College football stars opting out of lower-prestige bowl games has become an issue of note in recent seasons. That issue may be even more pronounced within the next month as some players have even more incentive to opt out.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy raised one concern that could impact the college game. He fears that if too many good players opt out of bowl games, television partners could begin looking for other sports to show instead, costing schools money.
#OkState HC Mike Gundy raises a good concern about players opting out late in a season or before bowl game: if top players aren't playing in those bowls, does TV interest drop and ESPN look into airing NBA games instead (for example). And there goes the lucrative $$.
— Jason Elmquist (@jelmquistSW) December 7, 2020
Gundy isn’t just talking about 2020, with college players that may have COVID concerns choosing not to play. Some coaches have appealed to players in different ways about not playing in these bowl games.
That said, Gundy’s concerns are probably overblown. Bowl games, even mediocre ones, are big business for the likes of ESPN. They’ll be happy to show them no matter what.