Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve found the hottest debate in the streets these days, and it involves sports at the service academies.
The other day I was at a bar watching the Badgers lose to Penn State. Without warning, a fierce debate broke out about whether or not the military would find a way to admit the top football recruit into West Point or the Naval Academy if he didn’t have the grades.
Naturally, I had to take it to Twitter. I asked voters, “If the best high school football or basketball player in the country wanted to play at West Point or the Naval Academy, but didn’t have the grades to get in, do you think the military would find a way for him to play?”
If the best high school football or basketball player in the country wanted to play at West Point or the Naval Academy, but didn’t have the grades to get in, do you think the military would find a way for him to play?
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) November 11, 2018
With over 2,100 votes counted and tallied, only 28 percent of people think the wheels would be greased to let the superstar athlete in.
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As a big time and super serious journalist, I reached out to a source on background who actually had a bit of inside knowledge on this issue. Do you know what he thought of the idea? That the athlete would be let in immediately. He might be put in a military prep school for the specific academy, but he’d absolutely be made eligible. (RELATED: The Latest College Football AP Poll Is Here. Do You Agree With Number Three?)
Are we really going to pretend Tua Tagovailoa wouldn’t be starting for Navy if he called up and wanted in? Give me a break. He absolutely would be.
As my source was explaining, there isn’t a price you could put on the free PR the Naval Academy or West Point would get if they had a superstar QB and nationally televised games. That’s the same argument I made at the bar and complete strangers overhearing us agreed.
Plus, service academies don’t get to really play in major bowl games. If they ran the tables with a couple of superstar athletes to a great bowl game, they’d get the most promotion in the history of military sports. That’s simply a fact.
Now, the counter-argument is that they’d still have to do military service. However, we can easily find examples of players getting a limited role that still allows them to play in the pros. For example, there’s a guy on the Patriots right now in that situation with his Navy service after the Academy.
In my humble opinion, this one is easy. They’d absolutely get the top player in, and I don’t even think it’d be a debate. Sound off in the comments if you think I’m wrong.