Yesterday, an odd rumor began to circulate. The NFL is considering not inviting academically ineligible college football players to the NFL Combine. Does't that defeat the actual purpose of the Combine?
To be fair, this is just a consideration. There's nothing saying it will happen. But, it's been proposed, at least. It's made it that far.
There's no talk that academically ineligible players would not be allowed to be drafted. There's no stipulation, at least that we have heard, that would prevent anything from the player, other than not going to the Combine. So, is there really a penalty.
The point of the Combine is to collect all of the major draft prospects in one place, saving the league and the teams money. It's cheaper to bring all of the prospects to Indianapolis than it is to continually trek all 32 franchises' scouts all over the country. Now, if you remove an academically ineligible player from the Combine, someone who teams want to see, simply because of academics, teams will simply fly out to where ever he is, and conduct private workouts or spend time at the player's Pro Day.
So, the league will give up money to make a point about academic eligibility in college? How does that make any sense?
The "consideration" of this measure, and the fact that it leaked, is probably just a gesture to the NCAA. It's a way to play nice with what has, essentially, become the NFL's minor league system. However, it probably never will see the light of day.
Maybe. This is the NFL, after all. Who knows what will actually happen.
SB Nation's Spencer Hall wrote a worthwhile article on this exact topic as well. Check out his take on the NFL's consideration of banning academically ineligible players from the Scouting Combine.