Ohio State Players Will No Longer Miss OTA Sessions Starting Next Season

If you have not heard by now, the Pittsburgh Steelers first and second round draft picks, guard David DeCastro and tackle Mike Adams, will not be able to take part in the teams\’ first OTA session that takes place this upcoming week because the semesters have not ended at their respective schools. Both Ohio State and Stanford use the quarter system instead of the semester system and this is what is preventing both of the rookie linemen from being able to attend.

As Ed Bouchette points out, Adams will miss the OTA sessions through the first week of June, but he should be able to attend the mini-camp scheduled for June 12-14 as the Ohio State graduation for their quarter system this year is June 10th. DeCastro will miss all of OTA sessions and the June minicamp though because Stanford\’s spring quarter goes through mid-June. DeCastro let it be known during his introductory press conference that he still had one more quarter to complete and then he would have his degree and would be done.

The Steelers have run into this before with linebacker Thaddeus Gibson, who was drafted by the Steelers in the 4th round of the 2010 draft and they would have ran into the problem with first round pick Cameron Heyward last year except the lockout took care of all OTA and mini-camps for all of the teams last summer.

Moving forward, future players drafted out of Ohio State will no longer be a problem as Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer reported over a week ago that Ohio State is switching from quarters to semesters in 2012-13 and that switch has reportedly been in the pipeline for several years now. It is unknown right now if the switch will prompt Stanford to make switch to quarters down the road as well.

Being as both of the linemen are expected to compete for starting jobs on the Steelers offensive line this year, I am more worried about the time that Adams misses more-so than DeCastro. DeCastro is a smart and dedicated technician, and while the reps would be nice, he should catch up easily once training camp gets going. Adams on the other hand needs every rep he can get under the watchful eye of offensive line coach Sean Kugler in my opinion as he is far from being NFL ready, let alone week one ready.

About the only positive we can take by both of these rookies not being on the field practicing for some time is that neither can get injured unless it happens in an off the field mishap. The rules are the rules though and the Steelers were well aware of the pending situation with both of the players prior to drafting them.

  • Jprankster2005

    They still got all of July and August to learn……… Better than the young guys had last yr…..

  • J.

    Standford is academic first, they are not gonna switch for the nfl.

  • Bobby Bowers

    I don’t mean to stir the pot but, how did some of these NFL top picks “graduate” even with a 2.0 GPA required for their degree? no pun intended. They actually studied or with help of tutors??

  • Intropy

    Ohio State also wouldn’t switch their tens of thousands of students’ schedules to suit the NFL. They made the change to make it easier for students to transfer schools. In particular they want it to be easier for students to move from community college to a bigger school.

  • PoKey21

    Are you sure we ran into this with Gibson and Heyward??? I live in Columbus, and I thought Ohio State just switched to quarters this year. It should really have only been a problem with Adams, and whoever comes out of OSU after this year. Here’s a link. Did they switch to quarters sooner than anticipated?? http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2012/05/ohio_states_move_to_semesters.html

  • Ronnie

    Yes all public colleges in Ohio have to move to semesters. The quarter system provides more courses because each quarter is 10 weeks.. Semesters are 15 weeks. Only problem with quarters is that you don’t get a varied education and if you take an elective from hell it only lasts 10 weeks.

  • DoctorNoah

    Do the players who are not allowed to go to OTA’s at least have access to Haley’s playbook? Are they working out with coaches or trainers at OSU or Stanford? This has not seemed clear to me. Seems like our top draft choices owe it to themselves and their team to do a little extracurricular preparation…

  • NW86

    Perhaps this was one factor in DeCastro and Adams both slipping in the draft until the Steelers could snatch them up. While other teams might have worried more about immediate contributions from their rookies, the Steelers have always drafted with an eye several years down the road, so them being a little behind the curve in their rookie season wasn’t as much of an issue for them (although this is a rare year in which they’re actually hoping both their first 2 picks can start from week 1).

  • Chris92021

    I seriously doubt teams passed on these guys because of some inane rule. If that rule was that important, Andrew Luck (who like DeCastro is a product of Stanford) would not have gone number 1. These OTAs are nothing more than running around in shorts with no hitting and to insure one, the new guys have a playbook, and two, make sure they are not getting in trouble. After all, Bill Parcells started these back in the 1980s just to keep LT in line (or tried to anyway). When he won a couple of Super Bowls, every team felt the need do the OTAs. The OTA/semester rule is stupid but the players and owners agreed to it.

    I would not worry that much about Adams because without even stepping on the field yet, he’s already better than the alternatives (Jonathan Scott and Trai Essex). If the Steelers do indeed call on Max Starks in July, then I would wonder about Adams’s progression.

  • This rule has been in place forever, and I haven’t seen it ever effect players from OSU, Stanford, or any other school that uses quarters.

  • I think they got the playbook already, yes.

  • You have it backwards, they are switching FROM quarters. And yes we ran into this with Gibson, and Holmes, who would have been a better example. We got past it with Heyward because of the labor situation cancelling OTAs.