President orders re-creation of policy to allow service academy players to play in NFL

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After making his intentions known last month, President Donald Trump has signed a memorandum calling upon the Pentagon to create a policy that would allow athletes from service academies to play professional sports immediately upon graduation.

According to the Associated Press, the memo gives the defense secretary 120 days to craft the policy with the intention of allowing athletes the chance to “take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible.” It would defer their mandatory military service until after their athletic pursuits have come to an end.

A policy allowing athletes to do just that had already existed until it was ended by the Department of Defense in May 2017. Then Secretary of Defense James Mattis signed an order to end the program which allowed players to seek status in the reserves so they could play professionally.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Keenan Reynolds took advantage of that allowance when he entered the NFL Draft in 2016. Former Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette is trying to restart his football career after serving two years of active duty service. The Minnesota Vikings drafted Air Force long snapper Austin Cutting in the seventh round of this year’s draft in the hopes he would eventually be able to play for them as well.

13 responses to “President orders re-creation of policy to allow service academy players to play in NFL

  1. All these players/service members know when they sign up that they will owe the mandated 5 years of active service upon graduation. Delaying that for an athletic career is a very generous move by the government. However, I also think about players like Staubach and Villanueva who complete their commitment first and then go on to have sucessfull athletic careers and wonder why such a generous policy is needed.

  2. I am not hard for or against this. There are many good arguments from both sides. But if football players are allowed to earn big after graduation, why not allow all cadets to earn extra money doing what they can do best like Engineering and Computer Science while continuing as a Reserve?

  3. I think Patriots long snapper Joe Cordona does both? I think he’s a Pro Football Player during the bulk of the NFL calendar and a Naval officer when he’s free from his football commitments.

  4. Andrew Turner says:
    June 27, 2019 at 3:58 am
    Ah yes, reinventing the wheel and then claiming it as an amazing new thing…

    —–

    at least it isn’t the usual gloating after solving a self-created crisis.

  5. ABinAtown says:
    June 27, 2019 at 6:32 am
    I am not hard for or against this. There are many good arguments from both sides. But if football players are allowed to earn big after graduation, why not allow all cadets to earn extra money doing what they can do best like Engineering and Computer Science while continuing as a Reserve?

    —————–

    And who is going to pay for that? If a cadet or any student wants to get a job in their field I don’t think there is anything preventing that. It is the NCAA that prevents athletes from getting a job.

  6. ABinAtown says:
    June 27, 2019 at 6:32 am

    I am not hard for or against this. There are many good arguments from both sides. But if football players are allowed to earn big after graduation, why not allow all cadets to earn extra money doing what they can do best like Engineering and Computer Science while continuing as a Reserve?
    __________

    First, you’re no longer a cadet after graduation. Second, active duty military most often are working in the field in which they have been trained and they get paid for it. Third, athletes have a limited period of time in which they can participate in their sport. The same isn’t true for engineers. Fourth, they still have to serve their commitment; they’re just delaying it a while. How does it hurt anyone else if they serve it now or serve it later? Finally, if service academies want to attract the best and the brightest, they should have a policy like this because many who excel in sports will not choose an academy if they don’t have a chance to pursue a professional career.

  7. What happens if the football player gets bone spurs from playing football, does if get out of his five year commitment?

  8. imaduffer says:
    June 27, 2019 at 11:53 am

    What happens if the football player gets bone spurs from playing football, does if get out of his five year commitment?
    ___________

    Nope, it just limits what job you can do. There are plenty of desk jobs in the military.

  9. Third, athletes have a limited period of time in which they can participate in their sport. The same isn’t true for engineers.
    —–
    I don’t know? Technology can change rapidly. You could be an expert in field A today and your expertise could be obsolete in a few short years.

    Something to consider. I really don’t have a dog in the fight. I feel plenty protected as an American. Just my view.

  10. factschecker says:
    June 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Third, athletes have a limited period of time in which they can participate in their sport. The same isn’t true for engineers.
    —–
    I don’t know? Technology can change rapidly. You could be an expert in field A today and your expertise could be obsolete in a few short years.

    Something to consider. I really don’t have a dog in the fight. I feel plenty protected as an American. Just my view.
    _____________

    If you graduate from a service academy with a degree in engineering, you’re probably going to be an engineer in whatever branch you’re serving. You’re gaining valuable experience and leadership skills that give you an advantage over a recent graduate when you return to the civilian world.

  11. I personally don’t see a problem with this. I started my basic combat training in Fort Knox, Kentucky back in ‘85 & things were so different back then, & if I had an opportunity to play professionally I probably would have. When it comes to professional sports though, it’s usually better to play when you’re body is young & then finish serving your country later.
    One thing not enough people talk about is how Pat Tillman served his country when he could have continued playing for the Arizona Cardinals with a new contract (worked & earned his way up from a 7th round pick mind you), & ended up paying the ultimate sacrifice serving our country as an Army Ranger. If you want to teach your son or daughter about dedication, have them research him & learn what it’s all about.

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