Gotta feel for this guy

Submitted by Bob Probert Owns You on July 23rd, 2008 at 9:30 PM

This just makes me sick to my stomach. Apparently the Department of Defense has changed its stance on allowing cadets who play professional sports to serve their two years at local recruiting offices.


Now this guy has to report back to West Point and get shipped overseas somewhere. I understand the argument that he signed up for this eventuality and should be bound by it, but wtf, it's only one guy and now he has to put off a 3 year contract, and most likely his dream of playing professional football.


The Lions haven't done much right recently, but I truly believe drafting Caleb Campbell was a great move by the organization. Now, the kid misses out on his dream, the Lions lose a player and a draft pick is wasted. Just another instance where the government messed up big time.


EDIT: I just read the ESPN article and watced their report and apparently he won't be going overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan, rather he will be a graduate assistant at West Point... so basically he can't be a pro player because he has to help Army Football out. Terrible.…


Casa Grande

July 23rd, 2008 at 10:28 PM ^

Yes and no. If the military HAD been allowing guys to come out & play that's one thing, but otherwise it's just a bad pick by the Lions. They should have known the guy would have a job that he was liable for. I think of Roger Staubach. From the Wiki article on him: "He was a 10th round draft pick in the 1964 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, but due to his military commitment, did not begin playing until 1969 as a 27 year old rookie. He was also draftd by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 10th round of AFL draft. After graduating from the Naval Academy, Staubach could have requested an assignment in the States but he chose to volunteer for a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam where he served as a supply officer for the United States Navy until 1967. He spent the rest of his Naval career in the United States, playing football on various Naval service teams to prepare for his future career in the NFL." So - draw from that what you will I'm sure he's everything we need from our military leaders. You don't get into that place without being the top of the crop. But it just seems that the precedent has been set way back.


July 24th, 2008 at 12:20 AM ^

"The U.S. Army revised its interpretation of U.S. Department of Defense policy two weeks ago regarding soldiers playing professional sports, requiring cadets to complete two years of active duty before applying for a release."

They changed the rule  AFTER he got drafted, which kinda blows for him. His attitude toward the entire thing couldn't be better though.

oriental andrew

July 24th, 2008 at 9:35 AM ^

He knew what he signed up for when matriculating at the USMA.  Also, there are already a couple of obvious precedents - Staubach (as mentioned) and David Robinson, who is Navy, but the same principle applies.  He gets a cushy (relatively speaking) active duty assignment on campus as a grad assistant, apparently, which can only benefit him by getting in on the coaching aspect of the game and still allowing him to train and keep up his conditioning so he can attempt to make a pro roster in 2 years.


July 24th, 2008 at 10:33 AM ^

I wrote this on my blog on 24 April: "Hero? I think not. I have no idea why anyone would celebrate this young man's fortune. Having served ten years myself, I feel like Caleb Campbell is shirking his responsibility. Many people are trying to compare him to Pat Tillman, and nothing could be further from the truth. Pat Tillman left his contract to go serve his country. Campbell is dodging his duty that he signed up for to go play football. Harsh? Yes. The fact is that Campbell went to West Point. He signed up to be an officer in the United States Army. Your tax dollars paid to house, educate, and train him to serve and defend this country. Now, he can take all that, and make a living in the NFL. Other athletes attend state schools on scholarship, but the athletic programs and merchandise offset that cost. At Army, this is not the case. He still has to make the roster, but unless he fails, he won't be in any army I was a part of. The US Army says he'll be a great recruiting tool. Really? Showing people they can sign up and then not actually live up to their end of the deal? I'm all for someone making vast amounts of money playing in the NFL; as long as they don't already have a commitment to serve their country. I couldn't believe the people at the draft chanting "U-S-A-U-S-A". This man is not any hero. He's someone that might renege on his own word. The US Army has a motto: "Duty, Honor, Country". I guess he missed that class. " Now, the Army heas recanted. Bravo. The army/navy, etc. does much more than fight in Iraq. There are humanitarian missions, Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard rescues, etc. Iraq is not all the military does. Just because that's all you see on TV, that's not the whole story. You can serve the country that paid for your education in many ways. Just because he is at West Point, doesn't mean that's he's wasting away. Plus, he only has to serve 2 years. Most officers are required to serve 4.

big gay heart

July 24th, 2008 at 12:08 PM ^

Scalz, we've gone back and forth on this issue. But, from what I can gather, this was a product of bureaucratic infighting, not some higher sense of equity. As was reported recently in the Freep and several national news sources, the Navy and Air Force had claimed that this gave the Army an "unfair recruitment" advantage. So, they pitted themselves against the Army in an effort to get this changed. And, they did so after he had been drafted. It's unfair that he was told the day before he was to report to training camp. I'm not against the fact that this was altered, but the reasoning for the alteration seems petty and not made from a reasonably positive standpoint.



July 24th, 2008 at 12:11 PM ^

the timing sucks ass, and the reason is unjust. But, they corrected a wrong in my eyes. As far as the other services claiming the Army had an advantage; they're right. A soldier, sailor, marine, etc should all be equal, no matter what service. I do agree that this is harsh on the man, but it is the deserved outcome.