Sports editor's mailbox: Injuries prove sitting out bowl games is smart business decision

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Alabama receiver Jameson Williams holds his knee after suffering an injury during the national title game.
Alabama receiver Jameson Williams holds his knee after suffering an injury during the national title game.

Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at bwhite1@dispatch.com.

On players opting out of bowl games

To the Editor: I have grown really sick and tired of people who criticize athletes for sitting out of bowl games. It is a business decision. That’s all plain and simple, but one that could have profound effects on their lives.

Jameson Williams of Alabama probably lost a multimillion-dollar bet by playing in that game and tearing his ACL. Ask Jaylon Smith, the linebacker for Notre Dame, or Jake Butt, the tight end for Michigan, how much money they lost, and then also ask how many fans sent them money after they tore ACLs in bowl games for the amusement of fans. They made decisions that cost them potentially generational wealth.

Don’t even start down the “they get an education “ crap. That is peanuts compared to the potential earnings they forfeited so that some Maize and Blue, Crimson Tide or Scarlet and Gray fan can be entertained on Saturday afternoon.

College football is a big business. Ohio State football generates over $90 million every year. The six major bowl games scratched up $550 million in 2018. Coaches who make the final four get bonuses up to a quarter of a million dollars, and even losing coaches in large programs make millions of dollars a year. So maybe start paying these kids what they deserve and maybe they will stick around, and quit whining because you think these kids don’t bleed Scarlet and Gray.

Jimmy Ryan, Canal Winchester

To Jimmy: Smith and Butt are great examples of why players choose to sit out bowl games. The Williams case is a bit different, though, as his team was playing for a national title. Players aren't choosing to sit out playoff games, and if one did it would send a bad signal to NFL scouts.

Ohio State Buckeyes forward Justin Ahrens (10) hits a three pointer over Towson Tigers guard Nicolas Timberlake (25) during the second half of the NCAA men's basketball game at Value City Arena in Columbus on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021.
Ohio State Buckeyes forward Justin Ahrens (10) hits a three pointer over Towson Tigers guard Nicolas Timberlake (25) during the second half of the NCAA men's basketball game at Value City Arena in Columbus on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021.

On Ohio State basketball

To Brian: All too often, the OSU basketball offense looks like a group of guys who have never practiced together and have no set plays. They just pass it around a while before someone tosses up a long shot. I enjoy watching five players and a ball moving as one to the basket; but rarely see that with the Buckeyes.

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

To Dennis: For sure, this is not an old-school Ohio State team. It is one that depends on outside shooting and is undersized down low. While the Buckeyes do have some good shooters, they become severely limited when the 3s aren't falling.

On NFL injuries

To Brian: It's time the NFL has rules to protect the quarterback and reduce the likelihood of injuries. Fans want a healthy QB who makes it through the season, whether pro or college. And this is good for the game, especially monetarily. What would such rules look like? Possibly by grabbing the QB's arm or torso ("in the grasp"). If he leaves the pocket he becomes fair game (except for personal fouls).

In addition, better weather conditions could reduce injuries by having more games in moderate to warm weather more often. Of the 32 teams, 11 have domes or enclosed stadiums. Add the six open-air stadiums in the south and west and this is doable. Most northern teams could have their schedules front-loaded with home games the first half of the season while the others (domed, etc.) would have a majority of home games toward the end.

It's bad enough that Baker Mayfield plays with a prolonged injury, but adding sub-freezing temperatures in winter cannot help his cause (or that of other athletes). It's likely the cold will aggravate the soreness. This we know: The ground is hard, the ball is harder and skin is more sensitive to cold. Let the players decide if these changes will be beneficial.

Larry Cheek, Dublin

To Larry: The fans in Buffalo, Green Bay, Cleveland, New England, etc., would have serious issues with the NFL taking away their freezing home-field advantages. They take delight in their discomfort and in the way warm-weather teams hate it.

Georgia running back James Cook (4) runs the ball against Michigan.
Georgia running back James Cook (4) runs the ball against Michigan.

On OSU-Michigan

To the editor: We were all talking about Alabama's offensive line holding. That was pretty obvious, but if you go back and check any of their games out they've been getting away with that for a while now. So, back to our previous small disagreement: The simple answers are that (Georgia) wasn't playing (against Michigan) in Ann Arbor for one, and they were playing a "favorite" SEC team. Total different scenario. And, for the record, I give credit when it's due, and Georgia's defense was definitely more consistent than the Buckeyes' this year. Like I said, TTUN needed a perfect storm to beat the Buckeyes and they got one. The non-holding calls were just part of that storm. Plus they were due. It's just the beauty of the game..

Robb Price

To the editor: After watching Georgia dismantle Michigan, it looks like Michigan brought their own version of a soft finesse game. Just sayin’…

Jim Schwarz, Canal Winchester

On the College Football Playoff

To the editor: While I do not have a Ph.D in math, please explain how a 12-team playoff would work. 12 divided by 2 = 6. 6 divided by 2 = 3. How do three teams play one game?

Solution? Have a 64-team playoff with a 12-team play-in. Every gambler will be happy. Total points, spread and number of ads are what counts. After all, when finding teams 3 and 4 has proven impossible, why not Alabama vs. Podunk U?

Billy Matherne

To Brian: To answer Jon Armstrong's letter, in a 12-team playoff, 1 would not play 12. They would play the 8 vs. 9 winner. If 1 vs. 4 isn't good, why does anyone thing 1 vs 8/9 would be better, then likely leading to a 1 vs. 4/5 game?

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

More from The Mailbox

Michigan didn't beat Ohio State by holding; look at Georgia game

College football players who skip bowl games are cheating their teams, fans

Yes, Urban Meyer is fit to teach class on leadership, character; Is Harbaugh lying?

Lessons from Urban Meyer, and it was Ohio State that was holding at Michigan

Is Quinn Ewers the new Curt Flood? Did refs let Michigan get away with holding?

Ohio State lost to Michigan in football, and people aren't happy

On OSU's hard-to-watch defense, overrated Cincinnati and, yes, Ryan Day's salary

Ryan Day needs to call more run plays; and, of course, more mail on Day's salary

'Garbage officiating' in Penn State game; and more on Ryan Day's salary

Ryan Day's salary (cont.), weird head-butting, high school playoff inequality

More Urban Meyer, plus how many professors you could hire with Ryan Day's salary

Plenty of backlash for Urban Meyer, and non-Daves weigh in on stadium noise

Media, and social media, equally to blame in Urban Meyer mess

Empathy for K'Vaughan Pope, plus more debate about loud music

Too much 'ear-splitting' music at Ohio State games?

Enough about Ryan Day's beard; what about local colleges?

Shohei Ohtani vs. Babe Ruth? Table that discussion for 20 years

OHSAA gets it right with expanded playoffs; Cleveland baseball got it wrong

Does it make any sense to sit maskless in a packed Ohio Stadium?

Ohio State opener was a horrible mess, from ticketing to Kerry Coombs and beyond

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Mailbox: Smart players opt out of bowls; why does NFL play cold games?

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