Doug Flutie pans idea of 18-game slate
NEW YORK -- Doug Flutie played in 92 games over 12 seasons in the NFL, so he knows how grueling the regular season can be.
"This is going to shorten careers. From a player's perspective, it's going to beat you up," Flutie said at a news conference in Manhattan on Wednesday.
This is going to shorten careers.” -- Doug Flutie
From a player's perspective, it's going to beat you up.
NFL owners expressed support for an 18-game season during meetings in Atlanta late last month. But Flutie said that expanding the regular season by two weeks may increase the potential for injury late in the year.
"It's a long season as it is and there are no days off. ... You're going to see more injuries toward the end of the year, a time when a lot of players take a week off to get healthy for the playoffs," Flutie said. "[Now] you're still playing a couple games. From a player's perspective, I don't like it."
Flutie was on hand at the Times Center in Manhattan on Wednesday to participate in the announcement of the Capital One Cup, an award given to the top athletic programs in Division I. The Cup is awarded based on a program's cumulative on-field performance across multiple men's and women's sports played in all three seasons.
Standings for the Capital One Cup will be announced at the end of the fall, winter and spring seasons. The winners will receive $200,000 to fund graduate-level scholarships for student-athletes and will be honored at the ESPY Awards on ESPN in July.
Flutie will serve on the Capital One Cup advisory board along with Clark Kellogg, Robin Ventura, Lisa Leslie, Brandi Chastain and ESPN broadcaster Rece Davis.
"It's going to unify campuses," Flutie said of the Capital One Cup. "It's a great feeling to be around campus when the other students and student-athletes are taking an interest in what you're doing."
Flutie -- who in 1984 won the Heisman Trophy at Boston College and executed one of the most famous plays in the history of college sports when he threw a "Hail Mary" touchdown pass to beat Miami -- also commented on the pending realignment in college football.
Flutie doesn't mind the realignment, under which Colorado and Utah will join the Pac-10, as long as the sport's major rivalries remain intact.
"As far as switching conferences, schools have to make decisions. It is big business," Flutie said. "They're looking to upgrade and get themselves in a position to be a part of the national landscape.
"I'm a traditionalist. I've fought [the notion of college sports as big business] for years. [But] it is what it is now. The thing we have to keep in perspective is that the money that athletics bring in upgrades the school."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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