One of the hottest topics in college sports right now are players like Christian McCaffrey, Shock Linwood and Leonard Fournette who are sitting out their final bowl game in order to protect their NFL Draft stock. Everyone is chiming in with their perspective, including Ezekiel Elliott who said that he wished he had the time to go back and play again with his brothers at Ohio State, while many former players understand why these players are making these choices.
Now enter Boston College head coach Steve Addazio. While he doesn’t have many blue chip NFL prospects this year (Harold Landry may be the exception), he does have a take on it, which came out during his press conference yesterday for the Quick Lane Bowl
Well, I mean, I'm not in favor of any of that. I don't understand that. You have a bowl game, you have your team, you're with your team, and I think a bowl game is a reward for your team, and you go play together, compete together. You don't need to rush your -- everybody wants to rush their life, and then when they get on the other side of that thing, I talk to guys like Mike and Maurkice Pouncey all the time, and they wish they could go back because it's such a unique time in their life. I really don't understand that. I hope that's not something that's going to -- once again, here we go, create that. I hope not. But everybody has got their own individual reasons, I guess, why they do what they do, but at the end of the day, I just think about how we all started this thing, one of our goals was to get to a bowl game as a team, and we want to go as a whole team and compete as a team. I can't understand all that.
Does it devalue games? No. I just think that, like everything else, here we go with some -- there's plenty of great players out there that are playing in their bowl games. I don't know where all this stuff comes from, I really don't.
I get where Addazio is coming from to an extent. Yes, players are letting down their teammates and they have built and fought all season to gain the right to play in these games. But, I see his viewpoint as short sighted, and doesn’t take into account the future of these players. As we saw with Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame, these games can significantly impact a players ability to earn, as Smith blew out his knee in a bowl game last year, and subsequently dropped in the draft as he was viewed as an injury risk. For these players, specifically running backs, their window of earning is very small, and a bowl injury especially if it’s not a CFB Playoff game seems like a risk that many shouldn’t take. I can’t blame these RB’s for protecting their futures.
Yes there are insurance policies that protect players in case of injury, Fournette has a $25 million policy to protect his draft stock, but the inability to play could cost more than that, including endorsement deals.
Certainly this is a complex issue, one that will be looked at closely as it is thrust into the national spotlight. Luckily this year it isn’t effecting the Eagles, but it could.