Alright, everyone. We're back this week and looking at the results of the NFL Draft and how playing in a spread offense system can affect your draft status, the potentially harmful consequences the swine flu may have on some players, and a new rule the NCAA has instituted in college basketball concerning the declaration of draft eligibility for players.

Leach disappointed for Harrell, Crabtree

Texas Tech head coach, Mike Leach, was a little upset about the results of this year's NFL Draft and where his star players landed in the draft. Michael Crabtree was almost kicked out of the front table area (designated for the top draft picks) much like Brady Quinn was several drafts ago and TTU's record-setting QB, Graham Harrell, wasn't even drafted. Now Leach not only has the right to question the selections and legitimacy of the other picks, but he also has an obligation to protect his players and more importantly to protect his spread offense system. How does this look to a recruit if the record-setting QB ahead of him can’t even get drafted because of the reputation of the program he played in? Most players plan (and they should) to play college football to prepare for the NFL; they use it as a tool to hone their skills and work under the best coaches to attain their ultimate dream. However, the college football game is moving further away from being the link between high school and the pros with the success and growth of the spread offensive system.

The spread is extremely successful in college because a handful of faster, more athletic players can dominate a college football game. This system, though, doesn’t translate into success at the NFL level because everyone is the same speed in the pros. This is the reason that Harrell’s record-setting numbers and Heisman contention are thrown away and he goes undrafted. He never performed in a pro-style offense and NFL coaches don’t think he has the talent to play in that system. A player like Mark Sanchez, who did not have all the records, started for one year, and had some mediocre games, was selected fifth overall because of the pro-style offense that USC runs and the reputation of Pete Carroll’s ability to prepare his players for the NFL (Reggie Bush, Carson Palmer, Troy Polamalu, etc.).

If more players developed in the spread offense continue to plummet in the NFL Draft, it will be interesting to see if recruits make decisions with that in mind or if college teams switch their playing styles to fit this mold. In my opinion, I don’t see college teams that currently run the spread moving away from it; there is just too much pressure on teams to win and there is no doubt that the spread offense is a successful one in college. Who knows, maybe someone will come up with a way for the spread to work in the pros, but until then, college players tearing it up in a spread offense will suffer in the draft and college spread offense coaches will have to rely heavily on the promise of a dominating college experience to sway recruits.

Swine flue concerns alter prep sports schedule

Overreaction or protecting the players/students, either way the indefinite suspension of post-season games will have an impact on the future plans of some high school players in the state of Alabama. The post-season for some players who haven’t yet been recruited gives them another chance to showcase their talents on a grander stage, and for some, this opportunity may now pass them by. College coaches are busy, and many of them who have scheduled trips to see players, may not have the chance to reschedule and go again due to this suspension of the season.

For the blue chip athletes, this won’t be a problem because coaches will make time to visit and attempt to lure them to their programs, but this will affect the lesser known player looking to showcase their talents. There is nothing anyone can really do about it, but it is unfortunate for players who may miss an opportunity due to the emergence of the swine flu.

Early entrant withdrawal deadline moves up under new NCAA rule

A new NCAA rule will affect college players contemplating entering the NBA Draft and the associated college basketball programs. The new rule pushes up the date that players may pull out of the draft and choose to remain with their college teams. The date was moved from June 15 to May 8 and many coaches and administrators have mixed feelings about the dates. The article goes on to tell about the pros of this decision - it gives coaches more time to restructure their teams to continue to recruit and fill in the remaining pieces of their team, but also the cons - it now puts the new date and the necessary NBA workouts right in the middle of the final exam period. Players will now be attending pro workouts as their classes are ending and when they should be studying to finish classes and graduate.

This new rule should really negatively affect the Academic Progress Rate (APR) and the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) the most. There’s no question that players concentrating on their workouts instead of their exams will affect how they perform on their exams, but this is a choice that a player will have to make. Just like anyone else, there are tough choices in life that will affect futures; so I don’t feel bad for the player who has to decide between school and athletics, but I do think that college programs shouldn’t be penalized for this. The NCAA should weaken the penalties for teams with low APRs and GSRs. If one of their players has chosen workouts over studying, that is purely the individual choice of the player, and should not have an adverse effect on the team and its future.

Other Relevant Links:

As always this blog is for you, so any comments, questions, or concerns you can send them my way at Enjoy this week's games.