Jim Harbaugh has some bold ideas on how to change the college football eligibility game.
And since I’m generally open to progressive change – and AT LEAST discussing its merits – I felt now was a good time to share the University of Michigan football coach’s thoughts, which were laid out in a letter tweeted by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Check it out:
Jim Harbaugh wants to overhaul the rules of college eligibility of when is the right time to turn pro and enter the draft, as this letter shows. Baseball and hockey already have changed, and basketball is about to change, and Harbaugh wants to empower the student-athlete. pic.twitter.com/lQLb10H8SR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 7, 2020
ESPN’s Dan Murphy has an expanded story on the matter, which I would encourage you to check out here.
Among highlights of Harbaugh’s open letter to the football world that calls for changes to draft eligibility:
• Do away with rules forcing players to wait three years after their high school class graduates before entering the draft.
• Allow undergraduates who are not picked (or selected within the first 224 picks in the draft) to return to school — so long as they are academically compliant and do not take money from an agent.
• Give players an opportunity to consult agents or lawyers about their draft decision before making it, without losing their eligibility (as is the practice in baseball, for example).
• Eliminate “redshirting” as an option, giving players five years of collegiate eligibility.
• Do away with the 25-scholarship limit for incoming freshmen and transfers.
These are bold and intriguing ideas. And while previous pushes to make changes haven’t yielded results, there’s no time like the present to get the discussion going about alternatives and adjustments that can be made as we evolve as a society (not to mention the evolution of sports at the college level). At face value, I think these ideas are fine and passable. They seem very friendly to student-athletes, but also universities and coaches who could have more leeway during the development process.
To be clear, I’m not sure there is a perfect solution to this matter. But I am certain there is a better one than what’s currently in place. It just takes some bright minds and bold moves to make them happen.