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OTAs a no-go for Gerhart

toby-gerhart-p1.jpgThe NFL calendar is, in many ways, predictable.  The month of May, for example, typically spawns a slew of stories regarding the rookies who are unavailable for offseason workouts due to an outdated and nonsensical rule that keeps them from participating until the schools they typically have long ago left conclude their spring semesters.

This year, the first story we’ve noticed in this regard comes from Minnesota, where second-round draft pick Toby Gerhart will miss out on Organized Team Activities (a 23-letter phrase for “practice”) because Stanford’s school year doesn’t end until June 9.

He’ll be back for a June 11-13 minicamp.  Per Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com, Gerhart graduates on June 13 and he plans to try to participate in as much of the minicamp as he can before trading pigskin for sheepskin.

Look for other stories along these lines to emerge over the next week or two.  We seem to recall Ohio State players and Washington players falling into this category.

And we definitely recall that these stories peter out quickly, and that no player’s struggles in his rookie year ever have been attributed to a rule that nevertheless is long overdue to be wiped off the books.

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34 Responses to “OTAs a no-go for Gerhart”
  1. Larry David says: May 14, 2010 7:07 AM

    Wat’s the point of this rule, I don’t get it. Who cares if Standord is still in school?

  2. Chapnasty2 says: May 14, 2010 7:14 AM

    At least he is graduating, from Stanford as well. Have your son admire this guy Florio if you are so worried about Cushing.

  3. UncleTuna says: May 14, 2010 7:15 AM

    Saints 2009 Round 1 Pick Malcolm Jenkins was in the same situation, but as a smart guy – he caught up, and contributed as a Rookie…
    But there is no question he was behind, and that’s not good if you get an injury to put you further behind…
    NFL teams schedules are usually set in advance so other committments by both team and personnel can be scheduled and met; and so it’s going to continue to be an issue…
    Speaking of Saints, and keeping with Florio obessesive compulsiveness, there was this Vicodin story…

  4. Chizzle says: May 14, 2010 7:15 AM

    So your going to make a different story about every player that won’t be able to participate in OTA’s?

  5. thunderdog says: May 14, 2010 7:23 AM

    UCLA also has a quarters system and their players can’t report to teams until June 11.

  6. DB26 says: May 14, 2010 7:31 AM

    @ Larry David:
    Probably those who care whether or not they graduate from a prestigious school and still value their education.

  7. kovvboyzfan says: May 14, 2010 7:32 AM

    I think it is done to keep teams from preventing players from graduating due to forced rookie minicamps.

  8. PULL&SEAL says: May 14, 2010 7:39 AM

    If I played for the Vikings I wouldn”t attend any off season workouts either. The king doesn’t have to, why should the rest of the men. I’m proud of Toby for taking a stance against Lord Favre.

  9. BigBear123 says: May 14, 2010 7:51 AM

    He loaded up his fall semester and finished early to focus on football in the spring. He actuallybwill graduate.
    Moat of the idiots drop out anyways, so finishing the semester isn’t even a worry anymore.

  10. Tom says: May 14, 2010 7:53 AM

    It could be that some don’t feel the NFL is that important. It can wait as this young man concludes his education.

  11. JimmySmith says: May 14, 2010 7:57 AM

    What is it with Viking draft choices and missing practice? Last year it was the pot smoking Harvin needing to clean out his system before subjecting himself to NFL testing (not that it mattered, this is Minnesota where the judges are friendly and the farm animals nervous).
    But then again, this is the franchise where attending training camp is optional, head coaches double as chauffeurs, and highway speed limit signs are just a suggestion. Maybe Gerhart just aspires to be like BrINT Favre.

  12. Slow Joe says: May 14, 2010 7:59 AM

    The rule is not nonsensical. It’s designed so that a student-athlete (remember, they’re students, too) will not be pressured by his NFL team or himself to miss classes or tests in order to compete for his place on the team.
    If a young player has a huge test coming up that will help him get his degree, yet that same week a batch of OTAs coming up for a job that could potentially pay him millions of dollars, well, even you can see the conflict, right? And Roger Goodell doesn’t want to be in charge of an entity that encourages kids to skip out on getting their diploma.

  13. HawgNSonsTV2 says: May 14, 2010 8:04 AM

    Florio … you want to change everything …don’t you!?

  14. Larry David says: May 14, 2010 8:18 AM

    DB26 says:
    May 14, 2010 7:31 AM
    @ Larry David:
    Probably those who care whether or not they graduate from a prestigious school and still value their education
    It should be up to the player to decide what they want to do, not the NFL. He can always go back whenever he wants and finish his degree.

  15. stan26 says: May 14, 2010 8:36 AM

    If their class work for their degree has all been completed at the end of the prior semester/quarter, why shouldn’t they be permitted to attend?

  16. pacstud says: May 14, 2010 9:06 AM

    Perhaps the AP should revote on this

  17. TrentDilferisaDouche says: May 14, 2010 9:15 AM

    Jimmy Smith is a scumbag! Oh Wisconsin, where the women are men and the dentists are out of work.

