June 29, 2008
Owen Tolson to report to Fort Sill, not the NFL
GoBlackKnights.com has learned that former Army punter Owen Tolson will not
be headed to the NFL this summer, but will instead report to Ft. Sill for active
duty on July 6.
Sources have confirmed that as a result of a review of the Alternative
Service option by the Department of the Army, the program has been suspended and
all non-contracted athletes no longer have the option to play on a professional
The change in policy impacts Tolson the most. A star on the football team,
Tolson was invited to participate in the NFL combine this past spring, and
accepted a free agent contract with the New York Giants immediately following
the NFL draft. Tolson was cut after mini-camp though, and has since been
looking to hear from other teams while he has continued to work out and hone his
skills. He had also planned to stay at the Academy as a Graduate Assistant this
fall, but will no longer have that opportunity.
The change in policy will not impact Caleb Campbell (Detroit Lions) or Mike
Viti (Buffalo Bills) unless they are cut from their respective teams. Once they
are no longer under contract, however, they will be forced to report to active
duty and will not have the ability to sign with another team.
There is the potential that a clause may be included in the policy to allow
athletes who were at the academy under the alternative service option to be
"grandfathered" and allowed to continue to pursue professional athletic
contracts, but that will not be ready for weeks, if at all.
GoBlackKnights.com will continue to follow this story, the alternative
service policy, and will have an exclusive interview regarding Owen Tolson later
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