Chicago Sun-Times

With degree in hand, rookie LaRocque won't miss action

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The Bears got good news today in regards to rookie linebacker Joey LaRocque.

The seventh-round pick from Oregon State will not be held up by the rule that prevents players from reporting to teams until after graduation has been held at their schools.

Oregon State is on the quarter system and does not hold graduation until June 15. By then only a few days will remain in the Bears’ offseason program. It’s a rule designed to show the NFL isn’t trying to take players away from schools early even though many players stop attending classes in the spring in order to prepare for the draft. So, even if a guy has put the books away, he has to wait until his school issues caps and gowns.

Because LaRocque earned his degree in communications in December, he’s been cleared to return to the Bears late next week. That means he’ll have two weeks of workouts under his belt before the full-squad minicamp and will be as acclimated as possible when training camp opens.

LaRocque is the only one of the 12 draft picks who hails from a school with a delayed graduation, so none of the others were in jeopardy of being late. The rule used to be that even if you had a degree, you couldn’t report until after the spring graduation was held at your school. Fortunately, that’s been modified to reward those who get after the books so they can turn to their playbooks.

No word yet on whether or not Oregon State defensive end Gerard Lee, who was signed as an undrafted free agent Tuesday, has a degree in hand yet. If not, he’ll be behind when he’s able to report.

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6 Comments

In my opinion college players should be made to stay in school till there senior season. The NFL draft would then produce more quality and experienced players. There would also be a lot more NFL ready players.

One more problem I have with the NFL is the amount of money these rookies are being paid straight out of college. I hope the league looks into this proposed rookie salary cap. Don't get me wrong I think a 1st rounder should make more than a 7th rounder, but a 1st rounder should NEVER make more than a veteran player. I think an NFL player should get his pay day on his second contract, that way he can prove his worth and so many teams would not be throwing money away on 1st round bust and would then be able to spend money on good proven veterans that would actually help the team GO BEARS!!

Don't see a blog yet but I bet soon,
Benson's friends say they have a video or pictures or something to back Bensons story. This is getting real interesting...

If an American is ready to perform a job, he or she should be allowed to do so.

Period.

It is patently unfair to tell some 21-year-old that he can't go out and earn a living because of some silly rule.

Fact is, many juniors have come into the league and performed on day one, the last example being Adrian Peterson.

While I don't mind the current time limit -- although that should even have a waiver -- Forcing people to stay and play is an offense to their individual liberty.

More importantly, it could lead to an injury that could cost them their shot.

I agree about the salaries.

But I have no problem with players coming out early.

If they don't do well in the pro, they can always take them money and finish their degrees.

ldc, good point about being able to take there money and go back to school and get there degree, but kind of a contradiction to the rookie salary cap that you agree with. This is exactly why I think players should be made to stay in school till they are seniors. So that way if they don't make it in the pros they will already have something to fall back on. Because if there was a rookie salary cap the individual player would not have enough money to go back and get there degree, they would be right back where they started. Point is, if there is a salary cap it might be best to make the players stay in school and fill there obligation to there school that recruited them and get there degrees. As far as maybe getting injured and never getting a chance to play pro ball for that extra senior season, the player is takeing that chance every time he steps on the field, even in his rookie season, and again if there was a salary cap and a player got injured as a junior comeing out he would not have that degree to fall back on or the money to go back to school, if there was a cap. There are millions of careers out there that have certain obligations even though an invidual might be ready earlier, but thats life. So you see ldc what I'm trying to say is you can't really have the salary cap and let these guys come out early, it wouldn't really be fair to them, the NFL team that drafts them, or the school that recruited them. I just think it would be best for everyone if these players stayed in school and for the NFL to have a salary cap, you can't have one without the other that was my whole point ldc GO BEARS!!

Ok Kevin I have been reading these for a couple of seasons now and I noticed you comment on here quite a bit. Could you please learn the difference between their, they're and there. I would appreciate it. You make great points on here and back it up with a certain ammount of knowledge but your writing is killing me.

Jonathon, what is this, inside the Bears meets Revenge of the nerds? Oh well GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 7, 2008 5:10 PM.

Bears release two local players was the previous entry in this blog.

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