Senate Adds ‘Legacy Rule’ That Could Allow Andre Carter II To Join NFL Draft Before Five Years Of Army Service

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Andre Carter II could become just the second first-round NFL draft pick out of Army since 1947. He’s projected by most to be a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and the U.S. Senate seems to be doing everything in its power to see it happen despite what some in Congress may want.

Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher recently introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require athletes at military academies to fulfill their five service obligation before pursuing outside employment, which includes professional sports.

“U.S. military service academies exist to produce warfighters,” Gallagher said, “not professional athletes.”

That obligation, according to Army, is five years of active duty and three years in the individual ready reserve. The amendment immediately eliminated the likelihood of Carter II, or any other service academy player, from being drafted into the NFL.

Andre Carter could be the first Army player drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft since the 1940s. (Photo by Edward Diller/Getty Images)

After the amendment was introduced and Carter II’s family voiced their frustration, the U.S. Senate sprung into action.

The Senate has added a provision that would grant waivers to all military athletes who began their academy training before 2021.

The recently passed amendment in the NDAA “shall only apply with respect to a cadet or midshipman who first enrolls in the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, or the United States Air Force Academy on or after June 1, 2021,” according to ESPN.

Carter II’s parents, Melissa and Andre, have already shared a statement about the new provision.

“Thank you to the members of congress who stepped up, spoke out and worked expeditiously in support of Andre and other service academy cadets and midshipmen who made decisions in reliance on the 2019 policy allowing deferral of service,” Melissa and Andre wrote.

“The goodness we saw in people this past week will forever be imprinted upon us.”

If Carter II is drafted into the NFL he will satisfy his military service obligation after the completion of his professional career.

Written by Mark Harris

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