We West Pointers howled when Napoleon McCallum got to play for the Raiders while still serving in the Navy, and when David Robinson was released early from his service commitment to play basketball. We saw honor when Chad Hennings served his time in the air force and then played for the Dallas Cowboys. How superior we felt to Navy.
Is West Point to become just another farm team for the pros, with recruiting being the excuse given?
A contributing factor to my sons commitment to play at Army, was the pro service option that will allow him to go to the pro ranks after West Point.
If we are thinking about the good of the academy, why not help the recruiting process by being able to offer those kids who have a dream of pro ball, the opportunity to pursue it? It's a very tough sell to ask a 17/18 year old to bury his dreams in favor of an adult occupation.
I see the pro service option as nothing but positive. Coaches have a broader base to recruit from, expanding especially in the upper echelons where pro talent may exist. Players that choose the pro option are excellent spokesmen and marketing gems for the academy. Seems like a win/win.
I don't see it as a win-win at all. If your son wanted to play pro ball, he should have gone to a civilian school. You can convince yourself that the "excellent spokesmen and marketing gems" idea is real and good, but I do not. I don't think anyone's going to go to West Point because they see some pro baseball player who happened to go to West Point.
West Point exists to generate lieutenants for our Army, nothing else. If Army Baseball ceased to exist tomorrow, there would still be a West Point--and I don't think filling the classes would be any more difficult due to a lack of baseball.
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