NCAA Football

Enchantment reduced by rejection

Enchantment reduced by rejection

Q: Why should college football fans care about bowl games when the players apparently don’t?

That’s the impression I get after looking at the long list of so-called “opt-outs,” which consist of players who decide to enter the transfer portal or declare for the NFL Draft.

Take Arkansas, for example, where a bunch of hogs had already escaped before the team loaded the buses for the trip to Memphis to face Kansas in the Liberty Bowl. Leading the list is Drew Sanders, a first-team All-American linebacker who is projected to go high in the NFL draft.

His decision to opt out and prepare for the NFL Combines is clearly understandable. But these other guys? Really?

Being from the Memphis Chamber of Commerce, I’m changing Wednesday’s Liberty Bowl promotions to “Come for our BBQ, our music and stay for the game — but only if you want to.”

Don’t get me wrong, the Liberty Bowl has long been one of my favorite postseason venues. My only claim to fame came at the 1984 Liberty Bowl while covering the Arkansas-Auburn game for the Blytheville Courier News. A big, strong runner swooped by, knocked me off my feet and left me sprawled over the side of the road. It was Bo Jackson and it was awesome.

I haven’t seen much of a backlash against players opting out, which is a far cry from 2003, like when Sean Andrews missed Arkansas’ final game against Missouri in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. Andrews cited stress and lack of sleep while battling an acute sinus infection for his decision to forgo his final game as a Razorback and prepare for the NFL draft.

If anyone deserved to be cut, it was Andrews, a consensus two-time All-American on the offensive line who went on to a professional career with the Philadelphia Eagles. But Andrews’ reasoning for bypassing the Independence Bowl was met with a lot of skepticism among fans, and even Houston Nutt, Arkansas’ coach at the time, didn’t want to talk about the situation.

“Right now, I’m just trying to give all my attention to these guys,” Nutt said, referring to the rest of the team, in a Dec. 17, 2003, article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

My like random times.

Without a doubt, the focus in college athletics has shifted from the coaches and what is best for the school program to the priorities of the athletes themselves. If a player wants to leave today, he can do so, even if he’s headed to his fourth school, like former Southern California, former Georgia and former West Virginia quarterback Jay T. Daniels, who recently announced he will play his final season in 2023 Rice Sav.

I believe that complete free will is intolerable in college athletics, especially when NO money (name, image, and likeness) is distributed equally, as NBA Hall of Famer and political activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar suggested during a speech at the University of Arkansas in 2018.

Why, for example, should a hot quarterback get paid a lot when the guys blocking him get very little or nothing? Won’t that lead to some disagreements in the locker room? You can think, but I don’t know for sure.

Still, the 6-6 Razorbacks will head to Memphis with a few pieces missing today to face 6-6 Kansas in the final game of the 2022 season. extended roles. But isn’t that what spring practice is all about?

If you have the money, especially during the holidays with mounting credit card debt, to go to Memphis, buy a ticket and attend the game, do it. I’ll raise my glass as a toast when I see you on TV in Razorback red or with a pig face. But I decided to follow what many others have done and just give up.

#Enchantment #reduced #rejection

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