Since LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Baylor’s Shock Linwood have all decided to forgo their bowl games to prepare for the NFL Draft, seemingly everyone has weighed in on whether or not it’s the right thing to do. We can now add Miami coach Mark Richt to that group.
When talking to reporters including Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald on Tuesday, Richt said that he does not agree with the decision to skip.
“I think it’s sad, personally,” Richt told the Miami Herald. “Football is the greatest team sport there is, and I think until the season is over, you should be with your team, really and truly.
“You can take out whether I want a guy to stay to help us win and all that. Football is the greatest game. It’s the greatest game because it’s a team game. Everybody is counting on each other.”
Openly, Fournette’s teammates have been behind his decision, especially given the ankle injury that he fought throughout the season to play. However, Richt openly wondered if those who are openly supportive have different opinions behind the scene.
“I bet their teammates are like, ‘I understand. I understand.’ Maybe face to face,” Richt said. “But I bet you when they lay their head on the pillow, they’re like, ‘Why is that guy doing that? We’re a team. We paid the price together.’”
He was also skeptical of the reasoning behind the decision, given that players are equally likely to get hurt early in the season as they are in the bowl game.
“Football is football. Something could happen Game 1,” Richt said. “What? Are you going to quit the team Game 1?”