Another strong statement

Already light-years ahead of the NBA, it appears the NFL is poised to move another step ahead of its professional counterpart.

The product is better for a myriad of reasons -- too many to list here. But the superiority of one league over the other starts at the ground level, with the draft.

Current NBA Draft eligibility rules, which were established under the league's 2005 collective bargaining agreement [CBA], require all draft eligible players to be at least 19 years old during the same calendar year of the draft. Any player who isn't established as an international, according to the CBA, must be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class.

It's better known as the "one-and-done" rule. You know it. You hate it, hopefully.

On the other hand, the NFL seems to be doing it the right way when it comes to plucking players from its feeder system, also known as college football. To be eligible for the NFL Draft, incoming players must be three years removed from high school.

In addition, it sounds like the league might make another move that would 1-up the association.

On Saturday night, Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com reported that the NFL is "considering not inviting players who are academically ineligible in college to the combine."

[Applause]

According to Feldman's report, "The move is being discussed because of the increased scrutiny on the maturity and commitment of the prospects entering the NFL, the source said, adding that if this measure was in place in 2013, a sizable group of players would not have been invited to Indianapolis for the Combine."

[Applause]

The NCAA's website states:


Will Hopkins' draft class be the last one of exempt of another smart ruling by the NFL?
In Division I, student-athletes must complete 40 percent of the coursework required for a degree by the end of their second year. They must complete 60 percent by the end of their third year and 80 percent by the end of their fourth year. Student-athletes are allowed five years to graduate while receiving athletically related financial aid. All Division I student-athletes must earn at least six credit hours each term to be eligible for the following term and must meet minimum grade-point average requirements that are related to an institution's own GPA standards for graduation.

On the surface, it sounds like a good idea. Some might question whether or not it's the NFL's place to penalize a potential employee for his lack of progress towards a college degree.

It should be.

While former NFL players continue to seek out support from their former employers to help improve their quality of life after football, the league should take further measures to ensure that its incoming players are as close as possible to graduating.

At least try to help reinforce the student in student-athlete.

That doesn't appear to be much of an issue around Tigertown. Over the last few years at the Clemson, the football program has proven itself as one of the best in the country when it comes to the books.

Again, the APR [academic progress rate] is among the best in the country. This year's score of 985 is tied for fourth-best with Wisconsin. The Tigers and Badgers are sandwiched between Duke and Georgia Tech.

So, if passed, the combine eligibility rule may not impact current Clemson players eying an invite to the combine. But it certainly is an intriguing off-the-field storyline to keep an eye on over next several months.

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