Miami football coach Mark Richt was asked about the recent string of decisions from running backs across the nation to skip their respective team’s bowl games in order to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Players like LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and, most recently, Baylor’s Shock Linwood have all decided to focus on draft prep over exhibition games.
And while there is plenty of support for those players protecting their futures, there are some who don’t appear to be as understanding.
Richt falls in the latter category, calling the decision to skip bowl games “sad” because it goes against the “team” environment.
“I think it’s sad, personally,” Richt said, via Shandel Richardson of the Miami Sun-Sentinel. “I think football is the greatest team sport there is, and I think until the season is over, you should be with your team, really and truly.
“Football is the greatest game. It’s the greatest game because it’s a team game. Everybody is counting on each other. I bet their teammates are like, ‘I understand. I understand,’ maybe face to face. But I bet you when they lay their head on the pillow, they’re like, ‘Why is that guy doing that? We’re a team. We paid the price together.’ I think it’s sad. That’s how I look at it.”‘
Miami finishes off its 2016 campaign against No. 14 West Virginia on Wednesday, Dec. 28 in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. Kickoff at Camping World Stadium is set for 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The good news for Richt is that it looks like none of his players have plans on skipping out.
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