Harbaugh Proposes Changes to College System
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh penned an open letter full of proposals that would change the landscape of college football. Harbaugh wants to overhaul the college eligibility system and model it more similarly to college baseball. The Michigan coach reflected on his own career as a a college athlete and his experience as a college coach as a basis for these proposals.
Harbaugh proposes that players could go to the NFL Draft at any point in their college careers. He also states that he would like to see players have the option of returning to school if they are not drafted in the top 224 picks of the NFL Draft. The 2020 NFL Draft had 255 selections, pick 224 was 10 picks into the seventh round.
He continued his proposal by offering an amendment to the academic scholarship. Harbaugh proposed that should a player compete for one season and then go to the NFL, that the academic institution would offer one additional year of schooling on the universities dime. Should the player compete for two or three seasons, the university would offer the athlete two more years of academic classes. Lastly if a a player competes for four seasons they would be offered one more additional year of academic classes.
Harbaugh continued his proposal by stating that a player and his family should be allowed to receive counseling from athletic agents and maintain their eligibility as long as they don't receive compensation. He said it was very important for the student-athletes to be well informed in order to make the best decisions for themselves.
Lastly, Harbaugh expressed his support for a "one-time free transfer" of players.
The Michigan coach finished his letter by offering background information on his own career and stating that not every college career mirrors his own. Harbaugh played for four seasons at Michigan and was drafted after graduation, he wrote about the early bloomers and the need to offer them the chance to go to the NFL and still offer them academic assistance after their career.