  18. jm91rs says: May 14, 2010 9:35 AM

    For a high draft round guy, this is a non issue. But what about later guys and the undrafted free agents? They are fighting for roster spots and will be playing catch-up all summer. Seems like this rule should be changed quickly to put everyone on a level playing field.

  19. Nevisyakker says: May 14, 2010 9:47 AM

    Right PULL&SEAL and JimmySmith, this young man’s choice to finish his commitment and receive a well earned degree from one of the most academically prestigious universities in the world is all about Farve and Minnesota. GET OVER IT!!!
    Only in America can such idiots find the freedom to reveal their prejudices and overwhelming ignorance before the world. When you guys share your idiotic garbage it makes a person question the wisdom of that.

  20. Percy Have Mercy says: May 14, 2010 10:53 AM

    @JimmySmith
    Coming from the land where men beat their wives after a Packer’s loss and you’re trying to say that Minnesota (20+ Fortune 500 Companies) has farm animals that are nervous?!? Please, you can’t even have buildings taller than your capital. Backwards ass Packer fans. Probably very similar to Steeler fans. You take out the frustration from a loss on your dog or woman, lol. Pathetic.

  21. Thor_of_Valhalla says: May 14, 2010 10:57 AM

    @ JimmySmith
    You are an idiot!
    Percy Harvin missed some practices, and I don’t think it turned out bad for him or the Vikings. Guess you didn’t see who won Rookie of the Year!
    Toby Gerhart is graduating from Stanford. This is a negative thing???????
    Wake up DOUCHEBAG!

  22. LovinBlue says: May 14, 2010 10:57 AM

    Yeah, they need to give the kids at schools like Stanford and UCLA a bit longer to learn the material. College is hard!

  23. edgy1957 says: May 14, 2010 10:58 AM

    So, Toby, do you feel like you’ve abandoned your teammates? :)

  24. SATAN567 says: May 14, 2010 11:03 AM

    He probably doesn’t want to be in Minnesota, anyways. Its a convenient, yet viable, excuse. Good luck with the Mosquitos, Toby. Hope you don’t get malaria, you’re a good dude that’s gonna be stuck in a filthy place.

  25. GOVIKES|GOVIKES says: May 14, 2010 11:19 AM

    Primadonna!!
    I hereby dub thee Baron von Gerhart, vassal to Lord Favre, and defender of the short yardage situation.

  26. SayItAin'tSoFlorio says: May 14, 2010 11:20 AM

    The “nonsensical” rule is an agreement that the NFL has with the NCAA. Players who have already graduated are allowed to participate in the off-season programs, beginning in mid-May. If they have not graduated, they may not participate until their school is officially ended (finals), even if they are not enrolled. The theory behind this is that it encourages the athlete to stay in school. In reality, most of them are not in school, so it is kind of asinine. But don’t blame the NFL. You can put the blame on the NCAA.

  27. lskynard87 says: May 14, 2010 11:44 AM

    I’ve never replied to JimmySmith… but that was a pretty lame comment. IDK if you enjoy riling up Vikings fans or what, but really, that was pathetic. Try again.

  28. pacificamike says: May 14, 2010 11:47 AM

    Florio Jr is way too dumb to get in Stanford

  29. TheRealARod says: May 14, 2010 11:53 AM

    I love how because it is Touchdown Toby, Hesiman trophy finalist, this is a non story, but when Myron Rolle has to miss because he is taking finals at OXFORD he is putting football second and doesn’t care about playing. Yea that makes a lot of sense…..

  30. BOO3LEGS says: May 14, 2010 12:12 PM

    These players are drafted and still cannot play for the team, but players get busted for roids and still become ROY, or Pro Bowlers. WOW, this makes alot of sense.

  31. CanadianVikingFan says: May 14, 2010 1:03 PM

    Please people, Jimmy has never even heard of a school before. Of course he’s going to bash Gerhart about finishing school instead of going to OTAs

  32. sand0 says: May 14, 2010 1:47 PM

    Packers fans come to PFT daily to express their Minnesota envy. Kind of sad how plain it is for anyone to see except them.

  33. Supersuckers says: May 14, 2010 2:23 PM

    JimmySmith says:
    May 14, 2010 7:57 AM
    What is it with Viking draft choices and missing practice? Last year it was the pot smoking Harvin needing to clean out his system before subjecting himself to NFL testing (not that it mattered, this is Minnesota where the judges are friendly and the farm animals nervous).
    But then again, this is the franchise where attending training camp is optional, head coaches double as chauffeurs, and highway speed limit signs are just a suggestion. Maybe Gerhart just aspires to be like BrINT Favre.
    —————
    Well said Jimmy

  34. JimmySmith says: May 15, 2010 11:01 AM

    Who is bashing Gehart for finishing school? I was merely pointing out that Viking draft choices have historically missed OTA’s although this time it wasn’t drug related.

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