If you’ve ever been around a major college football program, you know there are two absolute truths:
(Astonishing? Yes. Unbelievable? No.)
1) Every player who ever signed with such a program thought he had a legitimate chance to make it to the NFL.
2) Coaches at those programs use the false lure of the NFL as a primary recruiting pitch.
But the really scary part, at least according to two NFL officials who spoke to USC football players in L.A. this week, is the mindblowing number of players who, after making NFL teams, actually enjoy a football career over 36 months.
From a blog post on the official USC football website this week:
Former NFL star Troy Vincent and Adolpho Smith, both NFL executives in charge of labor policy and player development, spoke to USC’s football team about the harsh truths of making it in the NFL and focusing on their college experience.
“You cannot leave this university without your degree,” stressed Vincent, who prepped at Wisconsin before a 15-year NFL career.
Vincent presented eye-opening stats to the assembled Trojans, who admitted their collective desire to play in the NFL.
Over the past 20 years, 15,018 players played in the NFL, but only 631 (4%) played three or more years. The average career length is 3.7 seasons, but players do not receive benefits unless they put in four years, both stats according to the NFL.
Good luck finding a more astonishing stat in the history of professional sports.
Not For Long indeed.
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