Some of you know I am a big fan of Yahoo! Sportsâ€™ Mike Silver. He has a great column on Terrelle Pryorâ€™s entrance into the NFL Supplemental Draft and the hypocrisy that is shown by the NFL by punishing Pryor and letting coaches like Pete Carroll to move on from programs under suspension to the NFL.
By essentially accepting Pryorâ€™s suspension, Smith is daring Goodell to apply the same standard to non-players who land NFL jobs after having run afoul of the NCAA. If and when Goodell fails to do so (and Iâ€™m not holding my breath that he will), I believe Smith would make some noise, and heâ€™d occupy the moral high ground in the process.
That, of course, is not the endgame for the NFLPA. I believe the union is thinking about this issue on a much larger level and considering its options toward reforming a corrupt system that leaves many of its future members in a defenseless and subservient situation.
Could college athletes ultimately unionize to protect their rights, either with the NFLPAâ€™s implicit support, or perhaps under its umbrella as part of a labor partnership?
Itâ€™s a tricky proposition, but I definitely wouldnâ€™t rule it out.
In the meantime, NFL players have a right to be angry about Pryorâ€™s suspension. They canâ€™t help but compare the situation to that of, say, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who left USC one step ahead of the NCAAâ€™s slow-footed enforcement arm, boarded Paul Allenâ€™s private jet and made a soft, $33-million landing in Seattle.