Sit This One Out, Soldier

I just read a story about a Soldier, Eddie Nuss, who will not be allowed to play in his High School football team’s opening day game. According to the state a player must have 12 days of practice before he can play in a varsity game. Nuss will be returning home from basic right before the season starts and will not be able to fulfill that requirement by the first game. Even if he and his parents sign a liability waiver and even with the explanation that he will be in better shape than the rest of his team because he’s in Army basic.
As a soldier myself you would think I’d support Nuss on this one. But I don’t. The state is right for one that “football shape” is not the same as being in shape in general.
Nuss’s father says this “Four days a week, [Eddie Nuss] runs five miles with his gear and pack on. That’s an extra 20-30 pounds in 100-plus degrees. He’ll be in better shape than any kid on the football field when he’s out of basic training.”
I call BS. No one does that in basic. No one does that regularly in any Army training. I did Basic training very recently. We rarely ran. Never with packs (or rucksacks or anything). We ruck march. Maybe that is what his dad meant to say. Even then I wouldn’t believe that he does it four times a week. It just does not happen. TRADOC is very strict. And if he is rucking then 20-30 pounds is light and I am not at all impressed.
Maybe I would agree with letting him play if they pursued a different argument. Something simple like “The kid is sacrificing to serve his country. Don’t take his opening day game away!” That I could get behind. Exaggerating the effects Army basic will have on his physical ability is not the way to go. People who come into BCT in excellent shape see a degradation in their fitness by the time they graduate.

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