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Jets’ Shaq Evans blasts rookie rule
- Updated: June 18, 2014
Although he was drafted in May, Jets rookie wide receiver Shaq Evans was unable to make his rookie debut until this past Tuesday. Evans was held out of all Jets activities, including off-season workouts because of a rule involving Evans’ alma mater, UCLA. The rule, as broken down by the Wall Street Journal, bans rookies from attending workouts while school is still in session.
The NFL bars drafted players from attending off-season training while their school is still in session. UCLA is on a quarter system rather than a semester system, so students remain in class well into June.
So while his fellow draftees were attending off-season workouts for the past month, Evans was in Los Angeles, working out with his college-football coaches and, for two hours a day, studying the playbook the Jets gave him.
He did that between studying for the last class he needed to graduate: Scandinavian literature.
With Evans finally on the field for the Jets, not only is the rookie trying to earn his spot with his new team, but he’ll have plenty of catching up to do as well.
Now that he’s on the field with the Jets, Evans had some words about the rule that kept him away, words he told to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.
I really don’t understand it, If I’m not in school, it shouldn’t matter. It’s ridiculous. I hope the league changes it, because it definitely sets players back. It’s a silly, silly, stupid rule.
I’d love for the [NFL Players Association] to take it on and at least make it more beneficial for the players, I don’t see how it benefits anybody, really.”
It’s definitely not easy coming in and trying to learn the plays on the fly, It’s also hard for me to get a lot of [repetitions] because I’m still trying to learn while everybody else has been here the past four weeks and I’ve been in school trying to get my degree.
Not exactly the wisest move as a rookie to blast an NFL rule, but it seems that he raises a good point. It isn’t fair to Evans or any other rookie in his position to have to sit behind his peers, but it also does mean they’re finishing up getting his degree. Either way, Evans is now with the Jets and he’s got some work to do, but also has the perfect opportunity to come in and make an impact for the receiver-needy Jets.
Follow Mike Pendleton on Twitter @MP2310
Photo credit: (NewYorkJets.com)