NFL rules generally prohibit team personnel from commenting on college players who have yet to be certified for entry into the draft. Thus, when Colts owner Jim Irsay talked to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports about Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who still has one more year of college eligibility, it appeared that Irsay could be in line for a strongly-worded letter from the league office. Along with a requirement that Irsay make an involuntary donation to the charity of the league’s choice.
That won’t be happening.
“It was well understood by Andrew Luck that he would have been the top pick or a top 5 pick if he came out after LAST season,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello explained via email. “He decided to stay. The comment you cite [from Irsay] is not the type that is of concern in terms of influencing underclassmen.”
Specifically, Irsay said the following about Luck: “Guys like that come along so rarely. Even if that means that guy sits for three or four years, you’d certainly think about taking him . . . you see what Green Bay did with [Brett] Favre and [Aaron] Rodgers and you’d like to be able to do the same thing.”
We agree with the notion that Irsay didn’t say anything that would make the NFL a more enticing option for Luck. But it was our understanding that the league employs a bright-line rule in matters of this nature.
Apparently, the league doesn’t. Which means that it’s now open season for other owners, coaches, and General Managers to make similar comments about Luck.