Nick Saban doesn't blame players for skipping bowl games
Players such as LSU RB Leonard Fournette choosing to skip their bowl games has become a hot topic in the college football world, and now Alabama coach Nick Saban has offered his thoughts on the issue.
Saban spoke to ESPN on the matter, and said he understood it, pointing to the creation of the College Football Playoff lessening the importance of the other bowl games:
“We kind of created this trend,” Saban said 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 whether it’s good or bad, it kind of is what it is.
“I don’t know where all this is going, but I don’t think it’s going to change. Is it good? Probably not. But you can’t blame the kids. It’s a product of what we created.”
Many players see the risk of injury as too much with the NFL Draft only a few months away from the bowl game. Saban, however, said he doesn’t think injury concerns should sideline athletes:
“I don’t coach football afraid that people are going to get hurt,” he said. “Injuries are a part of the game. Injuries are a part of every sport. Tennis players get hurt. Tiger Woods got hurt. I don’t think you can live your life concerned about that when you’re an athlete and you’re trying to create value for yourself. I would tell every guy that you benefit more from going and playing really well than by not playing. If you play really well, that enhances your value.”
Other coaches thoughts can be found in the ESPN article posted here.