Enough Already OSU!!! They already got one of the best DE in the country from Toledo Whitmer in their 2011 class. Now they are going after his teammate DE Chris Wormley (6'6 250) for their 2012 recruiting class.
He grew up a Wolverine but RR needs to get on this kid fast because everyone else in the country will be on him soon enough!!
There was a post that devolved into a discussion of the of NFL Draft eligibility rules about a week ago. As I was the person who was largely responsible, I decided to examine Maurice Clarett's situation more closely. Enjoy.
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NFL eligibility rules, like those of the NCAA, can be a contentious issue. This is likely because, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with a rule, the rules are somewhat arbitrary. Since we’re discussing Maurice Clarett here, I’m going to discuss the NFL’s policy that players must be three years removed from high school graduation in order to enter the NFL draft—in other words, they must have completed their Redshirt Sophomore or true Junior season in college football. Clarett challenged that rule in federal court in 2004, where he first was successful in the Southern District—whose ruling was then reversed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
I want to emphasize that I am not a lawyer, and while the lawyers out there are free to destroy my argument and pick apart my almost certainly incorrect usage of legal terminology, that doesn’t necessarily mean my viewpoint is without validity. As a reference for the legal issues, I’ve used a summary of the case, which is available at the bottom of the page.
This is a topic I feel very strongly about. To me, it’s appalling that an adult who is highly qualified for a job is prevented from pursuing that job simply based on his age. Make no mistake; waiting three years after high school is essentially another way of requiring that NFL players be 20-21 years old on draft day. Of course, for me to be upset in this case, I must assume that Clarett and Mike Williams would have been drafted (or at least signed as an undrafted free agent) by an NFL team in that draft. Both were drafted the next year, so I think it’s safe to assume they would have been drafted the season in question.
My argument isn't about what’s best for the fans, or even for the players, it’s about what should or shouldn’t be legal. I would love every college player to stay in school for four seasons. I primarily follow the college game, and the game’s great players are a significant part of why the college game is, to me, the best sport in the world. However, is it acceptable for the government to allow a private entity to not allow an adult to work in a profession he is clearly capable of pursuing? I’m not saying the NFL had to draft Clarett and give him a huge signing bonus, but they essentially prevented him from even applying for a job, despite having met all non age-related qualifications. I’m going to examine if my argument is valid, and whether it’s reasonable to disagree with the court decision the allowed the NFL to deny Clarett entrance into the draft.
Clarett’s lawyers argued that the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement violated various anti-trust acts by denying eligibility for employment to players “who had not first exhausted all college football eligibility, graduated from college, or been out of high school for five football seasons. Clubs were further barred from drafting any person who either did not attend college, or attended college but did not play football, unless that person had been out of high school for four football seasons.” The NFL Commissioner was authorized to admit players via “Special Eligibility,” provided three years of college football had elapsed—these are early entrants to the draft.
The initial case in the Southern District essentially ruled that the Clarett had anti-trust standing; holding that the “’inability to compete in the market’ for NFL players' services is sufficient injury for antitrust purposes.” The Southern District also found that the NFL’s eligibility rules were “blatantly anticompetitive” in ruling in Clarett’s favor. The NFL argued that younger players were less emotionally and physically mature, and therefore more likely to fail at the NFL level. They further argued that younger athletes may attempt to rush their body’s maturation by taking steroids, etc. These are logical arguments that I’d expect the NFL to make here.
Obviously, the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Appeals Court disagreed with the lower court's ruling. Their discussion opens by stating, “It has long been recognized that in order to accommodate the collective bargaining process, certain concerted activity among and between labor and employers must be held to be beyond the reach of the antitrust laws.” This allows unions and employers to negotiate work rules together in good faith—the so-called anti-trust exemption. This is called a “non-statutory exemption,” which is inferred "from federal labor statutes, which set forth a national labor policy favoring free and private collective bargaining; which require good-faith bargaining over wages, hours, and working conditions; and which delegate related rulemaking and interpretive authority to the National Labor Relations Board."
The Appeals Court systematically struck down each of Clarett’s arguments based on past court rulings and federal labor law. According to federal labor law, rules for initial eligibility are required in the collective bargaining process, and may make eligibility more difficult for outside parties, which can be used by unions to protect their workers. Unlike the Southern District, the Appeals Court granted the NFL a non-statutory exemption and allowed them to deny Clarett’s entry into the draft.
