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Should service academy athletes be allowed to delay their required service if they make a pro team ?

WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

This is in the news today. Trump is considering allowing service academy athletes to serve their military requirements after their athletic careers are over. at least he said he is.

First off I'm not sure if it's in his power to do so directly, but I'm guessing he has the influence to get it done.

I'm not sure how I come down on this. On one hand they made an agreement to serve, on the other hand, it's a lot to give up.

Thoughts ?



  • dawgnmsdawgnms Posts: 3,697 mod

    I remember when David Robinson was playing basketball at the Naval Academy and he was let out of his obligation to serve because his training was as a submarine officer and he was TOO TALL to serve on a sub, so on he went to the NBA millions of $$$$.

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 3,488 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    He is the Commander and Chief, so he can probably make this decision without congressional input. It's not like it's a big deal either way.

  • donmdonm Posts: 10,241 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    It might be a plus to get a more mature officer as opposed to a 21-22 year old.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yale. It's only a big deal to those players and maybe all of those who have to fulfill their service agreements. Is it fair to single out a few to make an exception for ? What if another cadet is offered a high paying job, should they also get a deferral ? It brings up old questions about deferrals and maybe faking medical problems,etc to avoid the draft.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Dawgyms, I remember that, I'm guessing it occurred to The Admiral well before his time to serve came.

  • KaseyKasey Posts: 18,537 mod

    I think it's a good thing. If anything it's free advertising for the armed services.

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 5,348 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2019

    I don’t mind it. They bring attention, and hopefully, prestige to the institutions. Put a price tag on the value and let them reimburse the amount.

    If more players thought they could retain the option to go pro then I’d bet those athletic teams would recruit at a much higher level. As we know, most don’t go pro so the overall benefit is to the armed services.

  • dradcliffdradcliff Posts: 487 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    No. All service academy cadets go to school for free on tax payer money. The catch is they have to serve upon graduation. Athletics is secondary. That's how it should be.

  • tfk_fanboytfk_fanboy Posts: 2,772 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate


    and not like there isn't a precedent. didn't Joe Louis mostly box during his time in the service?

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 3,488 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I can see the issue of fairness but it's hard to fake your way out of service with pro sports. You'd have to get a team to sign you without being good enough to play as a pro. I don't see that happening. Also no getting out of the contract. 5 years active and 3 years in the reserves just like everyone else. They just serve later. As far as high paying jobs go they'll still be there after finishing in the military. The academies are incredibly prestigious, and graduates with good grades are highly sought after.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2019

    Yale. I didn't mean to imply it would be faking. I just meant to point out some of the history of inequity in who has serviced in the military and what their duties were.

    In The Revolutionary and Civil Wars the rich often paid others to fight in the place. In The Vietnam era It became acutely about those with power and connections and those without resources. If your Daddy was a big shot you could spend time in the reserves or get phony deferments, I heard of a case where a wealthy real estate developer in Brooklyn had the family doctor claim his son had bone spurs when he didn't.

    Would it be essentially fair to allow athletes an out just because they have a high dollar marketable skill ? It seems a bit like the rich son getting out of his military commitment.

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 3,488 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I get that argument and it was unacceptable that the elites could start a war and send the common folk to die while their sons were protected. I just see the pro athlete thing as a rare occurrence and they'll still have to serve once their career is done. I'd probably be fine either way, but I learn towards serving directly after graduation. It is the fairest option

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2019

    Yale rare = elite ? that is where the convergence is with these other cases of deferments and other types of avoidances is to my way of thinking. Should smarter, faster, richer, better connected, etc influence what, when or where a person serves his commitment and last but not least, WHO SERVES ?

  • orlandoorlando Posts: 2,322 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    If a young man or woman joins the military then that is where their duty belongs and I for one am very thankful and proud of all the soldiers that protect our country.

  • tfk_fanboytfk_fanboy Posts: 2,772 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    the pro athlete exception would 1) apply to only a handful of people per year 2) create positive publicity

  • Dawg94Dawg94 Posts: 659 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I'm for it but I think the catch should be the player still has to report for duty 4 days out of every month the season is not going. That's 2 weekends out of the months they are not playing. Kind of a national guard thing

  • cf_ugamancf_ugaman Posts: 1,438 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 2019

    As a service academy grad...no. you know what you signed up for do what you owe then give it a shot... Or! I agree with @Wintonk which equates to about 250K...

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