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Campbellsville University has signed a new defensive back - and she's a female


As the story goes, Shelby Osborne attended a high school football game of her local Jeffersonville (Indiana) team and, frustrated by the sloppy play she saw from the stands, Osborne said she could play better than that. 

So she joined the team. 

Jeffersonville head coach Lonnie Oldham had coached a girl previously on his team, and invited Osborne to try out. She made the team and not as a kicker. No, Osborne played defensive back.

"I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't let us come to her games. She was afraid that her dad would end up in a scuffle and she knew that I would find out that she wasn't just the kicker," Osborne's mother Kim told

Osborne was determined to continue her football dream into college. She wrote letters to every college she could find, and finally found a taker in NAIA Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Ky. She signed her letter of intent on Wednesday.

To the best of our knowledge, Osborne will attempt to become the first female football player to play a college game at a position other than kicker. At 5-foot-6, Osborne will easily be the smallest player on the field. If she sees the field at all. I've never seen Osborne play, but I have a hard time envisioning either: A) Osborne being among Campbellsville's best 11 defenders, or B) Osborne holding her own on a college football field.

This isn't a knock on Osborne's gender. People of her size and build - male or female - have a hard time seeing and then surviving on a college football field. That's life. 

So, why did Campbellsville take her? How will she help the Fighting Tigers improve on their 4-6 finish from a year ago? Or is it a PR stunt? Stunt may be a word with a stronger connotation than I'm intending - but I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than that. 

Put it this way, is there any way you're reading about Campbellsville University football today if the school hadn't signed Shelby Osborne on Wednesday?