University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has played and coached at the highest level of college football as well as in the NFL and he has again proposed some changes to when players should become eligible to move on to the professional ranks.
Harbaugh wrote an “open letter to the football community” that proposes doing away with current rules calling for players to wait three years from the end of high school before they would be able to enter the draft. Harbaugh also believes that players who are not selected should be able to return to school.
“The individual could choose to declare for the professional draft after any season he chooses,” Harbaugh wrote. “If he is drafted within the first 224 picks of the NFL Draft, or chooses to sign a free agent contract, he would forego remaining college eligibility. However, if the individual is not drafted within the first 224 picks of the NFL Draft, he would be able to return to college football if he chooses without penalty, provided he remains in academic compliance and does not receive payment from an agent.”
Harbaugh also proposes allowing players to consult with agents and/or lawyers about their decision to enter the draft without losing their eligibility, which is allowed in some other collegiate sports but not in football. He also proposes eliminating the redshirt, giving all players five years of eligibility and lifting the cap of 25 scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfers.
While college eligibility is up to the NCAA, any change to the NFL’s draft eligibility rules would require an agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association and Harbaugh’s past airings of his feelings on the topic have not led to any changes.
Jim Harbaugh proposes changes to draft eligibility in open letter originally appeared on Pro Football Talk