When Stanford's Christian McCaffrey joined LSU's Leonard Fournette in opting not to participate in their team's bowl games this season, it unleashed a controversy. A lot of people feel it's going to destroy bowl games if this becomes a trend. Or that it's a terribly disloyal decision to bail on their teammates for selfish reasons.
And of course, those arguments are a major load of baloney mixed with a ton of naivete.
Let's talk about McCaffrey. He's skipping the Sun Bowl to protect his NFL draft future, when getting hurt in a very meaningless bowl game could cost him millions. Just ask former Notre Dame star Jaylon Smith, who tore up a knee in the 2015 Fiesta Bowl and is still paying for it during his aborted pro career.
It's a business decision for these players, just like the ones college coaches make when they abandon their teams for a new job prior to a bowl game, leaving an assistant coach to clean up their leftovers.
I whole-heartedly endorse these players sitting out the bowl games and, in fact, I'll take it a step further.
If my son happened to be a fifth-year senior playing for one of these teams heading for a meaningless bowl game -- even if he had NO NFL PROSPECTS at all -- I'd hope that he'd sit out all the practices leading up to the game and the game itself.
Enough is enough. The only reason teams choose to participate in these dud games is to get the extra practices bowl teams are allowed. It's a chance to further integrate young players into the system. I'd tell my son, go ahead and give up your spot to one of those young players.
You put in four or five years to a college football program, you've sacrificed enough study time during final exams and subjected your body to enough bumps, bruises and painkillers. Get out while you can still have the hope to walk 18 holes on a golf course or play a couple of sets of tennis.
Loyalty? Come on, by the time these kids have played three or four seasons of college football they've generated enough money for their school. They've proved their loyalty over and over.
Man, the Sun Bowl? El Paso, Texas? I've been there, seen that.
And it is really not worth anybody's blood, sweat and ACL.