The discussion above is what happened during the process. Clearly, assuming that the appointed members of the federal court system are accomplished jurists—which is likely the case—intelligent people can disagree here. I found it interesting that age was not mentioned once in the case summary. When Clarett initially challenged the NFL, I thought it would be a simple case that would immediately fall in Clarett’s favor. He was an adult, and it’s illegal to deny someone a job due to age, which I contend is a clear consequence of the time removed from high school eligibility rules. I was wrong. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states on its website that only workers over the age of forty are protected by age discrimination provisions of federal employment law. That is clearly why age wasn’t mentioned, however, I’m surprised that was not challenged, especially due to the perishable nature of NFL level football ability.
I’m not going to delve too deeply into the morality issue in this diary. I obviously fall on the side of allowing an adult to apply for a job he is qualified for, but many others on the board do not in the case of pro football. I also feel it would have been right for the NFL to allow Mike Williams and Maurice Clarett in under some sort of special exemption. They did win the initial case, and were forced to spend a year in limbo waiting to be drafted—which may have contributed to Clarett’s eventual problems. Had he been able to remain in the very structured environment of organized football, those problems may have been mitigated or never appeared.
Feel free to debate below, but apparently, Maurice Clarett, and I, was wrong based on federal law. Hopefully it was an interesting read.
Should Devin Gardner take a redshirt or play in his freshman year? The answer to this question depends upon how much impact you think he might have in 2010, versus how badly we will want him to play in 2014 as a fifth year senior instead of a new starter. We don’t know what he will do in college and we most certainly don’t know what he will be like five years from now. However, one thing that we can do is look historically at the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Michigan football team in the years where they have had a fifth year senior quarterback at the helm. This represents a hypothetical 2014 for a Devin Gardner led team. Then, we can compare those results to the years where Michigan has had a new starting quarterback. This represents a hypothetical 2014 for a Michigan if Gardner leaves after the ‘13 season.
Let’s look at fifth year senior QBs in the last 30 years against our two biggest rivals, and the bowl game results.
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Let’s tally up those results, shall we? In the last 30 years, we are a combined 13-2-1 vs. MSU and OSU when we have a fifth year senior starting at quarterback. In those eight seasons, we made a BCS bowl game all but once, and we have won four of those (for those of you in Columbus – that means we won a BCS Bowl game 50% of the time). Yes, yes, I know that the BCS didn’t exist before 1998, but I think you get the point.
Only three times did we not win vs. OSU and MSU. Wow. I should point out that in two of those games, the 5th year senior did not play the whole game. In 1992, Elvis Grbac got injured in the first half with only two pass attempts. In 1999, Tom Brady sat out a little more than a quarter in place of Drew Henson.
Now, let’s take a look at the results the last 30 years when we have had a new starter at quarterback:
|1987||Brown||Loss||Loss||Hall of Fame||Win|
|1993||Collins||Win||Loss||Hall of Fame||Win|
In the last 30 years, we are a combined 9-17 vs. MSU and OSU when we have a new starting quarterback. In those thirteen seasons, we made a BCS game only once, and we lost it (for those of you in Columbus – that means a 0% success rate). 9-17 vs. MSU and OSU, and only one Rose Bowl in thirteen seasons. Wow, that really sucks. 8 of MSU’s 9 victories against us in the last 30 years have come in a year where we had a new starting quarterback. This is a crappy trend that is consistent over all four Michigan coaches in the 30-year period. Please note that I left out 1988 because even though Michael Taylor was technically a new starter, senior Demetrius Brown finished the season with victories in Columbus and Pasadena.
So what does this mean for Devin Gardner? Ideally, Forcier will be a four-year starter, which means that Gardner might take over the team in 2013. If history is any indicator, that means 2013 will be a mediocre year in which we split the two big ones, at best, and have almost no chance at a BCS game. If we have another new starter in 2014, expect the same. On the other hand, if Gardner is playing as a fifth year senior, expect lots of misery for the residents of Columbus and East Lansing and a BCS bowl game.
I think that my opinion on this matter is clear. Devin Gardner needs to take a redshirt, if at all possible.
Seriously, Maurice? Still hoping for a football career? Maybe you should mug somebody for their common sense next time?
There is always a debate about the significance of recruiting rankings when teams don't have the same number of recruits. Here's the question for this year.
Is it fair to rank UM's class higher than OSU's, as a number of the recruiting services have done, with rivals not even putting OSU in the top 25?
