Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh wants to overhaul student-athlete eligibility rules

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Jim Harbaugh_353428

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh in 2017

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (WCMH) — Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh wrote an open letter the to NCAA urging it to change student-athlete eligibility rules.

Right now, football players must be three years removed from high school before they are eligible to play in the NFL.

Harbaugh wants that requirement to be removed and allow the athlete to declare for the NFL after any season of his choice. His proposal also says if an athlete is not taken in the NFL Draft, they should be eligible to return to play in college the following season as long as he doesn’t receive payment from an agent. Right now, any football player who declares for the NFL is not eligible to return to college football.

While college eligibility is up to the NCAA, any change to the NFL’s draft eligibility rules would require an agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the story.

Harbaugh also proposes allowing players to consult with agents and/or lawyers about their decision to enter the draft without losing their eligibility, which is allowed in some other collegiate sports but not in football. He also proposes eliminating the redshirt, giving all players five years of eligibility and lifting the cap of 25 scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfers.

Harbaugh also says any individual who gets drafted in the NFL should be able to complete his college degree while in the NFL or come back to complete it once his playing days are over.

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