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Army Completely Mishandling Caleb Campbell Situation

Caleb Campbell is a strong safety who played at Army and attended West Point. He was a 7th round pick by the Lions in this year’s draft, and was set to begin the team’s training camp this week in hopes of earning a roster spot. Initially the Army said they would release Campbell from the typical two years service all West Point Cadets must perform following graduation and allow him to play professional football. Campbell’s responsibility was to act as a local recruiter for the Army while he was playing — a logical trade. But on the eve leading up to training camp, the Army said Campbell (as well as two Cadets selected in the MLB draft) must serve their Army duties instead of playing pro ball. Ordinarily a sound response would be to say that the guy signed up for this and knew exactly what he was getting into; he should fulfill his duties like everyone else. However, when you find out what the Army is using Campbell for, you really see that they’re completely mishandling the whole thing.

Campbell told The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio that he’ll be returning to West Point to serve as a graduate assistant on the school’s football team. How about that? Is he going to Iraq or Afghanistan? Will he be serving as an officer? Will he be assisting the U.S. military? No, no, no, and no. The Army will be using Caleb Campbell to coach football. Got that? Instead of letting him play professional football — a chance for the Army to be promoted every time he stepped on the field — they decided his time was better served coaching a team that’s won 17 games this decade. An organization that spends millions to sponsor a car in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series spit on an opportunity to earn tons of free publicity to all NFL fans in the form of Caleb Campbell playing for the Lions. Honestly, what the eff are they thinking? They change a rule with horrendous timing for a lame-brain reason like this? Then again, should we really expect anything less from the government?


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  • SpinMax

    It’s ridiculous. I’ve never served but have many friends who do. They are accustomed to unfair. My one friend spent a lot of time overseas and the last time home they couldn’t send him back for a year. 6 months later they call and he’s gone and he accepts it just fine.

    These silly decisions are a deterrent when it comes to recruiting. The military has often taken advantage of famous recruits for their benefit and not sent them to war. Even in WWII heroes were brought home to travel around and even make movies asking ppl to buy war bonds. Over there he is just one soldier doing a job, over here he could recruit a thousand more.

  • http://pointguardu.com NICK

    i served in the army for 6 years and the DOA (Dept of the Army) is screwing up a prime recuiting tool in campbell… i posted his on a board that i frequent and have made my feeling known that this is complete and udder BULLSh*t…. They said he could play if he made the team but now he doesnt even get a chance to do that. The navy made David Robinson do reserve duty when he came out of the Naval Academy. So i am not sure why the Army said he has to serve in a “More Tradional” form of service only to say that he is going to serve back at the United States Military Academy at West Point.. MEMO TO DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS

  • http://maxsportz.com maxsportz

    No LB we should not expect any better from the gvt. But as you said he did sign up for it. It seems people are expected to play by the rules but gvt people can do pretty much whatever they want. I watched the HBO special on Joe Louis & how he helped the military promoting & all. Once he was old & used up & owed a bunch of taxes they hounded him relentlessly even though he had done great things for them in a time of need.. If anyone thinks their “country” will repay what you give them in service is mistaken I am afraid. Individuals do appreciate military people’s service but the gvt who runs the military does not & often uses the “troops” as political ammunition . The Pat Tilman deal makes me pissed off even right now.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Agreed. And the timing is just so strange — the night before training camp? Come on.

  • dan

    Everyone needs to understand something here. The Army did not reverse its decision, the Dept of Defense (DOD) did. I agree with the DOD’s decision. The Army wanted to use him in recruiting, but lets look at one thing, he was a 7th round pick. This guy isnt a household name. So I dont buy that he would help recruiting that much. Maybe in Detriot, and maybe, just maybe nationwide IF this guy even would make the Lions roster. Plus this guy signed a friggin contract and is at the service of the Army. This guy is gonna be a Grad assistant. Which is BS in itself. Look David Robinson served his time and did Nap McAllum and Staubach. But then again it looks like Naval cadets will do whats asked from them and the USN knows after they serve their time they are just as an effective recruiting tool.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Dan,
    If he did make the team, which he probably had about a 30% shot to as a special teamer, I think he would get a ton of attention every time he stepped on the field. Think about how much the media loves these stories — they’d eat it up. I agree about him signing the contract, but I think he would have a lot of value to them as a recruiter playing in the NFL.

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