Trivia question: Which NFL team has three members of the Naval Academy class of 2009 on its roster?
Answer: The New England Patriots.
One of those players is former standout slotback Shun White, whose current situation at the Naval Academy is examined in this week’s edition of Navy Times. White, who signed with the Patriots as a free agent in May 2009, was allowed to reschedule an exam in order to practice with New England last spring, according to one of colleague Phil Ewing’s sources. And close to a year after his classmates received their commissions, White remains at the academy.
Ewing talked with sources in the Navy community who are concerned that allowing White and officers in the fleet to be under contract with NFL teams gives football players an incentive to not fulfill their service commitments.
USNA Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk disagrees, telling Navy Times that letting former Navy players have relationships with an NFL team doesn’t mean that they’ll be allowed out of their service commitment:
“It’s very clear to everyone on the Yard … with those that will ask the question, ‘Is there any chance that the secretary of the Navy might release us to play in the NFL?’ The answer is ‘no’ here,” Gladchuk told Navy Times. “Number one, you’ve got an obligation to go serve; number two, the NFL knows very clearly that as a … sailor or Marine, there’s no chance at all for them to participate.”
Because the article is for subscribers only, I can’t give any more details out here, but I’d recommend logging in or picking up a copy of Navy Times to read the full story.