In recent years, the NFL has been notorious for high profile players having serious off-the-field issues, such as Greg Hardy and Ray Rice. They have been trying to keep these events from happening and they have increased punishment for these incidents in the last year. Earlier this week, they took another step forward in that department with a rule change for eligibility in the combine.
The NFL informed teams that they will not allow players convicted of sexual assault, domestic violence, or weapon offenses to attend the annual scouting combine. For most top prospects this is not a concern, but the hope is that it will keep other players from breaking the law because it can truly affect their future now. This rule will have its first major test this year as well in the case of TCU star Trevone Boykin. Boykin was involved in a bar fight earlier this year and may not be allowed to attend the combine. This could be a major problem for the recently troubled player, as he may undergo a position switch through the draft process and could now go undrafted due to his limited exposure to scouts.
This rule also brings to light the amount of players that would not have been able to attend the combine in previous years. Last year, stand out rookie receiver Dorial Green-Beckham would have been ruled ineligible for the combine and most likely would have fallen to the third round costing him at least $1 million dollars. This rule already has its effects on players that are not even eligible. This is most notable for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, a former 5 star recruit who sat out his freshman year because of an incident in which he hit a female at a bar.
The new rule for combine eligibility is a great way to punish players that have already done wrong off the field and hopefully it will keep college athletes from making mistakes with their future in mind.