Roger Weighs In

Last week you saw a brief piece from South Bend regarding Army’s pro sports pipeline. Now the Dallas Morning News is weighing in, but with an added twist; they got Roger Staubach’s two cents on the subject. So what does Roger have to say about it?

“When I went there [USNA], I knew what the deal was,” Staubach said. “When I left high school, I wasn’t thinking I was going to play pro football. But today if you’re thinking that way, it would be nice to have an option like Army has. If Army has it, Navy should be able to compete with it as well.”

“It’s a complicated issue,” Staubach said. “But I think it’s good for the service academies if you have athletes that can compete at a higher level – and can still give back to the service – that they can find a compromise that allows them to play professional athletics. It’s worth the effort to look at it and try to figure it out.”


I don’t suppose it should be a surprise that a service* academy graduate who played pro football would be in favor of a policy that allows service* academy graduates to play pro football. Something that bothers me, though, is that there hasn’t been any real examination of all these supposed benefits that the Army at large stands to gain from this. Well, outside of this pipsqueak blog, anyway. Supporters say “great PR!” without getting much of a challenge. It’s kind of annoying. It’s almost a sport among service* academy fans to mock the Florida States and Miamis of the world over their lax standards for athletes. But as far as I’m concerned, Army is no different now.

25 thoughts on “Roger Weighs In

  1. Parent of 2008 Recruit

    There is no one more qualified to speak on this issue than Roger Staubach so his comments were of great interest to me. As you may recall from an earlier post, I favor having a contingency plan for a recruited athlete who while at the academy proves himself accomplished enough to compete at a higher level. (The operative word here is recruited.) Anyway, my son and I are headed back for the Spring Game and very excited about the season ahead. Go Navy!

  2. thebirddog

    I don’t see how Roger is any more qualified to speak on Naval Academy policy than anyone else. Given his circumstances and the bias that comes with them, I would argue that he is less so.

  3. Navy86

    Why differentiate between recruited and non-recruited athletes. David Robinson was barely recruited and look how he ended up. What about the walk-on that grows 3″ and puts on 40 lbs and becomes an all-American?

    And why limit it to sports? What about drama? Glee club? What if a Mid tries out for, and makes, American Idol? What then?

  4. Parent of 2008 Recruit

    Actually, there was a Marine on American Idol just last year……………..

    to birddog:

    Let’s just agree to disagree, shall we? On another note, on your recommendation I just finished reading David Claerbaut’s “Recruiting Confidential” which in turn has led me to John Fienstein’s “The Civil War.” Good stuff, so thanks for expanding my literary horizon!

  5. thebirddog

    We can agree to disagree, but it’s going to be hard for you to bite your tongue with some of the posts I have planned…

  6. GoalieLax

    i don’t see how roger is qualified…after all he served his required time before going pro…if anything he’s the model for why we shouldn’t do this thing army is doing…the guys can do their service then go pro

  7. usnamom

    I’m agreeing with GoalieLax, Birddog and Navy86 on this one.

    Army is setting a bad precedent. The only reason a Midshipman should come to the Academy is to serve their country as a Navy or Marine Corps Officer and if they get to play football on top of that, that’s wonderful. I don’t want to see kids start seeing the Service Academies as a pathway to professonal sports without having to serve at all. That’s not what going to Navy (or Army or even Air Force) is or should be all about.

  8. fighterjock

    If you are looking for a path to pro football (or any other sport), you shouldn’t be looking at the service academies. And the academies can complain all they want that the commitment incurred there makes them less competitive in the recruiting arena, but the goal of the service academies is not and should not be to turn out the most heisman trophy winners or pro football players. They have a different mission and it’s one they should take pride in. Students need to understand that the academies have a separate mission and a separate mindset and they can get on the bandwagon or get left behind, it’s up to them. No matter what, Army is setting a horrible precedent.

  9. goat7ed

    Parent, sword cuts both ways…if the recruit doesn’t pan out or quits the team, is that reason to revoke the free education? Quitting or getting cut at other colleges results in loss of scholarship (in other words., no reason for them to keep you there). Fortunately, since Navy’s mission is producing Navy and Marine Corps officers, and not sending folks directly into the NFL, the education still costs the same…promise to serve upon graduation.

    There is a contingency plan in place at the DoD level for athletes that excel.

  10. Parent of 2008 Recruit

    With heartfelt apologies to the birddog for not being able to bite my tongue, I would just like to say that you people expect too much. You want to win the CIC trophy every year and go to a bowl game. Beating Notre Dame once in awhile is nice and a top 20 ranking would be the icing on the cake. And you want to do it all with players that nobody else wants. Can we please have a reality check!?!?!

    My son’s role model right this minute is Caleb Campbell NOT Kyle Eckel who got himself kicked out of the Navy for conduct unbecoming an officer in order to fulfill his NFL dreams. How nice would it be to think that a coach (Paul Johnson) could achieve his dream (a National Championship) while at Navy? I’m sorry but at the moment I like my fantasy world a little bit better than yours.

