“You’re going to see a lot of kids skipping.”

I know it’s stating the obvious, but the trend of student-athletes missing bowl games to get an early stat on draft preparation is not as much to do with a kid being there for his teammates as it is about control and money.

With regard to the former, that’s why there’s nothing more amusing than listening to coaches mourn about lack of commitment by selfish players while at the same time… well, you know.

If there is one thing coaches cannot do without, it’s control — specifically roster control. It’s why we witnessed so much consternation in the transfer reform process. It was the coaches who came up with the term “free agency” when transfer reform amounted to something significantly less.

No one, then, should be surprised when the players in this instance are looking out for themselves.

“Will it impact [bowls] in this age when people are looking for a reason not to go instead of go? Yep,” Waters said. “But at the end of the day, the bowls have been impacted by coaches leaving for years. If we talk about leadership and leading by example, what’s the example when a coach leaves his team? What’s the difference when the kids leave? It’s kind of hard to throw rocks at kids when the people we trust to lead them are doing the same thing.”

You mean like this?

As far as money goes, if college football wants its players to stay instead of prepping for a pro career, there’s an obvious solution — pay ’em to stay.  Now, granted, the math probably doesn’t add up to do that for some minor bowl game, but what happens when the coaching stakes are bigger?  Probably some version of this.

Next trend?

Skipping a playoff game.

Scenario: A Clemson (or Alabama or Oklahoma or Notre Dame) draft-eligible player with NFL dreams has lost his starting job to a younger player and prefers NFL prep drills to lots of practices and two games worth of injury risk.

This is not “if” but “when,” and college coaches losing their usual precious leverage know it.

Critical mass comes when the first healthy star on a College Football Playoff team waves goodbye to campus and hello to an agent’s signing bonus.

That’s when the NCAA starts allowing significant “extra” payments to playoff-bound football players.

Money talks and it’s not like schools in the playoff can’t afford it.  The fun part will be listening to how they rationalize making the payments.

24 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

24 responses to ““You’re going to see a lot of kids skipping.”

  1. sniffer

    This fan thinking about his long-term interest in college football comes to the conclusion that he has about five good years left. I’ll carry the Dawgs with me all my days but, I have limits and I can see them from here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think if a kid is not injured and he decides to sit out then okay- really move on by packing up your stuff and go hire someone to help you get ready for the NFL. The team/coach/fans don’t need to vilify him as he made an adult decision but if I was the coach , he’d really be gone and away from the team.

    During the Arizona State game yesterday, they kept showing the WR that sat out on the sidelines in street clothes smiling and waving to people in the stands. Kid looked like he didn’t have a care in the world while his team was struggling on offense. Then, the QB goes down with what looked like a significant injury and ABC shows the qb’s mom in the stands practically in tears with worry. Meanwhile, the WR was still waving and I think flirting with some girl in the stands.

    It was bizarre.

    Like

    • CB

      They probably don’t dismiss them for recruiting reasons. Wouldn’t want to burn bridges with a potential future NFL Star with a powerful twitter account that he could use to influence future 5 stars.

      Like

    • gastr1

      I agree with you here. I support players doing what they need to for draft prep when it applies, but if they leave, they should really leave, yeah.

      Like

  3. junkyardawg41

    I don’t think players skipping bowls or the playoffs will ever be the straw on the camels back to pay players. In fact, coaches may moan about players leaving, but the reality is that if you know a player is leaving and doesn’t want to play, it gives you 17 practices to evaluate and get tape on the guys potential replacement. I see this as a win for both the player and the program. Having said that, my scenario makes sense logically —- and if there is anything we know about college football coaches, its more “emotional and control” than anything else. (Read — I’m 40, I’m a man!)

    Like

  4. Nashville West

    Despite all of its coaches leaving Utah State destroyed North Texas 52-13. Coaches are overrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Russ

    Move recruiting back to Feb or March and coaches may not feel as much pressure to head to their new team to close out recruiting.

    But yeah, coaches are going to follow the money. That is what the players are trying to do when deciding whether or not to skip a bowl.

    Like

  6. CB

    We’ve already seen Nick Bosa and Jadeveon Clowney basically sit out their last season. Players skipping a playoff game shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Then again I think it’ll be a little tougher to reach that conclusion of you are a legitimate competitor. They’re probably going to have to get pretty pissed at the coach about something.

    As an outspoken advocate for player compensation I’m not going to be able to complain if D’Andre Swift sits out the playoff next season am I?

