Is "two and done" coming to CFB?

Submitted by Blueverine on January 1st, 2019 at 2:47 PM

With Nick Bosa projected as the No. 1 pick by more than a few folks, does his sitting out move become more widespread without the medical reason? Say you are a guy who played lights out as freshman and sophomore. You’ve show everything to the NFL that they need to see. Why risk playing another down, let alone a full season, when you will get paid really well in a year?

Pros: Guaranteed healthy for the league. No classes. Concentrate on strength, speed, conditioning to ace the combine. Cons: have to pay your way to support you – but if you are not coming back, signing with an agent who can support you is a real option. Risk getting passed by upcoming juniors and seniors.You have to get around the NFL rule that says they have to approve your draft eligibility if you have not used it up. NFL approves all juniors because they are 3 years past high school. This would open a new issue for the NFL to approve players who voluntarily sit out vs. Bosa’s medical (?) reason for sitting out. This would probably open a whole new battle front with CFB.

It’s not for everyone, but for those truly elite, "can't miss" players, if it's an option, I see it happening and sitting out bowl games will be a secondary issue. I guess I’m just suggesting a parallel to basketball’s “one and done” where everyone knows they are not staying for 2 or 3 years. Football is exponentially more dangerous than basketball, so why risk injury if your career path is pretty well set?



January 1st, 2019 at 2:51 PM ^

It could happen, but it must be collectively bargained by the NFL.  As the NFL has the weakest labor union, I doubt it will happen.  The pro-league has a free minor league system, AND the pro-players do not have to worry about money going to inexperienced 20 year olds.


January 1st, 2019 at 3:17 PM ^

Fournette basically skipped his last season and Bosa is basically doing it as well.  I highly doubt one NFL team would pass on a cant miss prospect and let someone else take him because he didn't play in college his last year?  Why would the NFL care at all about college.  

Athletes miss full years all the time for injuries and come back.  Clarrett got fat, that is why he wasn't good anymore.  He spent a year partying.  Someone spending a year workign out and getting ready for the draft wouldnt be any different than when someone had an ACL tear pre 2008'ish. 


January 1st, 2019 at 3:34 PM ^

I don't think it gets to that. The NFL already has a mechanism to approve those who apply that haven't met the "used up their eligibility" rule. They just have to do it for those truly elite players on an "on demand" basis. Also, I don't think the NFLPA has much to gain by holding down the career of potential members. 

edit: oops, meant to reply to amitrx above you.


January 1st, 2019 at 3:40 PM ^

I thought about the possibility of blacklisting players as well but as stated by other posters the NFL hasn't dinged guys for sitting out bowl games or parts of their season to date so what makes you think they would going forward?  The NCAA has the weak negotiating position in all of this.  The NFL's three year rule forces kids to play which is a win for both the NFL (more time to scout, less risk as opposed to drafting kids out of HS) and a win for the NCAA (profitable minor league system which benefits from built in alumni money pool).  The NFL can't do anything to force kids to actually "play" college football (teams colluding to drop kids in the draft would probably accomplish this), the three and done rule already goes too far.  And college teams have shown they have no recourse against players who choose not to play.  They have a very profitable product and they pay the player portion of their labor force pennies compared to the NFL.  In the real world what type of company would provide their employees compensation up front and not even balk when they refused to complete what was asked?  The only explanation is Universities understand that they are getting more from players than what the are paying for and will take a few hits from guys sitting out games to keep the status quo.


January 1st, 2019 at 3:58 PM ^

Blacklisting is hard to do in all markets. Whether it be oil or football players, all it really takes is one group member to put their own benefit ahead of the benefit of the group. If a college player is truly that talented, you better believe some team will be like "screw this, we're drafting him." Having said that, I don't really think there are a lot of players that can sit out one year and still be considered top picks. That's definitely the exception, not the rule.  


January 1st, 2019 at 3:11 PM ^

They already do.  When I was an athlete I read the scholarship closely and it is a yearly scholarship renewed annually.  The four year thing is more verbal.  I think there is also a way for the university to get out at semester to protect itself from giving a free year of school to someone who quits the day after practice starts or something similar. 


January 1st, 2019 at 2:52 PM ^

Certainly will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. The kid from MSU broke his fibula and he was still deciding whether to return or not. As a fan I hate to see kids not playing, but certainly understand it from their side. We are talking life changing money. 


January 1st, 2019 at 2:57 PM ^

Would be interesting to see the impact on programs that rely solely on talent and getting players to the NFL, i.e., Alabama, OSU. Less risk for Michigan, ND, Stanford..

The Pharaoh of Filth

January 1st, 2019 at 6:26 PM ^

While playing the usual Michigan Morality Card, this year would be the last for DPJ and Nico Collins, and with Black's injury history, might he not do the same? He's got film that shows speed and good hands.

