Why do college football players opt out of bowl games?

Why do college football players opt out of bowl games

Why do college football players opt out of bowl games? College football players opt out of bowl games to prevent injuries and prepare themselves for the next year’s NFL draft. Additionally, the bowl system is obsolete, the prestige has diminished, and the games aren’t exciting anymore.

To prepare for next year’s NFL draft:

College football players are opting out at the end of this season to prepare for next year’s NFL draft.

It makes sense from a logical perspective, however, it feels un-sportsman-like and kind of sad. No longer can you watch your favorite player compete in the final game of his collegiate career because he is protecting himself from injury and preparing for something else.

College football has always been great because it’s a stepping stone in athletes’ careers where they get to play hard, compete every day, and win trophies that help them have memories for their future.

Now many college football players just want to make sure they’re healthy enough to continue their careers in the right way and try to have long careers at the next level.

Don’t want to sustain any injuries:

College football players don’t want to sustain any injuries that will affect their draft stock or ability to play next season.

Times have changed, and the NCAA has been forced to change with them. The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) used to be a simple system of winners and losers. It was a ranking.

The winner of the National Championship game would get the opportunity to face an opponent for the title, and if you lost, you were out of luck until the next season.

These games are glorified exhibitions:

Bowl games are non-competitive exhibitions, which means they do not count as an official part of the season and will not affect schools’ rankings. They are played in locations far from their respective schools and often have meaningless tie-ins with local associations.

For example, the Mountain West Conference championship game between Boise State and San Diego State (which is normally held at a neutral site) was moved to Honolulu for the 2019 season due to the lack of available venues in California because of wildfires.

For players that only have one more year of eligibility left before graduating, opting out of these exhibition games frees them up for better opportunities during training camps that could increase their chances of being drafted by an NFL team.

Bowl games aren’t exciting anymore:

The bowl system used to be a lot more fun when it was smaller and games were given more interesting names. In the early 1900s, many bowl games were played to raise funds for charities.

The Rose Bowl, which began in 1902, was called the “Tournament East-West Football Game” and saw Stanford University play against the University of Michigan at Tournament Park in Pasadena, California. The game would later be renamed “Rose Bowl,” after the city in which it is played.

In 1946, there were only eight bowl games; by 2000 that number had risen to 28. Now there are 39—and with so many teams vying for spots in these matches, many fans are starting to complain that too few teams make it into a true championship game at the end of each year.

Bowl games have a very long history:

Many bowl games have existed for decades. The first bowl game was the 1902 Tournament of Roses football game held on January 1, 1902, in Pasadena, California, which led to the creation of the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game.

So it’s understandable that some players might feel a little bit of pressure to play in a bowl game. But there are over 40 bowl games each year and many players opt out of playing in them for multiple reasons.

The obvious reason a player would opt out is that they’re injured and don’t want to risk further injury ahead of their professional career.

The prestige has diminished:

The prestige of going to a bowl game has diminished over the years, too. There was once a time when only the best teams got invited; now, with more than 40 bowls per season, every team that manages to finish above 500 is guaranteed an invitation.

The postseason has become a dumping ground for mediocre teams who need one extra contest to reach the six wins necessary to be eligible for a bowl.

This glut of games means there’s less incentive for players to participate in them, especially if they have their sights set on making it big in the NFL.

The bowl system is obsolete:

There are obvious reasons why players want no part of these bowl games. In the past, bowl games were a privilege. They used to mean something.

They meant you had a chance at winning a national championship. You got exposure in front of NFL scouts with eyes on you for draft purposes. To have your team’s name called on New Year’s Day was special because it meant you had one game left to win a title.

But that is so far from the truth now, as we all know by now, but here is what we don’t often acknowledge: Bowl games are dead.

They are irrelevant and meaningless; they offer nothing to football players beyond an extra paycheck, which is fine if you need that money or your family needs it.

But let’s not pretend these guys sacrifice anything by skipping these games because the reality is the system has already sacrificed them when it created this silly playoff system back in 2014 that has rendered the other 40-something bowl games obsolete and forgotten all at once.

How can college football players opt out of bowl games?

If you decide not to play in a postseason bowl game, you don’t have to play. There isn’t any rule that you have to play if your team makes it. On the flip side, however, players who opt out aren’t paid for their participation and forego the usual gifts they’d receive from their respective bowls.

If you want to opt out of playing in a bowl game, here’s what you need to do:

  • Tell your coach and your coach’s boss (like the athletic director) that you’re opting out. You can tell them in person or through email/text/phone call.
  • Give them a reason why (e.g., “I want to focus on my academic work”). You don’t have to be super specific about your reasoning. The most common reasons are injury recovery and preparation for the NFL Draft Combine.

That’s it—you’ve opted out! Just remember that this decision is final once made, so make sure it’s what truly want before making such an announcement (you don’t want any regrets down the line).

Is it helpful?

It may also be helpful for players considering opting out of their team’s postseason bowl game with some big life changes on deck.

A transfer request with one week left before kickoff would almost certainly be denied by coaches reluctant about losing another body at an already-short position group during crunch time toward getting ready for a bowl appearance.

Is it popular?

In recent years, the number of players opting out of bowl games has trended upwards. The main reason for this is an injury risk, and there’s a lot to consider on that front.

The most common position for an opt-out player is defensive lineman, which means that many highly-paid first-round draft picks are choosing to sit out their college team’s postseason matchups.

When you also consider the fact that over half of all college football teams participate in bowl games each year, it becomes clear that this is a widespread issue.

However, it’s important to note that many players choose not to opt out even though they could still be at risk for injury while competing in a meaningless game just weeks before they will be drafted into the NFL.

That said, there are plenty of compelling reasons why they would choose such a risky proposition: pride, tradition, love of the game and their teammates, etc.

Is it worth it?

The pros and cons of playing in a bowl game are so close that it comes down to which side of the equation matters more to the player.

If avoiding injury is your priority, then you’ll need to weigh the benefit of playing one more game against the increased chance that you’ll hurt yourself. But if you play football because you love the sport, there’s a lot at stake in this last contest.

The game will serve as an audition for pro scouts—they can add your performance to their evaluation, or they can only consider stats from before you got injured.

And for players who’ve already suffered injuries and sat out games during the season, this final opportunity presents a chance to prove that they’re still ready for primetime.

In such cases, it’s up to each athlete and their family to decide whether or not playing in another college contest is worth risking bodily harm.

Do players love it?

There is no doubt in my mind that players love playing in bowl games. They are a special opportunity for college athletes to play one more game with their teammates and soak up the atmosphere of an event that is really unique when compared to other athletic competitions.

The bowl games each have a theme, something different about them that makes them unique, and sometimes it can be hard for players to not want to participate in something like that.

Football players love playing football and they love competing against other teams. Bowl games provide just another opportunity to do both of those things together so it is easy to see why they would want to play in this game as much as possible.

On top of that, playing in these bowl games can also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some players who may never get drafted professionally or even have another chance at football after college ends.

The biggest reason why many college athletes don’t go pro is that they don’t think they will ever find success as an athlete after their career ends; if this is true then it would make sense why some may want one more chance at glory before their lives take them away from what was once their dream job (or dream life).

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