Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Change in Policy

Yesterday, Caleb Campbell was one day away from beginning his dream of becoming an NFL player.

But today he is days away from another dream......joining his fellow classmates in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Campbell was drafted in the 7th round of this year's NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. At the time it was a rule and agreed that he would be an active Army recruiter while playing in the NFL instead of completing his necessary 4 years of active duty.

Those were the terms when he was drafted.

But on July 8th the Army changed their rules. Now Campbell will have to serve 2 years of active duty and then he can ask for an early release and (possibly) become a recruiter for the final 2 years of his 4 year requirement.

Why did the Army change their policy?

Mainly because the Air Force and Navy complained. They said it would hurt their recruiting of athletes. Because they still require a graduate to fulfill his required active duty before he can begin a career in something else.

And why are the Navy and Air Force complaining anyways? How often does something like this happen?

Those two academies still had a 4 year requirement in place. And most (if not all) players that sign with service academies instead of colleges are planning on serving their 4 years of active duty. Or else they wouldn't have signed up.

And why wouldn't they change their rules instead. It seems to me that the academies would get more athletes to sign with them if they could reduce or eliminate their active duty requirements if they sign a contract with a professional sports league.

It doesn't happen often. And it would help bring in more kids who figure they are going to the be active duty military when they graduate but there is always that chance that they could be drafted into a professional sport instead.

I bet you would see more talented kids going to the service academies to play sports and become officers if there was an option for that.

Now, do I agree with the ruling by the Army?

Sure. It is fine with me. It is up to them as far as what rules are in place.

But why isn't Campbell's situation being considered under the rules that were in place when he got drafted?

He was drafted when the rule stated he could become a recruiter instead of serving overseas in active duty. So why not allow him to continue on that path and change the rule for any future situations?

Is it okay with Caleb Campbell?

Absolutely. He signed up to be in the Army and the possibility of an future in the NFL developed while he was there. And that is something he still intends to do. He can come back to the NFL in 2 years. It isn't like he is just going to be sitting on his couch watching tv for the next 2 years.

But what does this say about the decision makers at these academies that allow a rule to be in place even though they aren't going to follow it?

This just makes it look like the Army, and most government agencies, will change the rules around whenever they want to get what they want.

This does not make the Army look good.

And it surely WON'T help with recruiting!


verb said...

I absolutely agree 100% with you on this one. I don't like the idea of changing a rule only because they weren't enforcing it before or want to enforce it now!

Jenn said...

I agree with you and verb. If they want to begin enforcing this rule, fine. But why apply it to Campbell? The original terms should stick in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing this story and feeling really frustrated too - it seems like a ridiculous thing to be able to change the rules half-way into something. We don't make criminals serve longer sentences should those become choices after the crime was committed (e.g., no ex post facto) and why should this be allowed? It just seems like a really shitty thing to do to someone...

GMan said...

verb - I understand why they did it I just don't think it was fair HOW they did it.

jenn - it is almost like they wanted to make an example of the situation so they enforced it immediately.

mel - it is a really shitty thing to do. Campbell actually said in an interview that he cried after they told him. His dream was just pulled out from underneath of him. It is wrong.

Tipp said...

My hubby served in the Army and in Iraq, and I wouldn't help them recruit anymore men or women either!

brran1 said...

Just the reason why I'd never go into the Military. They should have stuck to their word and let dude do what he was gonna do. But since they up and changed the rules, he has to serve in Iraq. smh

I guess asking The Military to stick to it's word would be too much to ask.

GMan said...

tipp - I respect anyone that is willing to serve for this country. Glad to see your husband made it back from Iraq in good shape.

brran1 - I honestly wouldn't be able to serve in the military no matter what. I just don't have that killer instinct in me. But I think Campbell knew what he was getting into when he entered the academy so this is also his dream.