good thing for them. So do it and quit pretending they are there to get an education. … I see where Earl Thomas is back in the news. His wife catches him in bed with another woman and puts a gun to his head. Thomas wrestles the gun away from her, but she somehow chases after him with a knife. Man, it may be the only time that you will hear Earl Thomas running away from an attacker. He usually is the attacker, running players down and smacking them real good. Police intervene before anybody gets physically harmed, but I can only imagine the emotional harm that has been done. … I could say a lot about the political climate in our country. It’s getting real sad, and horrible, and along with the virus that is killing us we are living in a nightmare that never seems to end. I see where this is all heading and it’s depressing to know while many others are burying their heads in the sand and refusing to acknowledge the ugly events that are swirling about them. All I can do right now is encourage you to do your research and speak out when you see evil and remember democracy dies in darkness. Say safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.