Jets rookie wide receiver Shaq Evans is trying to get a better job, which is the ostensible reason for going to college.
But as one of the players falling victim to the league’s rule preventing rookies from schools on the quarter system from joining their teams until their college class graduates, he’s found himself behind already.
And he doesn’t like it.
“I really don’t understand it,” the fourth-rounder from UCLA said, via Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post. “If I’m not in school, it shouldn’t matter. It’s ridiculous. I hope the league changes it, because it definitely sets players back. It’s a silly, silly, stupid rule.
“I’d love for the [NFL Players Association] to take it on and at least make it more beneficial for the players. I don’t see how it benefits anybody, really.”
The NFL’s free farm system benefits, because it allows the NCAA to beat its chest about its commitment to the education of its unpaid interns. And while NFL coaches would certainly love to have more access to their employees, they also know which battles to pick.
“I don’t think I can win with that one,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “It’s been going on a long time, and Nick Mangold told me [he] loved it because he was on the quarters system at Ohio State and got to miss [NFL practice time]. But it’s weird, because it’s not uniform.”
But it is entrenched, and the simple matter of players affected by it complaining about it is unlikely to change anything.