The number of underclassmen who enter the NFL draft only to go unselected is troubling to many around college football, Nick Saban included.
This year, 149 underclassmen entered the draft, but 44 went unselected. With no mechanism in place to allow them to return to school (such as exists in college basketball), their football careers might well be over.
But should college football adopt a similar policy to college basketball? Is it even feasible?
Saban was asked that very question when he met with the media prior to his annual keynote address for the Team Focus fundraiser in Mobile on Wednesday night. He seemed skeptical it would work, for several reasons:
For one thing, basketball has only 13 scholarship players, rather than 85 in football.
For another, the two sports’ offseason and recruiting calendars are completely different. Basketball players can enter the draft and return to their teams (if undrafted) without so much as missing a class or an offseason workout. And most basketball signings take place in November, before the season begins.