Good. Good for these guys. I hope more guys start doing this.
Look, unless your are in the Final Four, these are glorified exhibition games and a money grab for the NCAA. Don’t get me wrong, these games used to mean a lot, hell, they meant everything. It was the crowning achievement for Big10 and Pac10 teams to play in the Rose Bowl. That was before the BCS and current playoff system. Now these games are meaningless and I don’t blame anyone for skipping them.
If a kid who is likely to be drafted and doesn’t want to risk injury by playing in one more meaningless football game, well god bless him. If you have a problem with that, your priorities are misaligned. What if that kid gets hurt? What if that injury means he is 4th round pick instead of a 1st round pick? What if the worst happens and he suffers a career ending injury? Do you realize that he is risking millions of dollars to play in this game that no longer means anything to anyone?
This has NOTHING to do with a competitive edge or loyalty to a program. It has everything to do with a smart business decision. If either of these kids were playing in the Final Four I guarantee they would be out there. Buy they aren’t. They are playing in a game that doesn’t mean anything to anyone except for the crazy “I have nothing else in my life except for this football team” fan, the coaches who probably get a win bonus, the University who stands to make a shit load of money, and the NCAA who stands to make even more money than the schools.
Bowl games became a business transaction for all but 4 teams when they started playing the College Football Playoff. That is, for everyone but the players. They were still expected to treat these games as if they mattered as much as a conference game…until now.
Now that these two guys have set this standard, I wouldn’t be surprised or saddened if this became a trend. I wouldn’t even care if every single player likely to go pro sat out the bowl game. Make it about the underclassman. Make it about prep for the next season. These games do not impact the 2016 season. Conference champs have been decided. The Playoff has been set. There is nothing left to play for (especially if you are risking millions of dollars).
So why risk it? So you can stuff the NCAA’s pockets? So you can make some loser fan who has nothing else to live for happy? So you can get your coach or school a win bonus? #notworthit.
PS. If coaches can leave for a better/different job before the Bowl Game (which they do all the time now), why can’t players skip the same game for similar reasons? Hypocrisy 101