Caleb Campbell, a safety out of West Point, has been drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
At 218, he’s going to be one of the last players chosen this year but, because of the circumstances surrounding the pick, ESPN has been featuring him heavily in its coverage today. The Army has changed its rules to allow its graduates to go directly to the NFL and, if they can make the team, to fulfill their obligation via recruiting duty and service in the Army Reserve. I discussed this rule change almost exactly two years ago at OTB. Since its inception, this is the first time that it has been invoked.
Only a handful of elite athletes have gone on the play major sports. Navy’s Roger Staubach (Dallas Cowboys) and David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs) are the most prominent examples. Air Force’s Chad Henning (Dallas Cowboys) and Navy’s Napolean McCallum (Los Angeles Raiders) are other. All of them except McCallum, who was granted waivers because he was too tall after a growth spurt as a sophomore, were required to serve five years of active duty before joining their teams. Obviously, this both impedes the ability of the academies to recruit blue chip athletes and hinders the pro sports potential of graduates.
The ESPN coverge on Campbell focused on the fact that his classmates will graduate and serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking death, while he’s just going to have to risk concussions. But the amount of positive coverage his story is generating shows why the military thought this rule change worth making.
His gaining coach at Detroit, Rod Marinelli, is a Vietnam vet. His first coach at Army, Bobby Ross, is also a veteran — and, oddly enough, a former head coach of the Detroit Lions.
- Navy defeats Army for the 7th straight time
- Army fires football coach Stan Brock
- Bobby Ross Resigns as Army Coach
- Former Detroit Lions Coach Monte Clark dead at 72
- NFL Draft 2009 – Round 1 #1 – Detroit Lions – QB Matthew Stafford
- NFL Draft 2008 – Round 3 – Cowboys Trade 3rd to Detroit
- Detroit Lions hire
SupermanJim Schwartz to be head coach
- Ellerson leaves Cal Poly to take over at Army
- NFL- No Thanksgiving game or blackout rule changes for now
- It’s over- Detroit beats Washington 19-14
- Eight is Enough- Edmonton beats Chicago 8-4
- Lydia Ko wins New South Wales Open
- The Comeback I- Pittsburgh Penguins beat NY Islanders 5-0
- Seattle Mariners Outfielder Greg Halman stabbed to death at age 24
- Hee Young Park wins CME Titleholders Championship
- Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coach Kurt Budke dead at 50
- Costly mistake- Blackhawks waive Rostislav Olesz
- Manager Tony La Russa announces retirement
- Puck Drop- Florida Panthers start the 2011-12 NHL season
- 13-time PGA Tour winner Dave Hill dead at 74
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