1. Hey, NFL, here’s an idea that might minimize the number of underclassmen who declare for the NFL draft but shouldn’t (36 of 98 early entries went undrafted this year). An underclassman can petition the league to learn where he might be drafted. Personnel execs give the player a grade. The league should take those grades and make them public, comparing them to where the players actually go in the draft. A player given a second-round grade could see that the previous year, X percent of players who got those grades actually went in the second round or better. Accurate information might counter agents telling kids what they want to hear.
2. A USA Today study showed nearly half of the players selected in the last three NFL drafts came from five states (California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Ohio). That actually should set off alarm bells. The sport of football already is dealing with parents reluctant to allow their young children to play because of the danger of head injuries. The less national the sport is, the greater the danger that it could be marginalized in the future.
3. You can argue over the merit of the 10-point proposal that Pac-12 Conference presidents sent to their peers in the other four equity conferences. But the fact that the Pac-12 CEOs have made it known that they want and expect significant change is great news for those of us who love intercollegiate athletics. The Pac-12 proposals would increase benefits and decrease time demands on student-athletes. Here’s hoping those proposal survive to become NCAA rule.