There was an interesting notion raised yesterday that generated a lot of discussion about how South Carolina Gamecocks star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney should handle the 2013 season. Of course, South Carolina fans want to see their star defender on the field, while there were multiple suggestions that Clowney should sit out the 2013 season in order to avoid injury.
While there was the suggestion that Clowney should sit out the season, there was never any serious belief that Clowney would choose that option. Almost immediately, Clowney put any potential questions about his South Carolina future to rest:
I’m playing lol
— jadeveon clowney 7(@clownejd) February 12, 2013
Clowney wasn’t the only person to address the situation. His college head coach, Steve Spurrier, addressed the situation and practically laughed off the idea of Clowney choosing to sit out the year.
“(I)f money was his only goal in life, then he couldn’t play. And he might not get into a car before next year’s draft, so he wouldn’t be in a car wreck and get injured,” Spurrier said. “He would be just very, very careful for a year not to have any kind of injury.
“But Jadeveon likes football. Football players play football … I think he wants to play. I certainly hope and believe he does. I think he should play for South Carolina this season.
“Most of the guys that say he should sit out, they don’t realize the benefits of being on a college football team, and continuing with your teammates to have as big of a year as you possibly can. The money is going to be there down the road, so why would a person give up the thrill of playing college football?
“Those people have never played football, so they say he should sit out and get the money. That’s the only side of sports they see — the money. There’s a lot more to it than just the money.”
It would be unfortunate to miss out on another full season of Clowney on the gridiron, but you have to acknowledge the financial risk he is facing — just look at his college teammate Marcus Lattimore last season.
In the end, Clowney loves football too much to miss a full season of play, but this is likely not the end of the discussion. There will come a time and day again where a NFL ready player is unable for the draft and this question will be raised again. The saddest part in all of this is that rules prohibit legal adults from making a living with their natural talents.