As all of the college bowl games come cascading from our TVs into our dens, I was witness to the highest degree of selfishness in all of sports.
One sportscaster pointed out that dozens of players had opted out of representing their school so as not to risk injury and jeopardize being drafted by an NFL team.
What happened to taking one for the team? Is this what college sports have come to? I thought the goal of every team was to play in a bowl.
I know it was the lesser-known bowls, with not as much on the line, that many of these scholarship players decided to become fans instead of hatting it up with their teammates.
One such player was interviewed on the sideline before his team took the field and offered, “I know me not playing is self-serving, but my teammates know I’m pulling for them and I plan on working them up on the sidelines.”
His coaches, AD and school president should be incensed. Does it not matter that school was depending on him? Does it not matter that fans had spent thousands of dollars to see him play in the bowl game?
Does it not matter that schools have an obligation to put their best team on the field? And what about bowl sponsors? They count on ticket sales to see the best players and teams.
I know my solution might be extreme, but here goes:
If a player decides to sit a bowl game out – or perhaps down the road, an NCAA basketball tournament game – without just cause, he should be required to return to the school the cost of his scholarship. This should be a part of the scholarship agreement.
Are high school seniors next to decide the chance of injury in the state playoffs could knock them out of a college scholarship?
Gary P. West