There is a hot-take topic circulating like wildfire on Monday thanks to multiple college football stars sitting out their bowl games to prepare for the NFL Draft. Leonard Fournette of LSU (Citrus Bowl) and Christian McCaffery (Sun Bowl) will skip the extra opportunities to injure themselves and their financial future.
All these young guys deciding to skip their bowl games 🤔.I would do anything to play one more time with my brothers in that scarlet and gray— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016
One last time to honor your university and one last chance to play with your boys who will be your brothers for life.— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016
The obvious retort here to Elliott is, "Uh, hey, guy, you skipped your senior season to go to the NFL."
Elliott doesn't think it's the same thing.
And there is a difference between not coming back for your last year and not finishing your last season.— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016
He's right in a sense, because there is a difference between getting one more shot at playing football with a team and giving up an entire year's worth of salary.
On the other hand, his own teammate Jaylon Smith suffered a major knee injury during a bowl game last year and it ultimately cost him millions of dollars. Oh yeah and that game was also the last one of Elliott's career, a 44-28 Ohio State win over Notre Dame. Awkward.
So when Zeke heard the players dealt with injuries, he backtracked pretty quickly.
My bad though I didn't realize they were already battling injuries. So I guess it makes sense.— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016
I just know how much I loved my university and the guys I played with. My last game was the most memorable moment from my college career.— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 19, 2016
There's no easy answer here. College players shouldn't be forced to play in bowl games that are ultimately meaningless just because they love their school. Not playing and being careful about their financial future doesn't make them worse teammates or worse people.
There's a lot of hypocrisy in college football and it's heightened around bowl season, when sponsorship deals are thrown around like candy and kids get up to $600 in swag, a paltry sum compared to the cash being raked in by administrators and the folks in charge of football programs.
Nothing is worse than someone losing out on a financial windfall because he suffered an injury trying to make some money for other people.