Thursday, July 24, 2008
Army says Caleb Campbell no longer a Lion
It almost seems unfair. No matter where you stand on the issue of Caleb Campbell trying out for the Detroit Lions, you have to wonder what took the Army so long to decide his fate. At first, Campbell was allowed to try out for the Lions. The Army ruled that if he made the team, he would be allowed to forgo the military service that is required of all West Point graduates. Then on July 8, the Army changed the rule, according to ESPN.com, "regarding soldiers playing professional sports, requiring cadets to complete two years of active duty before applying for a release." Unfortunately, the Army didn't tell Campbell, or the Lions, until two weeks later -- just one day before the opening of camp. According to the story, "The Lions will retain his rights until the 2009 draft, but he will not be eligible to play until 2010." Detroit Free Press writer Nicholas J. Cotsonika hit the mail on the head when he wrote: "How could they let Campbell go to the NFL scouting combine, go to the draft in uniform at Radio City Music Hall, do interviews on NFL Network and ESPN, get drafted by the Lions, listen to “USA!” chants, go to rookie camp, go to minicamp, negotiate a contract – and then, the day he is supposed to report to training camp, tell him, no, he must report for traditional military duty?" Rules are rules, but too bad the rule got changed after all the hoopla.