Mike Williams and his free-fall from collegiate stardom to NFL bust can be directly attributable to the NCAA and their back-stabbing ways (though maybe that awful black Lions jersey had something to do with it). Back in 2004 when Williams and Maurice Clarett tried to enter the NFL draft despite the rule against players not having completed three years of school following their high school graduation class. Williams and Clarett sued and won, left college, signed agents and waited for the NFL draft where they were both expected to be very high first round picks.
Instead, a stay was enforced in the case and Williams was not drafted. Without an immediate NFL future, Williams applied for reinstatement, citing the fact that he was simply following rules that were in place when the lawsuit was won. The NCAA reneged and refused his reentry into college.
So rather than being a top draft pick in 2004, Mike Williams had to work out on his own and prepare for the 2005 draft, where he was ultimately drafted 10th by the Lions. I think we all know how awful he’s been since and how much trouble he’s had weighing less than 270 pounds.
But I think the blame here falls on the NCAA. The guy only did what he did in 2004 because that’s what the rules said. He can’t help the fact that they changed back after the draft and he shouldn’t have been punished for it. Sure, you can argue he was an idiot, lazy and incompetent. And really, I won’t argue with that. But he got screwed, big time. I’m convinced that if he doesn’t have an entire year to waste as a 20-year old kid with nothing to do but practice on his own, he’s not out of the league as is now the case.
It’s just sad to see the NCAA completely ruin so many kids’ opportunities.