Some argue that OSU’s class is only ranked lower because they had a smaller class size. But how does class size affect the impact of the recruiting success of the entire class.
We can get a very crude idea of the impact by asking a purely hypothetical, simplified question. Suppose you have a class the size of UM’s and each recruit has an independent, 50-50 chance of succeeding. Then the likelihood that more than half of the recruits succeed is itself, coincidentally, 50% (see link). By contrast, the chance of success of the same number of recruits in the smaller class for OSU is only 2 %.
But what if we raise the chance of success for OSU's recruits (with an average rank about 6% higher in scout or rivals, as I recall)? Let's be generous and say that each of OSU’s recruits has a 10% greater chance of succeeding than UM’s. Then the chance that their class succeeds as a whole (more than half contribute) is still only 9%, less than a fifth of UM’s.
This oversimplified analysis admittedly ignores possible dependencies, heterogeneities, different degrees of contribution, and the fact that recruiting more players today may lead to more spaces next year, or vice versa. However, it’s uncertain how important the latter is.
UM’s large class this year may also be due to the smaller size of prior years (after attrition) as compared with OSU’s. So, prospectively, it is possible that we will be able to recruit as many as OSU in the coming few years—somebody might check this out. So, possibly, this year, we just made up a lot of ground and evened the playing field in numbers, while also making this year's class a lot more likely to succeed than OSU's.
UM has the most players on the NFL all-decade team of any college other than Miami. Note that UM has four, OSU only one (less than Kent State and the same as Akron, Troy, Sonoma State, Tex Southern, La Tech, Marshall, Pitt State, and William and Mary, etc.)
This UM OSU disparity raises questions about previous claims that OSU prepares their players better for the NFL (after you control for prior star ranks of recruits). In fact, the last time I checked, the average salaries of UM players in NFL were more than twice those of OSU players.
So, my question is: if OSU players do get drafted more often, then why don’t they pan out in the NFL?
In other words, what factors might enhance their performance in college but eventually make them peter out in the NFL? (Vernon (the ghost) Gholston, MoClarrett, David Boston, etc.).
It must be just a coincidence.
3-4. Tenn, FSU 3
5-10. Kent State, Syr, NC, LSU, GA, TexAM
Teams with 1 (OSU along with Akron, Troy, William and Mary, Sonoma State, Tex Southern, La Tech, Marshall, Pitt State, SD State, NM, TCU, Fresno, Syr, Tex Tech, OkSt, UL, ALA, USC, Cal, UCLA, Neb, Wash, Clemson)
NFL all-decade team
Quarterbacks: Tom Brady (UM), Peyton Manning( Tenn)
Running backs: Shaun Alexander (Ala), Jamal Lewis (Tenn), Edgerrin James (Miami), LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU).
Fullback: Lorenzo Neal (Fresno)
Receivers: Marvin Harrison (Syr), Torry Holt (NC), Randy Moss (Marshall), Terrell Owens (Tenn)
Tight ends: Antonio Gates (KentSt, Tony Gonzalez (Cal).
Offensive linemen: Walter Jones (FSU), Jonathan Ogden (UCLA), Orlando Pace (OSU), Alan Faneca (LSU), Steve Hutchinson (UM), Will Shields (Neb) Olin Kreutz (Wash) and Kevin Mawae (LSU), Willie Roaf (LaTech), Larry Allen (SonomaSt)
Linebackers: Ray Lewis (Miami), Derrick Brooks (FSU), Joey Porter (FSU), Zach Thomas (TTech), Brian Urlacher (NM), DeMarcus Ware (Troy).
Defensive ends: Julius Peppers (NC), Michael Strahan (TexSouth), Jason Taylor (Akron), Dwight Freeney (Syr)
Defensive tackles: La'Roi Glover (SDSt), Richard Seymour (GA), Kevin Williams (OkSt) Warren Sapp (Miami).
Secondary: Ronde Barber (VA), Champ Bailey (GA), Ty Law (UM), Charles Woodson (UM), Brian Dawkins (Clem), Troy Polamalu (USC), Ed Reed (Miami), Darren Sharper (WmMary).
Kickers: David Akers (UL), Adam Vinatieri (SDSt)
Punters: Shane Lechler (TexAM), Brian Moorman (PittSt)
Kick returners: Kick return: Devin Hester (Miami) Joshua Cribbs (TexAM), Dante Hall, (Kent St)