Paul Finebaum: Tua Tagovailoa's injury will have 'chilling' effect on college football
Tua Tagovailoa’s season-ending hip injury is obviously the talk of college football following Week 12.
Everyone has an opinion on the subject from whether Tagovailoa should have even been playing up 35-7 late in the second quarter to the College Football Playoff implications.
The Alabama quarterback was projected by some to be the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft; however, those projections were dashed by the horrific hip injury. SEC Network analyst and radio host Paul Finebaum joined SportsCenter Sunday morning to explain the chilling effect Tagovailoa’s injury will have on college football.
“Well, I think it’s going to have a chilling effect on everyone,” Finebaum said. “The dominoes are going to start falling. If you’re a player and you see this tragic, heart-breaking image of Tua, you’re going to say, ‘Why am I going to go out there and sacrifice my body and my future for one or two more games against Nobody Tech when I could be making millions of dollars.’ That, to me, is the secondary part of this. Primarily for Tua, he cost himself tens of millions of dollars yesterday, I think. I talked to an NFL person last night, and he said, ‘I’m not going to take him in the top part of the first round because he just seems to be too prone to injury.’
“I think it’s going to have an effect on everything in college football moving forward.”
It’s a tough subject to tackle. In recent years, players are starting to sit out meaningless bowl games in order to avoid serious injury. Saturday’s game wasn’t really meaningless, as it was a divisional game and Alabama needs to impress the selection committee to make the College Football Playoff; however, some are questioning why he even played to begin with.
Saban explained that rationale after Saturday’s win over Mississippi State.
“Look, the way I look at this whole thing is, Tua is our No. 1 quarterback,” Saban said during his postgame press conference. “If he’s physically able to play, we want to play him. That’s what he wanted to do and that’s what our team wanted to do. If I would know … knowing something bad would happen, I certainly wouldn’t have put him in that position. But we’re a team. We’re a team that’s trying to get better in the long term and the long run. This team, if we can finish the season the way we want, then … you know, I hate it that the guy got hurt.”
Tagovailoa remains in St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, following his injury.