Three Years Removed Is a Good Rule

Current NFL rules do not allow for college players to be eligible for draft selection until he is three years removed from his high school graduating class. I agree with the current rules of the NFL and hope that they hold steady with this rule in the next round of collective bargaining negotiations.  Offensive lineman, linebackers, and quarterbacks are not physically and/or mentally ready to endure the physical beating and strain on the body that comes with professional football at such a young age.  The shear physical attributes are not the same in football as they are in the other sports. Football is defined as a contact sports and each play requires someone to tackle the man with the ball which is completely defined within the rules.  

This restrictive rule in the NFL has come with much scrutiny under the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act 1935), Anti-trust Law, and casual debate. Of the other three major professional sports, no such rule exists. A baseball player can be drafted out of highs school to Major League Baseball (Derek JeterNew York Yankees, Josh BeckettBoston Red Sox, Torii HunterAnaheim Angels); a basketball player can be drafted out of high school into the National Basketball Association (Kobe BryantLos Angeles Lakers, Kevin GarnettBoston Celtics, LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers) and a hockey player can also be drafted out of high school to the National Hockey League (Sidney CrosbyPittsburgh Penguins, Wayne Gretzky-Retired).

There have been many varying reason as to why the rules are so different in the NFL than in the other major professional sports.  Any player in the other sports can control the ball, or puck, and score without ever having to give it to another player. In the other professional sports, players simultaneously play offense and defense without any stoppage in play.  This allows for more finesse and skill to be implemented into the game, where football often comes down to brut strength with skill going out the window.

The physical strength factor can be explained by what every man in the world knows and understands. There is a strong difference between boy strength and man strength.  A young boy at 18 may be able to bench press 315 pounds and a 45-year old man may now only be able to bench press 185 pounds, but there is a physiological difference between the two.

Some make the argument, that if a person is allowed to defend his country at the age of 18, then he should be allowed to make a living at the age of 18. While I agree with the merits of this argument, the difference is that it is a privilege to play professional sports in the United States of America, not a right. Professional sports are private institutions with the ability to make their own covenants, restrictions, and bylaws to protecs the integrity and merits of its game (business).


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