Christian McCaffrey To Skip Sun Bowl: Will This Open The Floodgates?
In a move certain to delight the folks over at the Sun Bowl (chair is thrown, various obscenities heard), Christian McCaffrey has decided to skip the game in order to "prepare for the NFL Draft."
Of course I can think of no better way to prepare for the NFL Draft than to play in a game, so what McCaffrey really means is "avoid getting injured and losing a few million bucks in the NFL Draft."
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
But there are differing opinions, such as: Is this what it's come to? Have the "lesser" bowls become like the MLB All-Star Game? You know: just mere exhibitions in which your favorite players may or may not show up?
— Christian McCaffrey (@CMccaffrey5) December 19, 2016
For the record, LSU running back Leonard Fournette has made the same decision: he won't play in the Citrus Bowl vs. Louisville Dec. 31.
Here are some reactions to McCaffrey:
Jason Cole, NFL writer for Bleacher Report and Stanford University grad:
"If this were for a national championship, I would expect McCaffrey to play and my guess is that he would play without giving it a second thought.
"But the bowl season has become something of a joke. It's all just programming for networks and, essentially, a money grab. So how can I blame a kid who has worked so hard and has such special talent from protecting his own financial future, let alone his dream of playing in the NFL?
"That's the logical side of this. The emotional side is that you want to see your school win the game, end the season on a high note and he would obviously help. In that logical vs. emotional debate, I side with logical. What McCaffrey has done for Stanford in his time there has already more than paid back any debt he owed the school. My only demand of McCaffrey at this point is that he do one thing: Graduate, if he hasn't already.
"I also think there's a way around this if the NCAA would provide serious loss-of-value (not just career-ending) insurance for a player like McCaffrey. It exists, but we're talking about a few million dollars and, again, the lost opportunity to play at the highest level. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out and if the NCAA wants these kids playing in meaningless bowl games, they should provide meaningful protection."
Keith Peters, retired sports editor of the Palo Alto Weekly who covered Stanford athletics for more than 30 years:
"There are two paths of thinking on this one. First, he has done everything he could during his three seasons for the Cardinal and deserves his reward, which is to get ready to make a ton of money. Second, he is still part of a team. Thus, he is abandoning his teammates. That is just wrong in so many ways.
"McCaffrey was hailed as the ultimate team player while hyped for the Heisman Trophy. A real team player would stay with his team. Suddenly, McCaffrey is not that player. Does he really need to get ready for the NFL Draft? Of course not. He proved that he was in great shape and every NFL team knows what he can do. He's just making sure he doesn't suffer an injury in what will be a meaningless game. Thus, he is telling his teammates that the Sun Bowl is a meaningless game for him. That's a nice message to send. What would have been his decision had the Cardinal qualified for the Rose Bowl? Or been one of the four teams competing for the national championship? Would he leave the team to prepare for the Draft?
"Doubtful. This decision shows what a great teammate Andrew Luck was. He could have turned pro early, but didn't. And, he still has been able to make the money and achieve much of the success that was expected. McCaffrey, unfortunately, becomes just another player blinded by the NFL's power and greed."
If Christian McCaffrey blew out an ACL in the Sun Bowl, he'd be out millions until the 49ers picked him in the second round.
— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) December 19, 2016
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) December 19, 2016
Calling Christian McCaffrey a quitter for skipping an exhibition game to prepare for his career is the height of just not getting it.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) December 19, 2016
— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) December 19, 2016
Want Christian McCaffrey to put his college team in front of his career potential? Pay him a share of the millions a bowl system generates.
— Jane McManus (@janesports) December 19, 2016
@CMccaffrey5 so you quit on you teammates in your last game as a collegiate. This trend is sad and undermines everyone else who plays CFB
— mikeg (@mgould_) December 19, 2016
@JenLada agent based selfish bullshit
— Froggy V (@PoolFroggy) December 19, 2016
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