South Carolina Gamecocks star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been the topic of much discussion over the past few days after the question was raised whether or not he should sit out the 2013 season. It didn’t take long for Clowney and his head coach Steve Spurrier to laugh off the report, but now it looks like Clowney is prepared to take measures to ensure he will get paid next year even if he suffers a major injury.
It is being reported that Clowney will buy injury insurance for his junior season at South Carolina, which is exactly what he should be doing.
There is little doubt that Clowney can be the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft next April — heck, he could be the top pick this year — where he will be guaranteed millions of dollars. It is that part of his future that needs to have Clowney thinking about insuring his body.
Clowney’s insurance policy will be worth $5 million in case of a catastrophic injury that prematurely ends his playing career in 2013 if he goes through with it. His camp reached out to Coastal Advisors LLC to gauge the idea. If Clowney takes out the insurance. the NCAA would likely front the cost, but Clowney would be forced to repay once he is able.
Some may bash Clowney for going to such extreme lengths, but imagine how devastating it would be to the young man to see his playing career ended early without ever being able to earn a penny.
I still think a better strategy would be for Clowney to lawyer up and challenge the NCAA’s three-year rule, but that isn’t likely to happen. Instead, Clowney will just take out the insurance — and he should.
Just look at poor Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel who tore his ACL and could have his NBA draft stock severely take a hit. You can even look at an injury to Marcus Lattimore, Clowney’s former college teammate, as an example.
The bigger problem here is the three-year rule. While the NCAA and NFL want you to believe that it is for player safety, it is an absolute sham to keep 18-year-olds from making a living in the field of their choice. If an 18-year-old is able to defend our country, there is no reason that he shouldn’t have the choice of whether or not he wants to turn pro and earn a living.
It will be a while before we see another underclassmen challenge the eligibility rule, but let’s hope that more learn from Clowney and make sure they are taking care of themselves by taking out an injury insurance policy.