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Spurrier set himself up for that by excusing Clowney from selected drills, practices, or workouts his senior year. Once you allow certain players to dictate the terms of their staying things tend to spiral out of control. I knew he would be staying long after that.

      Like

      • CB

        Spurrier had no leverage either way nor does any coach with a projected first round pick with no contractual obligation or financial incentive to risk their bodies.

        Like

  7. Macallanlover

    Development leagues cannot arrive soon enough for me to rid CFB of this behavior. Would prefer competitive, Boise level football without all the drama queens beating their chests and deserting their teams during the playoffs/bowls…or even their last season. It would be the most Georgia thing ever to get a top rated team headed for a playoff with high odds of winning and then have 2-3 Swift and Fromm level players decide to go to Arizona to train for the combine. “Hold on Elizabeth! I’m coming!”

    Like

    • CB

      “Boise level football”

      Boise has NFL players too, hell, even D-II teams do to some extent, but yeah, let’s definitely make sure we never get another Todd Gurley or Matthew Stafford in Athens again. It’s not like Georgia fans continue to follow these player’s’ careers into the NFL or anything. The buck stops in Athens. We don’t even know what team AJ Green and Nick Chubb play for now. I’d love nothing more than to see Georgia send it’s best players straight into insurance sales or a position as a shitty SEC Network analyst. That’s definitely something we could hang our hat on. I look forward to implementing this new era so we can have all the tradition of the NAIA.

      God forbid these athletes get paid for hard work. Y’all act like they’d be getting paid with your money.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Macallanlover

        You act like you are capable of reading and digesting information, but your response shows you aren’t. Don’t assume you have any level of understanding my position, you don’t. And I could care less, spew your BS all you want, has no relevance to my point.

        Like

    • stoopnagle

      “Drama queens” otherwise known as responsible adults.

      Player can get market wages or a fixed income. I know what I would choose. I don’t see that as drama so much as rational choice in the most classic sense.

      Like

  8. Go Dawgs!

    If a kid has so little commitment to his team and teammates that he’d be willing to skip a national title playoff game, then what’s to stop him from just quitting after a 200 yard receiving game in Week 8? As soon as he feels like he’s got enough tape, shut it down. There’s literally no reason not to. If the NFL doesn’t think less of you for not wanting to play a bowl or a championship game for love of the game and love of your teammates, why would they think less of you for not wanting to play in the West Virginia-Iowa State game?

    I don’t think that there will ever be such a large number of players quitting in the playoffs or in the regular season to make leadership change its thinking on player compensation. I could be wrong, I guess, but I think that change is going to have to come from some other form of external pressure. And, I also hope it does come. I have zero issue with players skipping their bowl games or even their playoff games to preserve their ability to get paid. It would really bother me if a Georgia guy did it, but I would also fully understand.

    Like

  9. Tony Barnfart

    I live in Memphis, and there are tons of nitwits here who are ‘get-off-my-lawn-kids-these-days’ ing all over town because the star running back, who finished 2nd in the Doak Walker running, is skipping the Birmingham Bowl.

    The.Freaking.Birmingham.Bowl……..nevermind that he also has like zero lineman coming back and a new offensive coordinator.

    Like

  10. Atticus

    Senator this is a poor comparison. If a coach decides to stay out of loyalty, he just lost a job (usually a much better and higher paying job). If a kid like Bosa or Greedy Williams decides to play a game out of loyalty to his teammates, what does he lose? A chance to play one more game.

    People defend this by saying he is looking after his best interest or doesn’t want to risk an injury, that is absolute BS. List for me all the players that played their bowl game that were injured and it hurt their draft status or careers? It is less than 1%.

    I don’t have a problem with a kid skipping a bowl game, that is his right. I think its short sighted and foolish but so be it. But to compare it to a coach foregoing a huge increase in income is just not a valid comparison.

    Like

  11. Atticus

    From 2001 to 2014 GT won 1 game. Its on that pace now. It will be at least 3 years before they can even compete. The way UGA is recruiting it will be longer than that.

    Like

    • stoopnagle

      Atticus is here getting us back to what’s real and important: tech’s futility. Thanks, man!

      Like

      • Atticus

        LOL. I mistakenly posted on this page as I was toggling between the other 🙂 But yes this is much more important than whether a kid or coach stays.

        Like

  12. Let em go and follow the $$$$$. That is what it is all about. until a bag man can hand him more money, skip the game

    Like