School Spirit

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Sanantonefan's picture

Sad but true. I would make the same decision. Fortunately, I am not talented enough to have to ponder such weighty decisions! ;)

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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BuckNut_1974's picture

I want to know when does it get to the point of the Nick Bosa scenario? Meaning if there is a player that has a 1st round draft projection after their sophomore season, when do we start to see players withdraw from school and "sit" their 3rd year? I know that isn't exactly what happened with Bosa but, he did have a 1st round projection entering his Junior season and misses all but 3 games and still was the 2nd overall pick.

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Sanantonefan's picture

It could happen as CFB gets more and more about the money. Let's face it--for the best players, CFB has become about NFL preparation--and I can't blame them.

Heck, if I was a junior in college and somebody said "if you sit out and just work out for a year you'll garner a 7-figure salary" I'd have done it in a heartbeat. In fact, I'd bet anybody who went to college would drop out if offered a 7-figure salary in a legal/legit occupation. I know it sucks for the team, but being able to take care of yourself and your family for a lifetime is would be hard to resist.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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Buckloving's picture

That's the problem with being an adult. You have to make adult decisions

bobbyd

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

It's still a gamble. That 7-figure salary isn't guaranteed. You can get injured, traded, or cut. Most players don't last more than 4 years.  Then what? You aren't taking care of your family for a lifetime when that happens.

I'm not arguing that the player should stay in school, or play in the Poulan Weedeater Carquest.com Magnolia Bowl on Dec 17th. Or that every player should stay through their senior season. Some shouldn't. But the people advising these athletes need to be honest with them. Yes, they could make millions. But, they might only make that much for 3-4 years. You need to have an exit plan before you ever get started.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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OfficerRabbit's picture

That would be a great question for Trevor Lawrence... what does he have to gain by playing another season? He balled out and won a Natty as a true freshman... he literally can't raise his stock any higher unless he has a statistically better season and wins another national championship.. and lets face it, the odds don't favor him in that scenario. The prudent move would be to sit out, but he's not draft eligible for another TWO seasons. 

 

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I don't honestly see that happening.  I don't believe the players would want to miss an entire season of games.  One bowl game that is basically a glorified exhibition (not playoffs or Rose-level prestige) - sure.  And the vast majority of these players aren't even sitting those out.  

Class of 2010.

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OleTimbo's picture

Zero commits today? I'm so used to seeing "Boom" on the top that almost 24 hours feels like a lifetime.

At least we're not from Detroit...

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Keze's picture

But if they do play and we lose we use the old excuse that they played but not all out casue of not wanting to get hurt and lose millions.

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acBuckeye's picture

Not going all out is a great way to get hurt.

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Lighteyes's picture

It's also a great way to look awful on film and start scouts wondering if you're secretly overrated - well, Okudah was great in the regular season, but the best receiver he played all year was Shenault in the Rose Bowl who ran all over the field...should we be concerned whether he can actually keep up with true NFL talent?

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IGotAWoody's picture

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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ChicagoBuckeye10's picture

It's a business decision. Nobody sits out a Rose Bowl caliber, or playoff/championship game.

So for season-end games that aren't any of the above, I do my best (key phrase there) to: 1) appreciate the star players that decide to give it one more go, and 2) respect the star players that decide to sit out.

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BuckeyeBen7.7's picture

There’s so many arguments to each side.

“They owe it to the college and team that trained them and gave them a scholarship for the last 3+ years.”

“They should sit out to protect themselves.”

“They’re quitting on their team.”

”There is no gain from them playing”

As a fan, it’s disappointing, but I get it. I think that anyone who isn’t a surefire round 1 pick shouldn’t do it because they need the opportunity to prove themselves and boost their draft stock, but that’s up to them. As long as they’re not sitting out meaningful games, you won’t hear many complaints from me. Now if guys start sitting out regular season games or playoff games, that’s a whole nother story...

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BrutusB's picture

I have no problem with guys skipping bowl games: you've got to what's best for you.  My only complaint about Roby was that he practiced leading up to the game - at least let the coaches and your teammates know early so someone else can get ready in time.

