You have to give the NFL credit: It has the absolute best business deal. It's so good, in fact, that even the most devious monopolist would have a hard time finding an industry that compares. The NFL's monopoly includes an antitrust exemption, which has gone a long way toward creating $9 billion in annual revenue, and the most convenient and cost-effective farm system in sports: college football.
The best part about that farm system? It doesn't cost the NFL anything.
But wait, there's more: The NFL gets to collude with the NCAA on player eligibility, which means the two entities can force players to spend three years in college no matter how detrimental it might be to the professional and personal well-being of those players.
The system is self-serving, hypocritical and borderline socialistic. College programs use it to create continuity and remain relevant. The NFL uses it to ensure the prepackaging of stars at the amateur level and provide a steady flow of recognizable talent to a sport with an attrition rate that's just slightly better than what you'd find at your local drive-thru window. In other words, it's backslaps all around for everyone but the guys doing the labor.
Why does this matter? Because four 2013 juniors -- Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater, Marqise Lee, Cyrus Kouandjio -- would be top 10-15 picks in the April draft if they were allowed to leave college and pursue their chosen profession. Clowney would be the No. 1 pick, no questions asked, and he would pocket a few pennies less than $24 million -- guaranteed -- before summer if the system had the best interests of its athletes in mind.
Injustice of NFL draft restriction
ESPN.com | Feb 14