Nick Saban says college football can only blame itself for the recent trend of players skipping bowl games – Business Insider

Nick SabanKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama football coach Nick Saban on Wednesday said that college
football, particularly with the creation of the four-team
playoff, has only itself to blame for the recent trend of some
top college players skipping their teams’ bowl games to avoid
injury before the NFL Draft. 

“We kind of created this trend,” Saban told
ESPN on Wednesday.
“I said as soon as we had a playoff, we
were going to minimize the importance of all the other bowl
games. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, it kind of is what it

Earlier this week, Stanford star running back
Christian McCaffrey announced
that he would not join the
Cardinal in their upcoming Hyundai Sun Bowl against North
LSU running back Leonard Fournette
, projected to be a top
pick in this year’s draft, made the same decision one week

McCaffrey and Fournette are just two of the several thousand
college football players participating in bowl games this season.
But their decision has sparked a furious debate. 

Many, including some current NFL players, have
suggested McCaffrey and Fournette were selfish to
abandon their teams before the season was fully over. Others
pointed to Dallas Cowboys rookie Jaylon Smith, who was
projected to be a first-round pick before tearing his ACL in last
year’s Rose Bowl with Notre Dame. That injury, and the subsequent
slide down the draft board, cost Brown roughly $4 million. 

Saban, meanwhile, said that he felt it would be unfair to blame
the players for leaving, suggesting that because of the
college-football playoff, most bowl games have become little more
than an exhibition game.

“I don’t know where all this is going, but I don’t think it’s
going to change,” Saban
“Is it good? Probably not. But you can’t blame the
kids. It’s a product of what we created.”

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