FanDuel - WFBC

October 16, 2003

Exhibit A: against Maurice Clarett joining the NFL early. As some have argued, why should pro football let immature young jerks mess up its product the way the NBA has.

posted by cg1001a to basketball at 04:27 PM - 7 comments

Because baseball and hockey routinely sign players as young, or even younger, than the NBA does. Because the NFL shouldn't be allowed to use the colleges as a free farm system. Because ungrateful practice-skipping punks who like dope exist in any pro sport. Because this is the U.S. of freedom-loving A.

posted by rcade at 04:58 PM on October 16

hockey can bury the young and immature on their farm teams whereas the nfl and nba don't really do things like that. so comparing the nfl to the nba is a more apt comparison than looking at young players in the nhl. i think there is a case to be made about the unfortunate influence of young and immature players in the nba. hopefully the nfl can avoid going down that route. they already have a sprinking of seasoned and immature players.

posted by gspm at 05:07 PM on October 16

Burn your GM at the stake. Don't blame the kids. Someone is going to offer these kids millions to play a game. It's up to the teams to develop them. I echo gspm's sentiments regarding farm teams. The NFL & NBA supposedly use NFL Europe & the NBDL respectively as sort of farm teams. The problem is that the farm teams aren't readily affiliated with the pro teams the way that MLB is (as much as it pains me to say that). If say the Hawks drafted someone in the 2nd round, or signed a rookie free agent and had them play for say the Huntsville Flight for a season or two and then were able to call him up (like in MLB) they would be receiving a more polished player who wouldn't sap a roster spot or an assistant coaches time during those seasons. The NBDL at this point appears to me at least to be a free agent pool. No more no less.
Eddie Griffin, to be fair would have had these problems in the league even if he would have stayed in the NCAA. The onus is on scouts and GM's to do better background checking on potential draftees. The Rockets knew what they were getting into (supposedly) when they traded their entire draft(!) for Griffin. I don't see why they act surprised now. He punched out two of his teammates at Seton Hall in his ONLY SEASON.
I say let an NFL franchise draft Clarett, but that franchise better dig hard and deep into his background. Buyer Beware indeed.

posted by lilnemo at 05:28 PM on October 16

MLB and the NHL have farm teams for their teenagers, the NFL and the NBA do not. While it is true that the colleges are free farm systems for the NFL and NBA, let's not forget that college football and basketball paved the way for the pro leagues. They were popular with large fan bases long before the pro leagues hit it big.

posted by cg1001a at 05:30 PM on October 16

They were popular with large fan bases long before the pro leagues hit it big.
And they will continue to be. No one is questioning the popularity or loyalty in college sports. But the issue is whether or not the atheletes that power the college game should be allowed to migrate to the pros.

posted by lilnemo at 05:40 PM on October 16

MLB and the NHL have farm teams for their teenagers, the NFL and the NBA do not. How is that an argument for keeping people out? Baseball and the NHL have farm systems because they set them up; the NFL and NBA could make the same choice at any time. The NBA even owns a minor league -- the CBA. The NFL is in little danger of being overrun by immature players -- the number of athletes who are developed enough in both talent and size to skip college are rare. I don't see how Clarett creates any problems for an NFL team -- they could park him on the practice squad if he wasn't ready for prime time, and he proved last season he's a draft-quality running back.

posted by rcade at 06:00 PM on October 16

...he proved last season he's a draft-quality running back.
Ultimately it doesn't boil down to whether or not he can play, we all know he can. It's whether or not the team that elects to draft him can stomach him. Ask Mooch or Dennis how much fun coaching TO is.
The NFL is in little danger of being overrun by immature players...
Hee hee. Sorry I just found that statement funny, I know you meant maturity in the physical sense. But I was imagining this carved in wood on every GM's desk.

posted by lilnemo at 06:21 PM on October 16

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