Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is openly lobbying the NFL and NCAA to consider altering what he considers antiquated rules for entering the draft.
Harbaugh, who played and coached in the NFL and has made multiple stops as a college football coach, believes the 1990 rule that forces college players to wait three years from their high school graduation to be dated.
"By my 30th birthday, I was blessed and fortunate to have played professional football for seven years and accumulated enough money to put my family in a good place, with a degree that presented opportunities outside of football as well," Harbaugh wrote in an open letter. "While that was great for me and can be for many current football athletes, it may not be best for all. There are ‘early bloomers,' capable of competing in the NFL and earning a livelihood at an earlier age.
"The goal would be to create a scenario that makes adjustments for all current and future student-athletes that puts the timeline for transition to professional football at their discretion and that of their family. I propose an option that allows them to make the decision that is best for them."
Harbaugh said the goal of his two-page letter is drive conversation that leads to change including "clean, clear and concise" rules such as a five-year window for players to complete four years of eligibility.
NFL draft age and eligibility restrictions have been the subject of an ongoing discussion without driving change.
But according to American Football Coaches Association executive direction Todd Berry, almost half of college coaches support allowing players to enter the NFL draft when they feel they're ready.
But that was prior to the NCAA's board of governors announcing last week that support for a plan to allow college athletes more opportunities to make money during their time in school was growing and could be in place next year.
"Some say, 'Hey let's keep this model as it is, and if they want a way to make more than that, they can go pro,'" Berry said Thursday.
--Field Level Media