Army Recalls Campbell from NFL

July 24, 2008 12:48 PM
by Denis Cummings
The Army has revised a policy that allows athletes to play professional sports and recalled football star Caleb Campbell to active duty.

30-Second Summary

One day before West Point graduate and 2008 NFL Draft pick Caleb Campbell was to begin Detroit Lions training camp, the Army revised the policy that allowed him to play and recalled him to active duty.

The decision also affects two minor league baseball players—Nick Hill and Milan Dinga—who will be allowed to complete their seasons before reporting back to the Army.

The Army had instituted a policy in 2005 that allowed West Point graduates who sign a professional contract that “provides recruiting/public affairs benefits” to opt out of active service. The new policy requires that a player serve two years before being able to apply to be released.

Campbell was the fourth cadet to take advantage of the policy and by far the most famous. During the publicity surrounding the NFL Draft, the Army received criticism for giving preferential treatment to athletes.

Now it appears that the Army has given in to the criticism. “The Army loses because the whole purpose of the policy that would have allowed him to play was PR,” writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press. “Now it’s a PR disaster. The military looks dysfunctional, and the Army looks like it bowed to pressure.”

Headline Link: Campbell ordered back to Army

Background: Caleb Campbell and the Army’s alternate service policy

Opinion & Analysis: Did the Army make the correct decision?

Related Topic: Navy athletes


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