The clock continues to tick on the Indianapolis hammerlock on the Scouting Combine.
Anthony Calhoun of WISH-TV reports that the NFL will open bidding for hosting the annual underwear Olympics as of 2023.
Indianapolis has been the home of the event since 1987. It will host the Combine, which was canceled in 2021, next year — perhaps for the final time.
The winds of change of venue have been blowing for several years, with the league intent on moving the Combine. The NFL wants to make it a bigger event, efficiencies and practicalities be damned. Los Angeles had emerged as the obvious, no-brainer location for it, but there’s arguably an even better one: Las Vegas.
The rise of gambling makes many aspects of the Scouting Combine conducive to wagering, with the 40-yard dash becoming the most obvious basis for bets based on how fast a guy runs, either against the clock or in comparison to others. What better place to showcase the gambling connection than in the gambling capital of the world?
As the Scouting Combine grows, the failure to compensate the participants will become more glaring. For the same reason that the NCAA hides behind “amateurism” for not paying players, the NFL hides behind the notion that it’s all a job interview for not paying those who show up for pre-draft athletic events.
At some point, that needs to change — especially since the players aren’t yet in a union, and the full weight of the antitrust laws apply.