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FairfaxBuckeye's picture

FWIW...While it is true that Roby practiced, it was, per this report by Ari Wasserman on January 4, 2014, "off to the side with a sleeve over his knee". And, Urban announced two days before the game that Roby was not playing.

It seems that with time some things have been forgotten.

Roby was originally supposed to talk to the media early in the week, but he was held out as he continued to rehab. During Ohio State's open Orange Bowl practices, Roby was seen working off to the side with a sleeve over his knee. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said two days before the game that Roby wasn't healthy enough to play

https://www.cleveland.com/osu/2014/01/think_bradley_roby.html

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Buckloving's picture

They only have selective memory when it helps their argument

bobbyd

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

Do I like seeing some of our best players (some of them of the all-time variety) sit out for any game, whether it's a "meaningless" bowl game, or otherwise? Of course not.

Do I understand why they do it? I absolutely do.

When you see Jaylon Smith, or Jake Butt and how badly those injuries derail their original plans to a bountiful NFL career, you can't help but understand why players like Denzel Ward make their decision to pull themselves from the post-season when the national championship isn't on the agenda.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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irishfury's picture

Its not my millions of dollars Im putting on the line so I have no right to say what is right or wrong for any player.

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IGotAWoody's picture

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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Bucknut8101's picture

Does the amount of star players sitting out of bowl games eventually drive a larger playoff field discussion? If they are playing for a championship, they won't sit out. I personally would like to see most bowl games eliminated and the playoff expanded. If you don't make the playoff, no bowl game. People are less likely to buy tickets for a second rate bowl game if none of the big named players are going to be participating in it. I know bowl games are big money due to advertisement and attendance but at what cost? I recommend cutting out some of the non-conference games and extending the playoff, who's with me?

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analyticalguy's picture

Good question. But ultimately, expanding the playoffs to create more "meaningful" post-season games does nothing to change the fact that, for the very top college players, ALL college games are exhibition games, useful only so long as they provide an opportunity for future pros to enhance their draft stock with potential employers.

What is "meaningful" to us fans may also have some meaning to the players, but perhaps not to the extent that players will jeopardize their future pro careers.

How much a prospective draftee feels he needs to show pro team GMs will be up to him.

Take the the case of Trevor Lawrence. What if he has an even better second season than his first, winning the Heisman, and perhaps a second national championship. What more would he have to play for at the college level that should cause him to risk injury (playing for no money) and compromise his draft status. Why not sit out his entire third year and hire a personal trainer an private QB coach to prepare him for the draft? To me that would be a smart move. Will that happen? Maybe not with Lawrence, but it will with someone, and not in the distant future. And once it does, we'll see other similar decisions.

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Buckfrombirth's picture

Really well put. Personally, I'd like to see Lawrence and Clemson's D sit out the entire season. Maybe throw Tua in the mix too, if I'm allowed to be selfish.

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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BrutusB's picture

I don't think it has any impact to be honest with you.  While a few guys might sit out, 99% of CFB players are still playing.  Fans and alumni are still going to watch their favorite team.  Do you know a single OSU fan that said "Oh Nick Bosa isn't playing, I'll just tune in next year"?

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MoEddieRobtCarlosBeanie's picture

I don't think it would affect television ratings amongst die-hard fans, but I do think it could affect gate/ticket sales. Even the die-hards might be reluctant to travel to say El Paso if the best players in the game are sitting out for both teams.  I also think TV viewership could take a substantial hit because most bowl games are televised nationally and I think a decent percentage of viewers are just your average Joe trying to watch a little college football at the end of the year. I, for example, could see myself tuning in to a say Florida vs. Michigan bowl game, only to find out that a few of the best players are sitting out. At that point, I might decide that it's more important that I turn off the TV and spend some time with my family instead. I do think, on a national level, viewers are more interested in seeing certain players perform as opposed to just two random teams.

I don't think this is a big problem yet, but the way this is trending, it could really make bowl games, outside of the big ones, a lot less interesting.

I like the idea of the schools themselves paying for a substantial insurance policy for any player that is somehow confirmed to be a likely 1st or 2nd round draft pick. 

