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Old 23.05.2010, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mattphillips78 View Post
Hi Everyone!

I was wondering how often the teams of the services above have players put forward in the draft. I noticed this year that there were none. I've also noticed that they all play in the specialist conference, along with Notre Dame. My last question is whether all the players who play for the US armed forces attend their respected military colleges and are in fact trainee service men, and whether this of course hinders their putting themselves forward for the NFL.

Thanks!

Matthew
"Army" "Navy" and "Air Force" are the teams of the respective service academies.


Army refers just to the US Military Academy at West Point NY (which a one Benedict Arnold famously tried to surrender to, eh... you people). Navy is the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and the Air Force Academy is in Colorado Springs, CO.

The service academies are essentially colleges, which is why they play college football. They enroll kids who graduate high school and have a 4 year curriculum. Those who graduate from a service academy are officers in the US Military (commissioned as Lieutenants and required to serve a certain number of years). They are not enlisted men, and only cadets/ensigns who are in the academies can play for those teams.

Few random side notes:
- The Marine Corps is part of the Navy, so Marine officers are trained at the Naval Academy
- The military academies are the only college ran directly by the federal government
- There is also a federally ran Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Academy, but they play small school (Division III) football and aren't well known
- Schools like Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel are state ran... graduates can become officers in the military, but don't have to. They actually become officers through ROTC, which most state colleges in the country have... whether they are "military schools" or not.

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Military Academies (Army/Navy) used to be very powerful at football. Back before the sport really took off and was truly an amateur sport, the academies had usually the fittest and most disciplined teams in the country, for obvious reasons.

These days they are required by law to recruit from all 50 states, and won't recruit athletes who aren't fit to be officers in the military.

In the 1930's-50's... schools didn't have 6'6" - 330 pound linemen like they do now... the Military Academies can't recruit that type of player... which is why they mostly all run the option. Also, because of service requirements, they can't recruit blue chip athletes who have a shot at the NFL. Navy has had pretty good success lately, and has a decent winning % against mid-level teams... but they are far from powerhouses these days.
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