Waking up Wednesday morning, I did not expect the immense buzz happening on my timeline. It all started with speculation if Kyler Murray was really going to be drafted early in the MLB draft while competing for the role of Oklahoma University’s starting quarterback. After signing a potential $5 million deal with the Oakland A’s and still being able to play as OU’s quarterback, Twitter went into a frenzy. Being drafted in the 1st round, Kyler Murray shined a light on a new way for athletes to think about their career stability.
Kyler Murray was just taken No. 9 in the MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics. So what does this mean for Oklahoma's QB race? https://t.co/GBSrmcg0L3— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) June 5, 2018
This isn't the first time we’ve seen this trend of football player turn baseball player. Watching Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Tim Tebow and now Kyler Murray make that switch, have we possibly witnessed a rise of a subtle trend? Even our own Patrick Mahomes made had to choose between the two sports. So I asked some questions. With the rise of concern for CTE and concussions, will this possibly have football players start to think about making that change? Will athletes make these changes for more career stability, financial stability, fan stability or injury stability? Of course these are all just speculations, but after reading why Bo Jackson left football, I think it’s safe to say there could be a possible start of a new movement. In an interview with USA Today back in January of 2017, Bo Jackson stated he would never have played football if he knew about all the head injuries back then. With the knowledge of these injuries, are athletes going to take that into consideration while signing contracts? If they’re smart.
Added to the thought of injury, Kyler Murray is now a paid athlete. Taking the money while still being able to play college football is a heck of a deal. It’ll be very interesting to see how this will all play out. Once Murray has a statement about his decision on the career switch, I think we’ll all be able to start forming our own questions on a possible sport switch trend. I personally will be calling this “Switchgate.”
Another thought that comes to mind is sport focus. I remember back in high school, I was always told I could play only one sport and to focus on that. If we did play two, the other one would have to somehow help us in our “main sport.” At least I was told to throw all your energy in this one sport so you could get full rides and contract deals. Looking back at Murray’s past, he has always been in two sports, football and baseball. Has that helped with his success in both sports? Will other athletes be more willing to explore more sports? If sports weren't already a chess game, this will definitely take these chess moves up a notch.
Wait a minute. Kyler Murray could play football AND baseball, in high school AND college, and still get drafted? He didn't have to specialize @ 15? His coaches/parents didn't pressure him to choose one @ 12? Seems like playing multiple sports helped become a better athlete...— Jacob Gill (@Coach_JGill) June 5, 2018
The next question now is, will coaches, general managers and leagues be focused on athlete loyalty? It’s one thing to have your athlete make a team change, but a whole sport change? Will new regulations come up from this? I personally believe there will be a lot more talk of these things now. If the upcoming 2018 college football season wasn't exciting already, it 100% is now.