Jaire Alexander will forgo his senior season and the bowl game to enter the nfl draft
I will never understand what it is like to worship college sports. I will never understand how those that do can be so delusional about the importance of college sports. It seems that a situation like this comes up every year, and sometimes even a few different times. In every single instance, my blood boils. I explain myself over and over, yet still it seems, nobody understands why I think the way I do. I guess I will try once more to explain myself, and why it is selfish and wrong to be upset in the slightest at Jaire Alexander for not only declaring for the draft, but skipping next week’s TaxSlayer Bowl altogether.
Don’t get me wrong, you will be VERY hard-pressed to find anyone who loves the Cards more than me. I love going to games. I go to every home football and men’s basketball game. I have been to several away and neutral site games, too. Hell, I took a spontaneous weekend road trip to Tallahassee for the football game at Florida State this year. Not even many die-hards can claim that or any trips like it. However, I grew up in a pro city. I grew up watching the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Pacers. I am studying sport administration at the University of Louisville. I understand how pro sports work. The general populous here in Louisville? They just don’t.
College only sports fans think these kids owe them four years of playing their sport because they were able to get a cheaper (and very rarely free) education. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not how this works. Did you know that when these guys sign to come here, their scholarship (if they get one at all) is only a one year agreement? If they get hurt, underperform expectations or simply aren’t wanted anymore, their scholarship can be revoked without repercussions by the coaching staff after the academic year. I will go out on a limb and guess that you didn’t know that. Scholarships are almost never full tuition, too. I bet you didn’t know that either. All of that without even mentioning the fact that scholarships cover tuition but still leave a void between the money they receive and their cost of living. That is a gap that many student-athletes in college struggle to meet.
College is there to prepare you for your future. Now, for most of these guys, their future is dependent on their degree that they got at their school, and when they walk across that stage at the Yum Center, they will hang up their cleats for the final time. However, for the top handful of players on a good team, especially one like Louisville, their future is not dependent on a degree at all. They have worked their entire lives to position themselves to be able to play professional sports, and when that opportunity arises, it is one that in most instances means a life-changing amount of money for they and their family. Let me get this straight. You want them to say, “oh I can’t cash in my entire life’s work, I haven’t played out my collegiate eligibility yet and ignorant fans will be mad at me!” and not go pro when they have a chance?
You tell me if that makes sense. I’ll wait. I know in some delusional peoples’ minds that it will, but for anybody with their head on straight, it doesn’t make any sense at all, and frankly is asinine.
Oh, but Jason, what if they get injured and can’t play anymore? Then they will need their degree!
Okay? So what?
I have a few things to say about that. First, that’s the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard in my life.
Now that I got that out, on to the real point: it’s not like college is going anywhere! They will have plenty enough money from their professional paycheck to pay off the rest of their schooling should they decide to come back and finish their degree. Many former athletes go this route.
For instance, Kade McClure and Lincoln Henzman of our baseball program. After their junior season in the spring of 2017, they were drafted and signed by the Chicago White Sox organization, forfeiting their senior season of eligibility. What did they do after that? They played professional baseball for the Great Falls Voyagers, a short-season, rookie level, minor league affiliate of the White Sox. That season ended around early or mid-September. What happened when they were finished in North Dakota? They came back to campus and finished their degrees in December, still a semester ahead of schedule.
Second, what if God forbid they did get injured, and it was during a college game, especially a meaningless one like the non-playoff TaxSlayer Bowl???? Then, they wouldn’t have ever gotten to cash in as a professional at all. In some cases, these guys could have their scholarship pulled, too.
College will always be there. The opportunity to cash in on a lifetime’s culmination of efforts to play professional sports, simply put, won’t. That window is very slim if it ever even opens at all. You should NEVER blame a kid for leaving early and protecting their life’s investment. You especially shouldn’t blame them for skipping a meaningless bowl game with zero to gain and everything to lose. What sense does that make?
How self-righteous can you really be, Card Nation? We have already seen the negative repercussions of not entering the draft. We saw them in Jaire himself!!! He is easily a top 15 pick in last year’s draft if he’s eligible, but he wasn’t by the NFL age requirement to enter the NFL Draft. He came back and his stock dropped because of injuries he suffered over the course of the 2017 season. Yet, you people are STILL mad at him for deciding to step off the field at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and onto one he gets paid to be on. What...?
You can disagree with me if you wish, I cannot stop you. However, there is nobody on this planet happier for Jaire to be in a position to make this decision than his teammates and coaches. And next week, when they take the field in Jacksonville to face Mississippi State, you won’t find anyone in all of Card Nation pulling harder for the Cards than Jaire Alexander.
Congratulations, Jaire! Best of luck as a professional, and thanks for the memories!