The college football headlines have been dominated by the news of potential first round picks Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette deciding to skip their upcoming bowl games to preserve their health. Analysts and fans alike have been split on the decision because many feel that the players should finish out the season and display their teamsmanship. The other side argues that it isn’t anybody else’s decision but the player’s to make as it only pertains to their lives moving forward. With millions of dollars on the line, it’s a sensible decision to preserve your body and draft stock by staying healthy.
“I’m pro choice. If you’re asking me would I sit my last bowl game if I’m playing my last game at Colorado, that’s a personal decision for me,” said Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I support Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette for what they’re deciding. I don’t believe that they owe it to anybody to play in these bowl games that aren’t playoff games, I really don’t.”
McCaffrey’s storied career has put him at the top of Pac-12 record books and has his draft status in the air as a first round pick due to his style of play. Fournette has also been the talk of SEC records with his incredible performances the last three years. Fournette is expected to be the first running back taken off the board in the next NFL Draft and will get a chance to contribute right away just like we’ve seen Ezekiel Elliott do this season. Much of the issue that Klatt has had with the criticism these athletes have faced stems from the NCAA’s exploitation of top talent.
“I feel like our sport has made billions upon billions of dollars on the backs of these athletes and they’re artificially held down and told that they got to be here for three years. It’s the only skillset in America that they’re absolutely hammered and told ‘you can’t make any money on your skillset until x date. I feel like it’s more of a tangible skill for football. Just on a socioeconomic scale, aren’t we attacking a very certain person by holding these athletes down three years.”