If you’re a college football player either opting out of the fall season of your own accord or part of the BIG-10 or PAC-12 or other conference/school-mandated cancellations, the message from a number of NFL agents is clear:
“There’s literally not a single pro of a spring season. It’s all cons.”
That’s the call of Brian Hannula, an agent with the Alliance Management Group. But he’s not alone in that thinking.
“With all the logistics you have no idea what that is going to look like to play. Everything just doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Nathan Shackelford, the founder of Higher Calling Sports.
As the BIG-10, PAC-12 and other conferences and individual schools postponed their fall seasons to the spring, it became clear that it would impact the penciled-in April 2021 NFL Draft. There has been no word on if the NFL plans to reschedule the draft in light of the postponement of the BIG-10 and PAC-12 seasons.
The uncertainty brings up a conversation of if a spring season beginning in February at the absolutely earliest would be complete in time for the Draft? With the spring calendar typically going: Pro Day, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, NFL camps, training camp and then the start to the NFL season how will that seven-month span be affected by a spring season?
“If you’re supposed to play in the spring semester you probably don’t want to play. You probably want to opt out,” Shackelford says.
Shackelford says it’s best that players analyze their individual situation and make the call on playing or not. He says with how murky the rundown of the spring is during a regular school year, throwing a season on top of that makes no sense if you don’t have to. He is also concerned for the wear and tear on the body football players going at an expedited pace into their professional career.
He added that there will be a trickle down impact. The players in the PAC-12 and BIG-10 who are declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft might drop on the leaderboard while the ACC, BIG-12, and SEC players improve their stock. He says this is why he is in favor of those guys just returning back and playing in the fall.
With everything that is happening with COVID-19, putting things on pause for at least a year seems feasible. Specifically, with watching five BIG-10 athletes having been diagnosed with myocarditis — a heart inflammation that has been found in a number of COVID-19 victims, and other heart abnormalities being spotted in at least 78% of recovered victims, pressing the pause button for a year for everyone makes a lot of sense.
Right now the players particularly in the PAC-12 and BIG-10 have the conference’s ear. After making respective demands #WeareUnited and #BIG10United their conferences postponed the season. These student athletes and those at the other Power Five conferences potentially have the power to sway the ship — depending on the status of a vaccine — to having or not having football at all for the 2020-2021 school year.