  11. thebirddog

    Uh, we seem to have accomplished all of that without letting players out of their obligations. That IS reality.

    Is it THAT hard to believe that we have bigger priorities than football at our school?

    I prefer my reality to your fantasy world.

  12. thebirddog

    I was referring to the “reality check” of bowl games, CIC Trophies, and beating Notre Dame.

    If you want a national championship, you’ll need a lot more than the NFL. That’s the reality check.

  13. goat7ed

    Given that all three SA’s have players “nobody wants”, it is not unrealistic to have the CIC trophy as an expectation every year. The 4-4-4 scheduling philosophy and proactive bowl work done by the AD has made a bowl game a viable, though not guaranteed, realistic goal. The arrangement with Notre Dame has allowed us to give our players at least one opportunity to face the 5 star recruits and potential NFL prospects. It presents a “are you bigger than yourself” challenge. With any challenge you would hope to overcome it. Would we like to win more than every 43 years? Yes. Would I like to compromise our mission to do so? No. And with the number of close calls over that 43 years, we seem to be competetive in meeting the challenge with the current set up.

    Caleb Campbell, and any other SA student, is not so much a role model, IMO, for what they are doing, but for what they have chosen to do. Campbell has done nothing but adhere to the standards of a demanding school. Should he avoid meeting his post-graduation commitment, I would probably continue to admire his athleticism, but hold him in the company of Eckel and Tomlinson when it comes to integrity.

  14. football dad dan

    Well said goat7ed … It’s a sad day when one’s measure of college football success falls nothing short of a National Championship, … so do whatever necessary to recruit those kind of players that might deliver one.

    Go Navy!!! … Beat Army!!!

  15. Salty Sam

    “My son’s role model right this minute is Caleb Campbell NOT Kyle Eckel”
    Your son needs better role models. We have a bunch of SEALS and Marine with the Medal of Honor. You might want to start there. Wasn’t Caleb Campbell the tuff guy who baited Adam Ballard about breaking his leg? Guess who got the short end of the 38-3 drubbing?

  16. GoalieLax

    I think parent08 has jumped the shark. You were doing just fine until you started all this National Championship baloney. It’s time for you to get a reality check

    it’s not going to happen at USNA…not until there is a mandatory draft and the NFL starts capping salaries at 500k a year for the best players….

    oh, and we’ll need to drop our admission standards so we can get the fast-but-dumb-as-a-brick athletes who just make the SAT cut…

    and the mandatory classes will have to change…I mean you can’t really expect super athletes to come and take 4 semesters of calc, 2 of physics, electrical engineering, thermo, etc…so we’re going to need to create a new academic department that allows for people to major in sports management or physiology

    oh yeah, and we’ll also need to make sure they don’t have to go through plebe summer, because we can’t risk pissing off some 5-star recruit with all the yelling and belittlement that goes on freshman year…not to mention we can’t risk them losing weight

    heck, while we’re at it, let’s drop the requirement for people to do all four years…can you imagine if we could get some of those JuCo guys to come in a juniors and play for two years after they packed on the weight and got good enough grades at a community college?

    and I think your son’s role models should be that of men like Blecksmith and Zembiec…not some guy at army who could forgo his commitment

    why doesn’t this have the rolley-eyes smiley?

  17. Tim

    (1) It was Jordan Murray, not Caleb Campbell, who allegedly was gunning for Ballard’s leg

    (2) Regardless of what one thinks of Army’s policy, I don’t see the need to slam Campbell & Tolson. The policy is the issue, not the individuals doing what they’re told they’re allowed to do. Not sure I see the integrity issue there.

  18. 85er

    Agree with goat7ed.
    As for Campbell, the entire Army defense had Ballard’s number written on their eye-black patches, Campbell included. Glad it went to 38-3.
    Salty Sam got it right on the role model comment — you will find the names of football players in Memorial Hall, but we revere those names for acts off of the football field.
    I love it when we beat Army, but I’d rather lose as Navy than as a Florida State wannabe.
    Finally, as to Roger, I sincerely respect him. But as a poster on another board put it, his opinion on this issue is about as relevant as Michael Jordan’s opinion on what underwear one should buy.

  19. Tim

    “As for Campbell, the entire Army defense had Ballard’s number written on their eye-black patches, Campbell included.”

    So what’s your point? That he was looking to injure AB? That he should be smeared with someone else’s stupid comments? That his “integrity” should be equated with others held in low regard by many such as goat7ed?

    As far as I (or you, I suspect) know, per goat7ed’s own words, “Campbell has done nothing but adhere to the standards of a demanding school.”

    I think Army’s policy is as asinine as everyone else here. But how is this the fault of Campbell (and Tolson)? Because they didn’t refuse the opportunity afforded them?

    Until someone presents words/actions from these individuals worthy of ridicule, I don’t think it’s fair to attack them with the same vehemence as the policy itself. Role models? I don’t think so. But cheapshot artists with questionable integrity? C’mon guys.

  20. Dave Prosser

    There is a new link on the site entitled “Hypocrisy at West Point”. It makes some very strong statements against the current program at USMA.

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