President Trump suggests waiver allowing service academy athletes to turn pro earlier

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For the second year in a row, Army's football team visited the White House for winning the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Normally, the visit is simply a celebration for the service academy that wins the most against its counterparts. However, during Monday's speech, President Donald Trump indicated he would look into allowing service academy athletes to go pro before completing their minimum two years of active-duty service. 

"I'm going to look at doing a waiver for service academy athletes who can get into the major leagues, like the NFL, hockey, baseball. They'll serve their time after they're finished with professional sports," Trump said. "It used to be five years and four years, and it's a long time. That's a long time. Now it's two years. I think it's a great idea. I think it's really fair, too."

The Defense Department requires that all cadets graduating from service academies serve the minimum number of years for active duty before pursuing a pro career. Trump said he believed such a waiver would help with recruiting. In 2017, the Defense Department rescinded a policy that did allow top-tier service academy athletes to head directly to the professional ranks. 

"Can you imagine this incredible coach with that little asset? Because I would imagine that would make recruiting a little bit easier," Trump said. 

The service academies have produced some big pro names in the past, but even the biggest -- like former NBA star David Robinson -- completed the two-year minimum before going pro. 

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CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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