Football is the NCAA cash cow
So what will happen next April when the league convenes for the annual NFL draft? Will it just be a stab in the dark for each team? Even all the scouting that the league does can’t make up for the inability of players to get on the field and either progress or get left behind.
If that had happened last year then Tua Tagovailoa would have been the top pick in this past draft. Isaiah Simmons might have been the second selection. Chase Young probably would have been waiting a little while before his name was called. So would’ve Jeff Okudah and Joe Burrow.
Probably the one thing that the NFL has going in its favor is that every collegiate institution understands one undeniable fact; football is their cash cow.
If there is a way they can mastermind a plan to get the players on the gridiron, they will. Unfortunately, there are no concrete plans in place. Only speculation.
Unsubstantiated speculation like talk on the radio of paying players to circumvent the urges to keep students off-campus and get players on the field to at least cash in on television revenue.
In the long run, if there are no collegiate sports this fall, then general managers and scouts will not only have to work a little harder to earn their keep next offseason, but they will also need to be lucky.
Something that goes completely opposite of what the Lions have been for the last 60 plus years. But they won’t be the only ones wandering in the dark. They will simply be one among 32 teams that will have their own way of handling the situation, much like this virtual offseason.
So while we have a very good chance of the NFL returning this fall, whether it’s on time or delayed a little, the college football question isn’t just a matter of schools losing out on revenue they desperately need, it’s also about young players with dreams being unable to do anything to help themselves, and the NFL just making their best guesses with uncertain draft boards.
If Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia survive this next season, then perhaps their biggest challenge could be surviving their decisions next offseason if the NCAA doesn’t figure out a way to play football this fall.