Jim Harbaugh discusses reasons behind penning letter to 'football community'
Jim Harbaugh recently received praise after penning a letter to the “football community,” insisting that student-athletes playing football be given more control over their future. One of the biggest points in the message from the Michigan head coach was to allow college football players the opportunity to pursue a career in the NFL whenever they felt they were ready.
Essentially, Harbaugh believes football players shouldn’t have to wait three years until they’re able to declare for the NFL. If a student-athlete is ready to take a path to the professional ranks after his freshman season, then allow him that opportunity.
This week, Harbaugh discussed the letter even further in an episode of Social Distance on 247Sports. He explained that football is really one of the few sports in which that three-year limitation is enforced.
“The main points of it are, No. 1) that a young man, his family, choose when they start their pro career,” Harbaugh said. “It could be after their freshman year, sophomore year or junior year. But, this idea that they have to wait three years before they’re eligible to be drafted — change that current rule.
“Second rule that would change would be that, right now, players that aren’t drafted can’t come back to college football with their eligibility. I think it makes a lot of sense, if a player is not drafted, be able to come back to college football and have his eligibility and continue to strive to better his game and become a professional football player.
“And then the third piece is that a player could consult an agent, consult an attorney to make those decisions that we’re talking about. And also, once he’s done, can come back to college as a student and get his degree.”
Many of Harbaugh’s proposed rule changes seem like simple fixes, but it doesn’t just pertain to college football. The NFL would need to change its draft guidelines in order for those ideas to become realities.
Already, Harbaugh’s letter has sparked some conversation, which he says was a goal of the message. It will be interesting to see if any action is taken in the coming years that benefit the student-athlete in these areas.
— Josh Pate 🎛🏅 (@LateKickJosh) May 27, 2020