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WestSideTower'79's picture

I don't know if you've checked in on the attendance at bowl games in El Paso or similar garden spots lately, but the best descriptor would be "sparse". Outside of the Big 4 plus maybe the Cotton and the Citrus, gates above 50K are few and far between. Money flows through corporate sponsors and TV rights, most of those being multi-year contracts and, thus unaffected by annual variances such as teams and players. 

North until you smell it, west until you step in it

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MoEddieRobtCarlosBeanie's picture

It seems like you have done your research, so I am inclined to agree with most of what you are saying. However, I think a surface level rebuttal would be that if top players sitting out is becoming a growing trend, I would have to think that tv ratings would eventually decline to a point where renewal of those contracts could be a challenge at the same rate. Purely anecdotal, but I feel like I personally skipped at least one or two bowl games last year because the top NFL talent was electing to sit out. Maybe I am the anomaly and viewership will remain relatively consistent and in 5 or 10 years when it comes time to renew contracts, my theory would prove to be wrong. I am far too lazy to look up bowl game ratings year by year to try to parse out the data and figure out if there has been a noticeable drop, but I have to think that if those ratings are declining, the networks and sponsors will not leverage that into more favorable contracts when the time comes to renew.

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Lighteyes's picture

Yeah, the thing to remember is that this only affects like, 300 guys at most in a year. And probably less than that, to be honest - if you're a late rounder, there's probably more to gain from playing in a bowl game against a quality opponent and showing your stuff than there is to skipping it. The risk of injury is real, yes, but if playing Michigan in the First Responder Bowl* helps a fifth-round prospect get another look that he otherwise wouldn't have, that can be a real benefit.

*Did I look up the B1G bowl lineup to figure out what the worst B1G associated bowl is, solely to slam on Michigan? You know I did!

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ibuck's picture

Does a First Responder Bowl help fill in the stands by giving away tickets to First Responders?

And Boy Scouts? etc

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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Sanantonefan's picture

I am for an extended playoff that incorporates the bowls. The reason I say that is, bowl games ae often cash cows for communities and have a lot of history. You'd have a hard time getting CFB to eliminate them. By incorporating playoff games into the bowls, maybe some bowl game that never gets to see the Buckeyes will get them there in an early round of the playoffs. (like the Alamo Bowl, hint, hint)

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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Buckeye Chuck's picture

I'm not sure how many of them are cash cows at this point, but I think the more important issues are 1) even the ones that are making money aren't making that money for the NCAA; and 2) it's not feasible to have a weeks-long playoff at neutral sites alone, so there's not much point to incorporating the minor bowls, most of which don't have a history anyone cares about.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

If the playoffs get expanded I would guess that the early playoff games would be home games for the highest seed to ensure solid attendance and TV audience. 

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allinosu's picture

We will see in 6 years, but they won't want to lose the bigger money of a nonconference game across the whole board.

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BrutusB's picture

On a related note, I have to say public/fan opinion has shifted a ton towards the players in doing this (probably from seeing the injuries mentioned above).  I was on 11W the night that Ward sat out and it was definitely not this site's finest hour.

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HowSheGoneEat's picture

I kind of like seeing star players sit out meaningless bowl games for one reason- odds are they were a total star and dominated playing time. Its cool to see the young guys behind them go up against serious competition and get me excited for the next season

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rkylet83's picture

I actually think Roby would have been torched by Watkins and Bryant.  As talented as he was, he would often get beat and badly. Jared Abbrederis absolutely humiliated him in 2013, and he wasn’t nearly the receiver Watkins was. 

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

Watkins ran tunnel screens the entire game. He got a lot of yards after the catch.

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Steelydan54's picture

College ball is becoming more and more "Professionalized" in subtle and not so subtle ways. Sitting out bowl games, transfer portal, etc....  don't like it but too much $$ at stake to avoid it 

Steelybuck54

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Tulsinator's picture

The fact that our football team has a handful of guys who may be facing a decision like this every year is a good thing. This means we are recruiting and developing productive players. A large part of the message Urban & Co gave recruits was that they would prepare them for the next walk of life meaning the NFL and via "real life Wednesdays." Part of the pitch is to put these guys in the best possible position to succeed at the next level. I am guessing that message hasn't changed much with Day at the helm.

