Well that's a new one — literally.
Arizona State punter Michael Turk entered the NFL Draft, went through the NFL Combine and then went undrafted, but will be allowed to return to ASU for his senior season. Obviously this is the first time this has ever been done, but I didn't even know this was able to be done. I mean, it's good for the kid so I guess good on the NCAA for helping a student-athlete for once.
We've seen the NCAA move closer in this direction in basketball, where underclassmen can enter their names into the NBA Draft and even hire an agent and then make a decision following team workouts and the NBA Combine whether or not they want to keep their name in the Draft — but once you keep it in, you can no longer return to school.
The reasoning given for this waiver was the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on this year's NFL Draft process, but maybe it's a sign that we might see the NCAA make some sort of changes in the way it handles eligibility in football regarding underclassmen leaving early. The rate of juniors entering the NFL Draft continues to climb and there are obviously only so many players who can be selected, meaning more kids are left out in the cold every year with no NFL prospects and without a degree. I'd love to see football adopt the model that basketball has been using for several years now.
You may remember Turk from the NFL Combine, when he did 25 bench press reps of 225 pounds.
Congrats to Swole Punter on making NCAA history today.