NFL hopes fading fast for AFA lineman


Air Force offensive lineman Brett Huyser’s NFL dreams appear to be sidelined, his father, Bob, said Thursday.

Huyser, who graduated from the academy June 2, will report to Vandenberg Air Force Base 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles in August while NFL training camps are kicking off.

His family has given up hope that the 6-foot-5, 300-pound guard will be granted an exception to the Department of the Air Force’s rule prohibiting academy graduates from leaving the service before their five-year commitment ends.

Huyser’s agent, Michael Termini, said Huyser’s unclear status factored in him going unpicked in April’s NFL draft. Now, more than two months later, most NFL teams have conducted minicamps and roster decisions are being made.

Brett Huyser plans to try to stay in playing shape, but he’s not expecting calls from any teams.

“It’s not looking good,” said Bob Huyser, a farmer from Rock Valley, Iowa. “We’re hoping, but it doesn’t seem likely.”

With the support of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Huyser had attempted to appeal to Air Force Secretary James Roche.

The Huyser family and Grassley sent separate letters to Roche asking for an exception to the Air Force’s decision to rescind its sports separation policy in January.

When Huyser enrolled at the academy, a sports separation policy was in place, allowing graduates with professional sports contracts to receive waivers to leave after serving two years of their five- year commitments.

In return, the players would serve six years in the reserves.

Former football players such as Steve Russ, Chris Gizzi, Bryce Fisher and Beau Morgan were able to play in the NFL under the policy.

Bob Huyser said he has not heard back from Roche. Last month, academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said it was unlikely any exceptions to the rule would be made.

“Brett deserves an answer,” Grassley said in a statement. “The Air Force changed the policy regarding cadets who have the opportunity to play professional sports after he enrolled. I hope my letter helps the Huyser family get a response.”

Navy operates under Air Force’s previous policy, allowing graduates to leave the service after two years to play professional sports, Navy spokesman Mike Kafka said. Army does not have any policy in place.

“I want to be in the Air Force,” Huyser said in April. “I just want a chance to be in the NFL, too. If the NFL doesn’t work, I want to be active duty.”

Air Force-California on TV

ESPN2 will televise Air Force’s seasonopening football game against California at 10 a.m. Sept. 4 at Falcon Stadium, the Mountain West Conference announced Thursday.

“This is a tremendous compliment to our program and its players to have the game televised by ESPN2,” Air Force acting athletic director Brad DeAustin said. “This is a great opportunity for the academy to showcase the outstanding young people we have here.”

ESPN will televise Air Force’s game against Navy on Sept. 30.

Copyright 2004

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

You May Also Like

Partnership will offer masters in social work

Partnership will offer masters in social work BRIAN NEWSOME THE GAZETTE A Kansas-based Catholic university will bring a fully accre…

USOC link helps sell convention venue to city

USOC link helps sell convention venue to city RICH LADEN THE GAZETTE A downtown convention center that would include space for an O…

Falcons looking for a leader to help regain form

Falcons looking for a leader to help regain form DAVID RAMSEY Gazette Sports columnist Chris Mooney needs a wise, tough guy to poin…

How the West was lost

How the West was lost/ Stegner’s history of American expansion rich Linda DuVal Mountain men, miners and soldiers didn’t win the Wi…