The decision also affects two minor league baseball players—Nick Hill and Milan Dinga—who will be allowed to complete their seasons before reporting back to the Army.
The Army had instituted a policy in 2005 that allowed West Point graduates who sign a professional contract that “provides recruiting/public affairs benefits” to opt out of active service. The new policy requires that a player serve two years before being able to apply to be released.
Campbell was the fourth cadet to take advantage of the policy and by far the most famous. During the publicity surrounding the NFL Draft, the Army received criticism for giving preferential treatment to athletes.
Now it appears that the Army has given in to the criticism. “The Army loses because the whole purpose of the policy that would have allowed him to play was PR,” writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press. “Now it’s a PR disaster. The military looks dysfunctional, and the Army looks like it bowed to pressure.”