Panthers tight end Greg Olsen wishes he could get to work with his new teammate Christian McCaffrey.
Instead, the NFL’s rules prevent McCaffrey from doing any work because his school, Stanford, is still in session. McCaffrey isn’t even enrolled in school this semester, but that doesn’t matter: The NFL doesn’t allow any rookie to work at his team’s facility until his college’s semester ends, even if he doesn’t attend that college anymore.
“I think that’s just backwards,” Olsen said on NFL Network. “At some point I think the NFL and the NCAA struck up that agreement as kind of a ‘we’ll take care of you, you take care of us,’ but I just think it’s so outdated. That rationale is just not up to date with how things operate. In today’s world, a kid makes a decision, he moves on to another step of his career and leaves school early. He’s not even enrolled; he never even started the last quarter or whatever they’re on, because obviously he was training for the combine and the draft and whatnot. It just seems like a very antiquated rule that definitely needs to be revisited. At the end of the day, these kids are being hurt. Here’s a young kid looking to come in and become acclimated with a new team and join the NFL and make a huge step in his life. Because of something completely out of his control, he’s forbidden from being with us.”
There seems to be quite a bit of momentum for changing the rule, and for good reason: It’s a rule that just doesn’t make a lot of sense. McCaffrey is out of school and ready to play professional football. The NFL should let him.