OT: Army changes policy regarding professional sports draftees

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DaBruinz, Jul 24, 2008.

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  1. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    It would seem that the Army changed its interpretation of the rules regarding graduates of West Point 2 weeks ago and they must now fulfill 2 years of their obligation before they will be allowed to play. As a result, Caleb Campbell, the standout SS from West Point, must now report to his assignment instead of starting his NFL career with the Lions.


    And its not just Campbell being affected. There are guys who've been playing baseball who are being allowed to finish the season, but then must go active.

  2. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    What a bummer for those kids.

    Looks like recruitment numbers have fallen off...
  3. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    It always struck me as strange that a talent for baseball or football could get you out of active service while no other talent could. But I don't think this was solely a philosophical decision, or even a we-need-those-officers decision. I think it was a sports decision. There was a lot of grousing that Army had allotted itself an unfair advantage in athletic recruiting by dangling this special carrot in front of star athletes, while the other service academies maintained the standard expectations of service.
  4. ctsports

    ctsports Rookie

    On the other hand the other academies have long held recruiting advantage - "If you play for us you can serve your country but with a lot smaller chance of getting killed or maimed." Army recruiting is more sensitive to current events than the other services (Marines excepted).
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    The ability to shoot lightning out of your fingertips is a talent. I'm sure that could get you out of active service.
  6. denverpatsfan

    denverpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    As someone who served an 8-year commitment after college I find it unbelievable that any of these guys could opt out of their service in order to play sports. They get a free college education and should fulfill their part of the deal.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  7. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

    I don't think the army should have changed their policy in the first place, it seemed like it caused nothing but trouble. It's also pretty messed up to screw around with the kids life like that.

    That being said, doesn't this screw over the Lions royally? I know it was a late pick, but the Army basically stole it from them.
  8. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    The kid volunteered for the Army. Whether he is good at football or not does not matter. He made a commitment to his country first and foremost. They can do whatever they want in regards to him and time served. It does suck for the Lions. It's almost a shame to see that franchise take another step backward.
  9. The Boston Patriot

    The Boston Patriot PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    It isn't free. If they opt out they have to pay for their education and other
    costs associated with it. If they stay in it still isn't free. They pay for it
    in service time.
  10. Gumby

    Gumby In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    silly analysis.

    The one has nothing to do with the other. The total # of guys in this program is like maybe 20. The annual Army recruitment requirement between all 3 components is over 100,000.

    This is purely a (internal military) political decision. The army changes leadership in key positions appx every 2 years. The guy in charge of recruiting cmd changed I bet. Probably the guy previous thought he could use these guys as publicity marketing tools. They tried it for a few years.

    Problem is you can never directly correlate the results from such a marketing tool so it is impossible to justify quantitatively. So the new guy walks in and says 'justify this program'. Quantitatively they can't - so he kills it.

    The real loser in this whole equation is the Military Academies; who can't tel guys - if you do real well in our sports program you can get an exception. So their recruitment is what really suffers.
  11. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Enough with the political talk.

    Supposedly Campbell cried when he heard the news.
  12. TheComeback

    TheComeback 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    You can't blame him. They just ruined his life. There's no way the guy is going to be able to keep up on his football skills for two years while he's on active duty.

    The guy should've never been allowed to sign with an NFL team if the Army had any intention of retaining him for active duty. How one even avoids active duty service after coming out of West Point is beyond me, but they obviously committed to that decision.

    But now, like the cowards they are, they've turned their back on that commitment and called it a "rule change," as if that somehow justifies a retroactive decision about someone's entire life. So what if they make a "rule change" that says your three year contract is really a four year? Oh wait, they already do that. They just call it "stop-loss."

    The guys at the helm treat our soldiers like cattle. They don't have a dime of respect for these kids.
  13. shawn1985

    shawn1985 Rookie

    Regardless of whether it is right to let Campbell out of his service to play pro football or not, I think what the Army did here is absolutely despicable. So they tell him he can play, he gets what he's been dreaming about his whole life and gets drafted to play in the NFL, then on his first day of training camp the Army changes their mind?

    So much for the big publicity boost that they were hoping to get from this...
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Politics aside, and even judgments of the whole policy aside, I agree that it's totally wrong to make the change retroactive. Unfair to the players, and in this case wildly unfair to the Lions, too.

    (Can you picture the Lions trying to sue the U.S. Army for damages? :rolleyes:)
  15. SpiderFox53

    SpiderFox53 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    This isn't the place for this kind of comment. Take it to a political board.

    But to answer your uninformed "stop-loss" comment.

    "Service Commitment

    Everyone who joins the military incurs a *MINIMUM* eight year service commitment. That's right, EIGHT years! It doesn't matter if you signed a two year active duty contract, a four year contract, or even a six year contract. Your total military commitment is eight years. Whatever amount of time that is not spent on active duty, must either be served in the active Guard/Reserves (the program where one performs drill one weekend per month, and two weeks per year), or in the inactive Reserves (one doesn't perform drill, but can be recalled to active duty at any time for war, or national emergency). Active duty members who do not reenlist onto active duty, or apply for the active Guard/Reserve upon active duty discharge, are automatically transferred to the inactive Reserves once they are discharged from active duty."

    Note the part in Bold



    I didn't see the movie Stop Loss, but I'll bet they didn't go into this part of the contract at all. I'll apologize in advance if I'm wrong on that.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  16. SpiderFox53

    SpiderFox53 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    +1. They should never have allowed this rule in the first place, but since they did have it, they shouldn't be allowed to retroactively overturn it.
  17. Scouse Patriot

    Scouse Patriot 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    If you want a career in football why are you comitting yourself to the armed forces?
  18. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    One top Army official viewed being able to play in the NFL as a way of serving because of the positive publicity it gave the Army. So they allowed him to play.

    A new top official did not see it that way and changed the rule. But it should not have been changed retro. That is just wrong. Yes, soldiers are subject to being uprooted at any time, that is just the way it is. But this is a commitment given to a soldier and now it's been backed out of.

    I don't see how this helps the Army in any way.
  19. TheComeback

    TheComeback 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    I didn't see the the movie Stop Loss either, but I'm willing to bet that I know a lot more about the Army than you do.

    I'm well aware of what an enlisted man's contract says. If you think that somehow makes it morally defensible, then that's your business. Ask a soldier what he thinks about stop-loss next time you meet one. See if he thinks the government has rewarded him for his allegiance to his country when they involuntarily extend the length of active duty he initially agreed to.

    I'll tell you this: it's a bigger blow to morale than any anti-war protest.

    The fact that it's in small print makes it all the more cowardly. The Reserves exist for a national security emergency. They are not supposed to be replacements for active duty soldiers.

    We ought to be treating our troops with honesty and respect, not slimy underhandedness like this.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  20. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    The Army didn't ruin the kids life. Maybe you should have read the article before throwing your two cents in. Cause you just wasted our time with this 1st paragraph.

    Again, If you had actually READ the article, you'd know that Campbell hadn't actually signed his contract yet. He was about to do it that day. Its seems like a lot of things are beyond you, but that is a whole different issue. The exemption wasn't for people to "AVOID" active duty. The exemption was to allow them to play in professional sports and serve their country in a recruiting role. Yes, being a RECRUITER is an active duty position.

    As SpiderFox pointed out in a later post, and you dismissed, people who are in the military can be called to active duty at any time. They can also be TRANSFERED at any time. Also, what you dismissed is the fact that, even if you have "retired" from the military, your contract with them reserves the right to RECALL YOU at any time. That has been STANDARD for about 25 years. Its nothing new. The only thing NEW is the "Stop-Loss" lingo.
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