Having a player mature mentally and physically for two years is a major advantage and only a moron would argue otherwise.
Posted By: TheBaron
Date: Tuesday 10 January 2017, at 12:06 pm
Recommended by 7 user(s)
The popular zoob retort is something to the effect of "if missions were such an advantage, you'd see Alabama doing it." Uhh... no, you wouldn't. Even if Alabama desperately wanted to have its players leave on a 2 year mission or service trip because of the obvious physical and mental advantages it would give them over the competition, they could never do it because the players that Alabama recruits would never agree to it.
Star athletes aren't going to walk away from football for 2 years and delay their NFL dreams for 2 years in order to give their already privileged college program an extra advantage. If Alabama or USC started asking players to go on a service trip or even just live at home and work out twice a day, away from school/football for 2 years, at least 99 out of 100 recruits would tell them hell no and sign somewhere else.
The only players in the country willing to agree to such an extreme request are LDS athletes without looming NFL prospects that have been pressured to be a missionary since diapers. It is very telling that the best of the best LDS players rarely go on a mission trip.
Involving something like 90% of their roster, BYU has been reaping the physical and mental maturity benefits of mission trips for decades, gaining an advantage over its competition that can't be duplicated. Even at LDS-friendly Utah, with our LDS coach, only 10% of scholarship players are mission guys any given season. Alabama, et al. don't do what BYU does because it is impossible without switching over to an all marginally talented devout Mormon recruiting strategy. They would love to enjoy the advantages of older players, but it isn't possible outside of Provo.
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