Are College Football Players Opting Out Of The Playoffs Because Of NFL Money?
Recent news has come out that a star Ohio State wide receiver (WR) will not play in Ohio State’s postseason play, even though Ohio State is in the College Football Playoff (CFP). It’s also being reported that the WR is hurt, so it’s not an issue of him not wanting to play. On the other hand, some reporters are skeptical and think that the WR “could” play. The counter-argument is that the player could injure himself more even if he technically “could” play. But for the purposes of this post, let’s move on.
The reality is that there’s still a lingering possibility that players will start opting out of the CFP, including players who aren’t hurt. One might not think this is a big deal, but I would contend that they haven’t thought through the implications of such a scenario. If players start opting out of the playoff, then you don’t even have the same teams as the teams in the regular season. In that case, the playoffs look more like exhibition games. And if the playoffs are exhibition games, then college football no longer has any stakes involved. One might reply that, at worst, only one or two players will opt out of the CFP (because they want to protect their NFL draft position…to not lose out on NFL money). However, many teams that win the national championship are filled with (future) NFL players. Why think there would only be one or two players who would opt out? And why think that they would even merely limit their opt-out to postseason play? If it’s all about the NFL money, then the same reasoning applies to the regular season; players could, for example, sit out their entire junior season.
I’m not sure I buy the reasoning, to begin with: I’m not sure I buy this ‘NFL money’ (NFLM) argument, which claims that a player should opt out of playing time because of future NFL money. Why not? Firstly, keep in mind that the same people espousing this argument are the same people who were advocating for NIL, so it’s weird for them to implicitly grant that there’s a huge problem with NIL already. But, if players are getting paid through NIL, it also makes the NFLM argument look rather weak because the players…