Michigan coach Harbaugh proposes NFL Draft changes in open letter

  • Jim Harbaugh, head coach at Michigan, believes football players should be able to enter the NFL Draft after one year of high school.
Modified 08 May 2020, 03:20 IST
Jim Harbaugh – cropped
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh believes it is time to change when players can enter the NFL Draft, proposing they should be allowed to turn pro after just one year of high school.

In what he titled "An Open Letter to the Football Community," Harbaugh suggested eliminating the current stating players are not eligible for the NFL Draft until they have been out of high school for at least three years.

He would also like to see undrafted players have the opportunity to return to school.

"The individual could choose to declare for the professional draft after any season he chooses," Harbaugh wrote on Thursday.

"If he is drafted within the first 224 picks of the NFL Draft, or chooses to sign a free agent contract, he would forego remaining college eligibility.

"However, if the individual is not drafted within the first 224 picks of the NFL Draft, he would be able to return to college football if he chooses without penalty, provided he remains in academic compliance and does not receive payment from an agent."

No stranger to life in the NFL after a 14-year pro career followed by a four-year stint as the San Francisco 49ers head coach before returning to his alma mater Michigan in 2015, Harbaugh would also like to see players have the option to receive advice from agents or lawyers about their decision for the draft without losing any eligibility.

Another change Harbaugh would like to see implemented is that colleges would cover the cost of further education for the players who leave school early prior to graduation to enter the draft and stay in the NFL.

In his two-page letter, Harbaugh contends that his proposed changes would provide more opportunities and options for student-athletes.


"The goal would be to create a scenario that makes adjustments for all current and future student‐athletes that puts the timeline for transition to professional football at their discretion and that of their family," he wrote.

"I propose an option that allows them to make the decision that is best for them."

Published 08 May 2020, 03:20 IST
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