NFL may not invite academically ineligble players to Combine

USA TODAY Sports

The NFL may decide to keep players with academic issues out of the Combine to appear tougher on players with potential character concerns.

The NFL is contemplating no longer inviting players who are academically ineligible to the NFL Combine, a source told CBS Sports. According to Bruce Feldman, the decision is in reaction to "increased scrutiny on the maturity and commitment of the prospects entering the NFL."

The league is suffering somewhat from a moral crisis at the moment. The lull between the end of minicamps and the start of training camp has been more eventful than many would like, with an investigation into Aaron Hernandez's role in the murder of a semi-pro football player topping the bill. The league could score some positive press by appearing tougher on players with potential character concerns.

Keeping academically ineligible players out of the Combine isn't the same as keeping them out of the league, however. If a player is good enough on the football field, teams may still scramble over each other to select him in the NFL Draft, regardless of whether they were able to scout him at the Combine.

In fact, keeping certain players out of the Combine may burden teams more than anyone else. The Combine allows organizations to easily meet, test and compare hundreds of players in one place. Forcing scouting departments to fly out and see players more often than they already do could make the process more expensive and cumbersome.

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