It was reported Tuesday morning that star pass rusher Nick Bosa has decided to withdrawal from Ohio State in order to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft. This coming after Bosa suffered a core injury which required surgery back in September. Many, including myself had been hoping for a late November return, but it was announced that Bosa and his family made the decision for him to leave school and focus on the next chapter of his young career.
Bosa came into the year as a guaranteed top 10 pick, but quickly rose on nearly everyone’s draft board with a monster start to the season. The family have said that this is strictly due to the injury, and has nothing to do with the possible monetary impact that returning too soon could have on Nick. Bosa’s father commented, “There’s timeframes for injuries, and then timeframes for an elite pass rusher. It’s not about rehabbing so you can be back on the used car lot or be a mechanic. When is he able to be safe and play at the same level? When you look at the preparation he goes through in preseason, that’s not a realistic timeframe for it to be safe. It’s just not.”
Do I think that the Bosa’s didn’t factor in the drastic drop in salary from a top pick to a mid-first round pick? Absolutely not. Do I blame them for considering this possible impact? No chance. From #1 to #15, which is a prediction of possible outcomes for Bosa if he were to return and re-injure himself, it is nearly a $19 Million dollar difference. That’s a lot of money, and a risk not worth taking in my opinion. Nick did everything the right way throughout this tough time, and even returned the remainder of his scholarship to the school.
This brings me to my main point; College football has absolutely nothing that they can do to keep players from following in Bosa’s footsteps. They risk MILLIONS of dollars every snap they play, hoping and praying that they don’t hurt their stock in any way, whether it be through injury or other circumstances. What exactly do these young men receive in return? Nothing. Not a guarantee to play at the next level. Not a salary of any kind. Nothing at all to compensate the incredible risk that athletes take every snap.
Playing sports, especially at the collegiate level is like a full-time job. Coincidentally, so is attending college, which leaves little to no time for anything other than those two things, including an actual job for which they receive compensation for their hard work.
My opinion, pay these young men something. They put in 30+ hours per week for the NCAA, which makes BILLIONS of dollars per year off of the backs of these athletes. The least you could do is pay minimum wage for their efforts, which have led to the highest interaction that collegiate athletics has ever seen.
I’ll speak on Nick a little bit more in my article Friday, but this is a big loss, not only for Ohio State, but for the NCAA as a whole.