Then, on the other side of the ball, Gary, Bush, and probably one or two of the D-backs as well. For Michigan, losing those players before this year would have spelled disaster.

Think about it: The two to three elite players Michigan gets are REAL difference makers for them (if they pan out) and Michigan doesn't have a five star backup like the others.

It's still a lose for Michigan, even with our moral superiority.


January 1st, 2019 at 2:58 PM ^

It's happened before. There could be college football one and dones if a player redshirts after a few games, has a standout sophomore year, and sits their junior year due to injury. Why go back to college when a contract awaits you and you've graduated early?

Matt Barkley hurt his draft prospect by returning for his senior season. He was predicted as a top qb choice as a junior and favored as a Heisman front-runner for the next year, then his senior season fell off a cliff and he was drafted in the 4th round.

Dayton Blue

January 1st, 2019 at 3:00 PM ^

It's like a comedy club - two drink minimum.  But do away with four-year schollies and encourage more walk-ons!

/s; this can make the quality of the game worse as players who know they're not NFL material may start fading their intensity.



January 1st, 2019 at 3:17 PM ^

The NFL seems to be a very "Football, FOOTBALL, FOOTBAW!! 24/7" league, so I could see teams questioning a player's heart and possibly affecting draft status. 

On the other hand, its one of those things that could continue to make the "They're Amateurs" hypocrisy more obvious, so go for it.  

Football Heaven

January 1st, 2019 at 3:18 PM ^

It used to be that players (typically) were not physically ready for the beating taken in the NFL. The three years out of HS was a protection for players not physically strong enough. That is certainly not the case any longer. The three year thing is really out of date for today's athlete in our college game.

Bill Brasky

January 1st, 2019 at 3:19 PM ^

Interesting thought. I’m not very old, in my late thirties, but I feel like college basketball was slightly more enjoyable when players stayed for two years at least, prior to kids leaving from high school or the “one and done.” Think about the fab five as sophomores, those UNLV teams, those Duke teams with upperclassmen like Grant Hill and Hurley and Laettner. I think it watered down college basketball a little. Now, we’ve recently had success, but if you think about it over the entire time, the skill level isn’t the same. Imagine LeBron or Garnett or KD as sophomores in college. 

So, I worry college football would lose some skill and talent if that was the case. Part of why I love college football more than pro football is that the talent/skill is very very good with some/most power 5 teams. Parity may be better with schools who hold onto seniors more, but the overall product may be washed.


January 1st, 2019 at 3:44 PM ^

This prbly doesn't apply to football but I think not playing college likely benefits a lot of players in basketball. Imagine if LeBron or Garnett spent 4 years in college under an Izzo or another unimaginative coach who restricted their skill set and forced them to be one dimensional players instead of what they became. Obviously this doesn't apply to football where technique is way more important .


January 1st, 2019 at 11:01 PM ^

I can’t entirely tell if you are being sarcastic, but I do agree with you. By most accounts, Dean Smith held back and stunted Jordan’s growth his first year or two at UNC. In several interviews, Jordan jokingly admits “Smith is the only person who could ever beat me...” as a reference to Smith’s requirement that Jordan not start as a Frosh, play as a “team,” and auto-bench during games that Jordan was tearing it up.

Although it would have been inconceivable at the time, I think Jordan absolutely would have benefited by directly going pro (like Kobe or Lebron). It’s not a move every player should do, but college does not benefit those once-in-a-generation talent the way professional exposure would.


January 1st, 2019 at 3:23 PM ^

I don’t really see it being an issue. The players that have done it are in the top 1% of players across CFB. If we have one of those players, it means we’ve gotten two years of amazing production and play just like Williams, Fournette and Bosa


January 1st, 2019 at 3:28 PM ^

No one should be forced to be X years removed from high school in order to go professional in athletics. It’s called liberty, and should be adhered to! If someone wants to make that decision at 17 or 18, let them. Live with it and make it count.


January 1st, 2019 at 3:39 PM ^

Far from an original thought in the OP, but a very interesting conversation nonetheless. With the increased awareness of how badly an NFL career can destroy the body, there’s a lot of logic behind minimizing impact on your body. 

But I think there is some merit (at least, more than most posters here give credit for) to the idea that you gotta go all in to be successful. Do you think players who are weighing risk on a daily basis will be as successful as those who just go all in? Time will tell, I guess. 


January 1st, 2019 at 4:03 PM ^

The rule is 3 years removed from high school so it wouldn't matter if a player only really played 2 years. According to rule they would eligible after their third year in school.

Lastly Bosa had a documented injury so he's a different case. Clowney would have been the true test case had he decided not play his junior year like some speculated 

SMart WolveFan

January 1st, 2019 at 4:15 PM ^

Actually an alternate pro league paying adults and located in marijuana legal states = instantly the NFL and amature football become the 2nd and 3rd most important leagues.