Texas A&M might have found a way from letting too many underclassmen leave school early — buy them an insurance policy.
According to FOXSports.com, offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, a projected first-round draft pick, was swayed to stay in school for his senior season after A&M purchased him a $50,000 loss-of-value insurance policy. The policy protects Ogbuehi financially if his draft status changes for the worse because of injury or illness.
"That's a lot of money," Ogbuehi told the website. "This really helped with my decision. It opened up a lot of doors to staying.
"It's a great re-assurance knowing that (coming back for one more season) is not as big of a risk-reward -- just more of a reward hopefully next year."
While you’d think something like this would probably sound off NCAA alarm bells, it’s actually well within the rules of the college sports’ governing body. Under NCAA rules, each university has a Student Assistance Fund, which sets aside financial aid for all student athletes (not just football). It’s not a lot of money, $350,000 for SEC programs according to the FOXSports.com report, but it was enough to keep one of the nation’s top linemen in school.
And that was no small feat considering Ogbuehi acknowledged he had received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Texas A&M had two players drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft, including offensive tackle Jake Matthews. With Matthews gone, Ogbuehi moves from right tackle to Matthews' former position of left tackle.
Aggies associate athletic director Justin Moore said the school didn't know it could use the Student Assistance Fund to buy an insurance policy for a player, but he's glad it found out.
"I don't think many schools know about it," Moore said. "It's a game-changer."
- - - - - - -