We are right in the beginning of the college football bowl season and it is a great time of the year. Teams from all over the country get to travel and play other teams that they usually do not have the opportunity to play, and the experience alone is worth it for the kids. This season is different for some big name star players, who have decided to sit out of their respective teams’ bowl games. These players are first round draft picks and have been dealing with injuries over the course of the year. These injuries have prompted them to pull out of their team's bowl games and watch from the sideline, as they do not want to risk anymore injuries in the bowl game.
Two of college football's star running backs, Stanford's Christian McCaffrey and LSU's Leonard Fournette, have said they won't play in their respective bowl games. Both of these star running backs attended last year’s Heisman trophy presentation and were the two favorites coming into the 2016 season. However, injuries have plagued both players this season and neither player was at this year’s Heisman trophy presentation. They have both known that they were going to the NFL next year, but to sit out of each of their teams bowl games is unheard of in college football.
I know neither LSU, nor Stanford had a great year this season, and they are not in the big bowl games. Neither team is in the college football playoffs this year either, but to me, that still is no excuse to skip the teams’ bowl game. I mean they are both letting down their schools, teammates, fans and coaches. I understand they do not want to risk injury in the games, but is this really the alternative? I have never heard of two stars, this good and dominate, skipping a bowl game in my lifetime. I worry now that other players will do the same thing these two have done and we will all start to hear of more stars skipping bowl games in order to stay healthy and help there NFL draft status. I think this sort of thought process is completely wrong and I am sure there are debates all over the country with people weighing on both sides of this issue.
In last season's Fiesta Bowl, Notre Dame linebacker, Jaylon Smith, tore ligaments in his knee, and as a result, he fell from a predicted top-five NFL draft pick, to the second round before the Dallas Cowboys drafted him. This cost him millions of dollars in salary, and he still hasn't played a down of professional football. I think players saw his situation and are now using his story as a guiding force to reason why they are not going to play. The decision is ultimately theirs, but it does not look good for the players and in a way they are giving up. Actually, not playing in the bowl game, could hurt the player’s draft status in next year’s draft.