Injuries are a common thing in football. That should come as a surprise to exactly no one. It only takes witnessing a single play to see how violent the game is, and it’s virtually impossible to play the game for any stretch of time without getting injured to some degree. It’s no secret that this sport is not for the soft or the faint of heart.
Injuries make and break careers. Take a look at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this year. Nick Tausch started the season as the place kicker, but he got injured after the first game. The young man who replaced him, Kyle Brindza, took full advantage of the opportunity by staging a record setting year as a sophomore. In this case, the injury worked out well for the team, but it’s not always like that.
Jamoris Slaughter went into his senior year this past season with high expectations. Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles tendon during the Michigan State game, and was forced to miss the rest of the season. The 6’0” 200 lb safety from Stone Mountain, GA, was hoping to get a medical redshirt by the NCAA, allowing him to play a sixth season. That notion was denied today, as the NCAA ruled his eligibility to be complete.
Why? I truly don’t understand this one. The NCAA has granted extra seasons of eligibility over smaller issues than Slaughter’s. Think about it- they’re doing more harm to him than you may realize. Slaughter can’t play for the Irish next year, where he was hoping to come back strong from the injury to impress NFL scouts and hopefully make a career as a professional ball player.
No, no more Irish football career. How about the NFL this year? Sure, he’ll absolutely be eligible for any NFL team to take him in the draft – but think, he’s still rehabbing.
He hasn’t even started running again. He won’t even be able to participate in the Combine or his Pro Day. So the chances of someone drafting him now are nil.
This “ruling” by the NCAA clearly hurts both Notre Dame and Slaughter. Slaughter faces a tougher road to recovery and to the NFL, and the Irish lose a potential veteran starter in a young secondary.
Both the team and the player can come back from this, however. Slaughter is a tough kid, and has the heart and desire to come back stronger than ever. As for the Irish, they’ve recruited well enough over the last few years to the point that whoever is back there, even if inexperienced, is still a heck of a football player.
But all of this never would have been a problem had the wise leaders at the NCAA not slammed their dictatorial gavel.
Here’s wishing a bright future and speedy recovery to Mr. Jamoris Slaughter.
Rick Stavig is a National Recruiting Columnist for RantSports.com. In addition to covering College Football, he also covers the NFL and NFL Draft. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google.