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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

It is quite obvious that the NFL is using college football as a minor league system to evaluate potential talent for the NFL draft where that system works quite nicely for the NCAA in that they do not have to pay athletes directly for their athletic services.  Instead the collegiate athlete is provided with room, board and an athletic scholarship, which is great for athletes that will never make it in the NFL.  However, it is the elite athletes that are not properly protected where the NFL needs to take a stand for the rights of these players.  The NFL needs to protect the future of these NCAA's elite college football athletes by making the NCAA stand by their commitment to their education.  It is hypocritical of the NCAA ... and all of it's universities ... to commit to providing an education by scholarship, rather than to provide payment of to it's athletes ... only to rip that commitment from it's athletes after services were rendered.  In other words, the universities commitment must be made to survive the brief nature of any and all athletic football careers.   

It is a fact that only a small percentage of all collegiate athletes are drafted or make it in the NFL.  It is also a fact that the bulk of these universities are making a fortune off these elite athletes, where that athlete is treated just like any other student within their academic system ... and that is heinously wrong.  If we learned anything from Alan Page, the future of every athlete is based upon what they have both learned and achieved ... which is a far cry from the number of athletes that end up either bankrupt or destitute.  These football players must be allowed the ability or reaping what they were originally promised, in lieu of pay, if their world turns upside-down.  To abandon them, like their talents ... fleeting-in-time ... is a double whammy that no man should be made to endure.  What kind of men would do something so incredibly wrong?  It is as old as time ... give a man a fish and he eats for a day ... teach a man to fish and he eats for a life time.  The NFL doesn't have to stand by idly ... it can champion a new future.     

Presently, no athlete can enter the NFL until that athletes class has entered their junior year in college.  Somehow the NFL comes off as somehow being superior in their stance on this eligibility as players are admitted within baseball directly after completing high school.  To be direct, these athletes are way too young to be able to make decisions in regard to their futures.  Well of course, the NFL points to the money without facing up to the fact that A FOOL and HIS MONEY ... ARE SOON PARTED.  It is here that the NFL must insist that the NCAA should provide a much wider safety net for it's elite athletes.   

Let's take a real life situation and examine it.  A sophomore completes his college football season where millions of dollars are flashed before his eyes.  He declares for the NFL draft.  Exactly at that moment the NCAA cuts all of it's ties and commitments to that athlete ... and that should not be allowed under any circumstance.  

The following stance should be taken by the NFL against the practices of the NCAA and it's system of universities where these issues should be immediately championed by the NFL to protect the interest of it's players as well as to enhance the integrity of the present system between the NFL and the NCAA.   These rules shall apply to any prior scholarship football athlete that is either drafted by the NFL or has obtained 3 years of service within the NFL, where these athletes are to be considered vested athletes: 

1. The financial commitment for an athletic scholarship, including room and board, shall survive any drafted or vested NFL player throughout his lifetime as long as that student maintains a C average or maintains the appropriate grade point average of an athlete at the university that he attends. 
2. The financial commitment shall be redeemed at any university that is accredited and that chooses to accept that student.  This shall prevent the university, that utilized the services of that said athlete, from providing substandard grades to release that university from it's commitment to that athlete.
3. The requirement for completing a degree program, within any specific time frame, shall be suspended.  A player must put-on-hold the completion of his education to meet the commitments of the NFL.  That individual shall not be penalized for not completing his degree within a 10 years time frame for example.  If an athlete is determined to complete his degree ... he should be allowed to do so under his prior scholarship commitment.  
4. The acceptance of prior credits to be applied to a degree program can be rejected by any university however that athlete shall have the ability of appealing any universities ruling by an independent council or arbitrator, and if these credits are deemed satisfactory by that independent body, the university must accept those credits toward their degree program. 
5. The entire financial commitment shall extend to a Masters Degree.
6. If a scholarship is awarded by more than one university, the financial commitment shall be apportioned to each university based upon the number of years of eligibility consumed by that athlete, including a red shirt year.

There is absolutely no reason why any NFL player should not be attempting to complete his degree after the completion of his NFL season and no university that utilized that athlete should be allowed to walk away from it's commitment of providing a complete education in whole to that athlete.  It is high-time that a player should be looking forward to returning to his attendance in college to complete his degrees in January, if the season is over.  After all ... that athlete might have made a commitment to complete his degree ... to someone of great importance ... so that they could play football in the first place.    

Should NCAA athletes be paid?  No!  However, no university should ever be allowed to walk away from it's prime commitment to provide a complete education for the individuals that literally bring those universities millions of dollars each and every year.  After all ... universities ... it is what you're supposed to be all about ... not football.  For the NFL, it's commitment has to go well beyond money.  The NFL has to do all it can to ensure the potential of the future of it's athletes.  After all, when they get to the NFL, many of these athletes finally come to grips with the necessity of needing to to learn how to learn ... or at least to learn at a much higher level.  Going back to school will keep their minds sharp.      

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: November 7, 2015