A recent trend has surfaced in college football this bowl season, with a handful of stars deciding to skip out on the exhibition games in order to prepare themselves for the NFL Draft.
Many people can understand the players looking out for their own futures instead of risking injury in meaningless bowl games, but don’t tell that to Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald recently commented on the decisions of players like Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette, sharing his belief that every bowl game has importance.
“No disrespect to anybody that would call any bowl game ‘meaningless,’ but if you’re making that kind of statement, you never played in one and you never coached in one,” Fitzgerald told SiriusXM College Sports Nation, via Chris Vannini of CoachingSearch.com. “The opportunity to play in the postseason in Power 5 football is earned. You’ve got to go through the gauntlet of your conference schedule, you’ve got to find a way to make your team successful, and that is not easy.
“There is no such thing as a meaningless game. You’re only guaranteed X amount of games in college. Injury and everything are a major part of that. For us to be in the postseason, to be in Yankee Stadium and play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against an outstanding opponent, this is a great opportunity for our program, and I know our guys are excited about it.”
It’s a nice sentiment from Fitzgerald and a kind way about sharing his belief, but for anyone to really think the Dollar General Bowl or any of the other random bowl games have any value outside of advertising dollars for the networks and money to the universities that the players won’t get to sniff is a bit out of touch.
Let the players look out for themselves after sacrificing their bodies the past few years to make millionaires richer.
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