If the answer is “The best damn college player in the country” then he’s right:
Jadeveon Clowney does not want to play college football. Simple solution:
Clowney should hand in his South Carolina uniform, even if it means he’ll be stuck with the dreaded label “Quitter.”
We’re already seeing it after Clowney said his ribs were too sore to play Saturday against Kentucky. Steve Spurrier’s fed-up reaction reflected the growing consensus.
Clowney is soft. He doesn’t love football. He’s saving himself for the NFL. All the hype has gone to his head.
He’s guilty on all charges. But before we officially designate this “Jump on Jadeveon Day,” think back to Oct. 27, 2012.
That was when Marcus Lattimore’s right knee was turned into a Slinky against Tennessee. Everybody who saw it was horrified. A certain 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end had an especially good vantage point standing on the South Carolina sideline.
The thought of that happening to him doesn’t excuse Clowney’s behavior, but it makes it more understandable. If you disagree, please do the math.
Lattimore was projected to be a mid-to-late first round draft pick. Players selected between No. 15 and No. 25 in the 2012 draft received $9.3 million to $7.7 million in guaranteed money.
San Francisco picked Lattimore in the fourth round. He signed a four-year deal for $2.46 million. That included a $300,000 signing bonus and a base salary this year of $405,000.
Lattimore was put on the Physically Unable to Perform list in preseason as he continues to recover from the injury. Nobody knows if he’ll ever be the same runner he was at South Carolina. We do know the injury likely cost Lattimore at least $7 million.
Wouldn’t he have liked to have had bruised ribs before that Tennessee game?
Like Lattimore, Clowney is a third-year junior. Like Lattimore, he was good enough to be drafted after his sophomore year but NFL rules prevented it.
Unlike Lattimore, Clowney probably would have been the No. 1 pick. The player who ended up there, Eric Fisher, signed a four-year deal for a guaranteed $22.1 million. Clowney got an all-expenses-paid trip back to Columbia from the Outback Bowl.
That’s where he almost decapitated a Michigan runner. The video was replayed approximately 22.1 million times and cemented the legend. It also made one question ring out: Why shouldn’t Clowney quit college football?
If Clowney was a baseball or basketball player, he would be a professional athlete and a multi-millionaire right now. But since he’s a football player he’s forced to either:
a) Play football for free
b) Not play football this year
If he chooses option “a” he will receive a free education from the University of South Carolina while helping his school make millions of dollars in revenue. But he won’t be allowed to accept any pay or gifts – not even a free meal.
Supposedly the rules are there to protect the players. That arrangement is really profitable for the NCAA, not so much for the players. If Clowney gets permanently disabled as a student athlete he’ll get nothing from the pros.