Mike Gundy is full of worry and sorrow about kids skipping bowl games to prepare for the NFL draft.
“It’s become very popular now,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “I hate to see that happen, but as I’ve said before, we live in a society today where things are considerably different than they ever have been before, and (if) young people feel that there’s a better opportunity for them somewhere else, then they’re gonna make that decision to move on, and so we do the same.
“The one thing that I am concerned about is the longevity of the bowls and the fact that I would hate for it to become so popular that bowls aren’t important anymore, because I think that’s a great reward for a team.”
Gundy thinks the trend will get worse, not better. Could a player whose team made the College Football Playoff skip the postseason to protect his future?
“You could have a team that’s in a championship and a guy not play, if somebody told him, ‘You could be worth this amount of money,’ and I’m guessing that players do it if they’re concerned about their durability to stay healthy for the spring, for the draft,” Gundy said.
“Like with Justice, we protected him as much as we could early in the season, and he got hurt in the latter part of the season and I would guess that he wants to make sure that he stays healthy so he can test and run and do all the different things for the draft.”
- Georgia Tech just hired a head coach who’s skipping his old team’s bowl game.
- The remaining kids on Oklahoma State’s roster will still get their reward of playing in a bowl game.
- Playoff expansion is a far bigger threat to bowl longevity than players skipping bowl games.
- It’s okay for a coach to worry about a player’s health during the season, but not so much for that same player to worry about his health in preparation for the draft.
Coaches really can’t stand losing control over kids a second earlier than they have to.