Of course we would love to see all our guys out there, but the risk for guys like Denzel Ward outweighs the reward for winning the Cottonbowl in a non playoff year. Can't blame them for thinking of their big picture.

UNDISPUTED

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JTFor President2016's picture

Unless it happens in the CFP, I'll never be bothered by it. I thought it was really fun watching Okudah get thrown into the mix vs. USC. It made me sick what happened to Jaylon Smith. These kids give so much to the school, and the fans. The NFL has a horrid pay system compared to other professional sports, so get yours while you can. 

Also, I can still faintly hear my dad shouting "Get closer to the damn LOS!!", every single play. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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NorthBerg's picture

I am old school. Boola boola and "win one for the Gipper!" I wish that big time college football recruiting did not contain the phrase " NFL pipeline".  Alas and alack, the young men need to get paid.

Too much time spent at the North Heidelberg rather than the classroom. SSD 68-72

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ibuck's picture

Alas and alack, the young men need to get paid.

Since 99% of college football players don't even get a pro tryout, and are unlikely to ever earn as much as $500/game, one could argue that they are getting paid—grossly overpaid—with their scholarships, tutors, room and board, snacks/meals, trainers, nutritionists, game tickets, etc.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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Trebor40's picture

Not just the optics, I firmly believe any player wants to be in a national championship game and the chance to do so will outweigh many risks. It is the nature of those at the level we speak of to be competitors - not to mention those who dream of becoming immortal in the annals of their school, teammates and yes fan base which has a serious financial benefit POST graduation! 

Yet that we have so many players that could be concerned about this is an incredible feat the likes of which only four or five other schools truly have as a roster

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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CowCat's picture

Maybe I'm old-school, but I don't believe in the sitting out trend. If you're on scholarship, you should be expected to play in all games, including bowl games, as long as you're capable.

The "potential money" argument doesn't really apply to a bowl game any more than it applies to playing Rutgers or TTUN. It's a violent game where one can get injured in any game. Players shouldn't be able to pick and choose which games they'll play in if they're getting a free ride.

I do have respect for Nick Bosa, though, in that he dropped out of his scholarship to train for the NFL. That's fair. 

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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acBuckeye's picture

I try to have an open mind as I get older. If it's a playoff game, I highly doubt anyone is sitting that out. They know their teammates need them, and it would be a bad look to NFL scouts if they sat out. Beyond that, it's really just a case-by-case issue. A sure 1st round pick, I totally get it if it's a non-playoff bowl game. I'll appreciate what that player did, and support their decision to sit out. Plus it will give other guys the chance for important game reps which will pay off the next season. Now if they are completely healthy, and aren't projected in the top 3 rounds, It doesn't make much sense in my mind to sit out.

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cemitchell20's picture

After seeing that Jaylon Smith injury, I completely understand why these kids would sit out right before they begin their professional careers. I also feel sympathy. That's not an easy choice to make, and you know every single one of those players would be out there if they knew they wouldn't get injured. It has to be so hard to hang it up and walk away when it's still right in front of you. Shit can happen on the simplest of plays, as we saw with Boss this year.

Go Bucks

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Dillon G's picture

Remember what Jerry Glanville said to that NFL official? Not For Long. I can’t blame them. You never know. Bo Jackson any one?

Basil Hayden’s is today’s drink.

#walkaway

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Hovenaut's picture

I'll celebrate those student-athletes who'll risk lucrative pro money in order to finish what they've started, and respect those who don't.

Who am I to criticize?

