Leonard Fournette’s career at LSU is over. The star running back has decided to skip the team’s Citrus Bowl game versus Louisville, to focus on the 2017 NFL Draft. CBS Sports is reporting that Fournette has already informed his coaches and teammates.
"This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, not playing in the bowl, but it’s best for me and my future. It was hard telling the guys. I love them dearly. You grow so close together through this. I’ll forever thank them and support them."
Fournette has missed five games this season due to an ankle injury and while he says the ankle is about 85-90 percent, there is more work to do.
I can already hear the college football purists. You know, those good old “salt of the earth” types who believe these athletes owe it to their school’s to play. Words like “selfish” “entitled” “spoiled” will start flowing. Stop it.
Fournette is making the right move here. This is a young man, who if things go well, has the opportunity to change the economic fortunes for himself and his family. If the ankle is not all the way healed, playing in a bowl game won’t help that process and could hurt his draft stock. By all accounts he is a first round talent and a potential star at the next level. No sense in potentially risking that so LSU can win the Citrus Bowl.
Like it or not, athletics at all levels is a business. As an athlete your body is your most precious asset. You must do what is necessary to ensure that asset can leverage all it can.