I’m really not sure why folks are so upset that Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Baylor’s Shock Linwood have chosen to sit out their school’s bowl game so they can prepare for next spring’s NFL Draft.
Most of you would do the same if you were in their shoes. Besides, this is nothing more than a new twist to an old game (of money) that the college kids play.
For years, college football players have been passing up their final year of eligibility so they could enter the NFL Draft. This is their way of protecting their financial future in case of a severe injury which could end or highly impact their football career.
If you were them, would you go back to college for one more season – and collect that insufficient stipend which isn’t even enough to fill up your fridge? Or would you bypass your last year of eligibility so you can immediately make enough money to financially secure your family?
Last year in the Fiesta Bowl, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith entered that game projected to go fifth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. But Smith tore some ligaments in his knee, wound up being drafted on the second round by the Dallas Cowboys and still has yet to play in an NFL game.
Instead of possibly being guaranteed a four-year contract with over $20 million in guaranteed money had he sat out the Fiesta Bowl, Smith wound up signing a four-year, $6.4 million contract with the Cowboys with just $4.5 million in guaranteed money.
Do the math.
Jacksonville ended up drafting Jalen Ramsay with the fifth overall pick of the 2016 draft and gave him a four-year, $23.3 million contract with $22.9 million of it guaranteed.
Look, numerous college basketball players leave school after one year in search of hitting the jackpot in the NBA or abroad. Several baseball players don’t even make it to college before they start cashing in on their exceptional talents.
And we won’t even start talking about the tennis players who turn pro before they even graduate from high school. So don’t criticize the college football players if they’ve discovered a way to legally protect their financial future.
If the football players want to skip a bowl game so they can start chasing that almighty dollar, it’s their prerogative? It’s their life and they should be able to live it the way they want to, not the way you want them to live it.
Isn’t this the American Dream? Do you want someone telling you how you should dream?
As long as they’re not breaking the law, this is the player’s choice and the method they have chosen to do what they think is best for them and their family. Don’t you do what you think is best for you and your family?
How would you like it if you wanted to do A, and folks are constantly in your ear and adamant that you should be doing B? How would you like it if you love to eat red meat, and folks are persistently telling that you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not a vegetarian?
You wouldn’t like it one bit, would it?
Meanwhile, why wasn’t there an outrage when University of Houston football coach Tom Herman left his team last month to accept the head coaching job at the University of Texas? Houston had already clinched a bowl, and Herman certainly wasn’t going to stick around to coach the Cougars in that bowl game.
What did Herman do? He looked out for the financial well-being of himself and his family and high-tailed it to Austin, which is exactly what he was supposed to do.
And this is exactly what McCaffrey, Fournette and Linwood are doing. Their decisions were not made with you in mind.
(As a side note, Herman accepted the UT job less than a week after the Longhorns fired Charlie Strong. Does that mean Herman had been negotiating with UT while still under contract and coaching UH? But you’re cool with that, right?)
In this capitalistic society, what’s good for the goose must be good for the gander. Or else the gander is going to have some really big issues with this capitalistic society.
Sure, the departure of McCaffrey, Fournette and Linwood is something we haven’t experienced in this manner before. But buckle up, because we’re experiencing a lot of things across here and abroad that we’ve never experienced before.
In this money-grubbing (look at me) selfish society we live in, I’m sure there’s some hot-shot pee-wee football player out there diagramming his own future. Conjuring up a way to get rich BEFORE we want him to get rich.
Maybe, just maybe this kid will throw for 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns after the first six games of his senior college season, and then decide to quit and skip the last half of the season and the bowl game so he can prepare for the NFL Draft.
You laugh now. But I bet you never thought the paths McCaffrey, Fournette and Linwood have chosen would have come to fruition.