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

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High Street Street Fighter's picture

I want to see when the first player skips a Playoff game:

  •  Playoff games are cool and all, but they don't pay the bills.
  •  Assume you're Denzel Ward (a sure bet in the Top 10 picks) at the end of the year: it's a no brainer to skip a mid-tier bowl, but IN HIS POSITION what's the big difference between that bowl and a Playoff game?
  • Blow-out your knee in a Playoff costs you as much money in the Draft as a mid-tier bowl game....right?
  • A NC ring is cool - but most players would value it less than the +$10 million dollar difference between the Top 5 pick and a Round 5 pick. 
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Yobuck's picture

It's a simple business decision (and not a hard one)..if you are not in the playoffs it's a no brainer...if we start seeing kids sit out of the playoffs then college football the "business" has a problem to address.. time will tell but the mighty $ usually wins out

cheers

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Everyone has choices to make. If you're a lock top 4 pick maybe you sit. Maybe not because that's not you. Maybe a late second through 4th round is where you have to play. Not enough proven previously.

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TURD_BUCKET's picture

I get both sides of the argument.  That said, there have not been all that many players over the last 30+ years that have lost money because they got injured in a bowl game. 

The debate used to be stay or go pro after their 3rd year.  Players leaving after their 3rd year has increased significantly over the last 25+ years, so player sitting out bowl games will likely increase as well.

It is the players' decision at the end of the day.  Some will sit out and some won't, but the trend has started and the number of players sitting out will only increase.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

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earthpig's picture

I think it depends upon every player's individual situation.  If they have secured a high draft number- why play in the Minute Maid Apple Juice Bowl?  If you don't have the reps, or need to add to your resume-then you play.  As much as I whine about t-it is what it is..  For some of these guys there is too much money at risk.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a guy even skip the playoffs if he was projected #1..  I think we'll see that within the next few years.

Pigskins & Porkrinds

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TShell's picture

I get it, but I don't have to like it. I want to watch the guys I've been cheering on for 3 or 4 years have one last glorious victory lap on the field. But, I totally understand why they do it, and I can't say that I wouldn't make the same decision if given the chance.

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brutus0717's picture

I completely understand if they want to sit out from the business side of things. I also understand how hard it would be for them to sit out. But the funny thing to me is today's "remember Jaylon Smith and Jake Butt" is yesterday's "we all know how important a 3rd string QB can be". The chance for injury in that one specific game is pretty slim, the same as your 3rd string QB taking you on a run to the CFPCG. Again, I completely understand if they want to sit, and will support whatever decision they make in the future, but it's just not that likely that a player would get hurt.

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

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Blockandtackle's picture

Karan Higdon makes me giggle. 

A joy which death alone can still.

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I'm not going to mind players sitting out for the bowl games that mean diddly poo. 

Nobody is going to sit out the CFP.  I would say the same for NY6 but Ward and that trio of Team Up Northers mentioned in this article have done so over the past couple of seasons.  Even the NY6 bowls are basically glorified exhibitions, just with more buzz and better teams playing in them.  

Every player has to consider their situation.  If you're a definite day 1 or even day 2 pick...yeah, sitting out might be a wise move, as you stand to lose a lot more than you could ever gain in that one game.  If you're someone like Higdon, though (day 3 pick to possibly not being picked at all)...I think he fucked up by not playing in that game.  Maybe the outcome would have been the same and he wouldn't have done much...but what if he had gone off for 200+ yards and the momentum of that game was completely different?  He had more to gain. 

Then, there's other situations - like the Rose Bowl was Urban's last game as coach.  Who was going to sit that one out?  I don't think anybody wanted to be THAT guy.  Or even the previous time OSU was in the Rose Bowl - 2009 - where OSU had lost 3 straight BCS bowls + the USC losses.  Guys weren't doing this back then, but even if they were - would they want to skip out and possibly contribute to OSU taking another big stage L, or would they want to be part of trying to help their program get the monkey off their backs?

Class of 2010.

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Uncle G's picture

I agree with many of the comments that we need to be careful about criticizing these players for their decisions.
There is so much more to life then money.
If I had the ability to play for The Ohio State Buckeyes, I trust that I would play for the love of the game, and to honor my University and my Maker. Upon graduating, I would hope that I had the health, ability, and opportunity to play professionally and earn a paycheck.
My current career demands that I be physically fit; if I get injured, I'll need a new one, but I don't live in fear...
Just my thoughts.

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