McCaffrey to skip Sun Bowl and train for the NFL draft


Christian McCaffrey will not play in the Sun Bowl, the junior running back announced Monday. McCaffrey will direct his focus and efforts toward training for the 2017 NFL Draft.

"We understand that this was a very difficult decision. For three years Christian has not only been a great player but a great teammate as well," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We wish him great success at the next level, as we continue our preparation for the Sun Bowl."

Stanford makes its 28th all-time -- and school-record eighth straight -- bowl appearance Dec. 30 when it faces North Carolina in the Sun Bowl. It is the third meeting between the programs and first since 1998. The game will be broadcast on CBS with kickoff set for 11 a.m.

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8 people like this
Posted by cheeseguy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 20, 2016 at 6:33 am

I can't agree with Coach Shaw's comment of "for three years Christian has not only been a great player but a great teammate as well." This avoidance of a fairly major bowl game seems to have McCaffrey come up one game short of being a great teammate for three years. Would he have sat out the game if they were playing in the national title playoffs?

6 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 20, 2016 at 9:41 am

I've never heard of a healthy player intentionally skipping a bowl game "to prepare for the draft" or for any other reason. Is this commonly done? I understand that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him, but is anyone else doing it?

6 people like this
Posted by Marv
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:50 am

Truly great college running back, but this sit-out will tarnish his memory at Stanford. Makes the notion of 'student athlete' look absurd.

9 people like this
Posted by lrock
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:57 am

lrock is a registered user.

1. The Sun Bowl is not a "fairly major bowl".
2. Leonard Fournette, LSU running back, is also sitting out their bowl game.
3. No, I doubt that McCaffrey would have sat out a championship playoff game.

This will not be uncommon in the future. Is it selfish? Yes. Are the 80+ colleges that are sending their football teams to bowl games that nobody watches or cares about being selfish? Of course. Are the "student athletes" getting any compensation for these essentially meaningless games? No.

Before you damn Christian McCaffrey, read Al Saracevic's thoughtful column in todays SF Chronicle:

Web Link

4 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

"bowl games that nobody watches" is extremely disrespectful to the people who pay their hard earned money to attend these events. Or are you claiming that all the seats are bought by corporate sponsors and who cares if they don't get their money's worth?

10 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 20, 2016 at 12:36 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

If McCaffrey blew out his knee in the Sun Bowl, and his NFL career was over before it even started, would Stanford have compensated him for all the money he never would have had a chance to earn? I didn't think so. As long as colleges use their athletes as a commodity but don't compensate them financially, and remember that most college athletes will not play professionally, so they will never be compensated for playing in college and earning money for their colleges, the business decision he made was the correct one.

10 people like this
Posted by Don't be Dense
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Don't give up school for the NFL! They can wait until you graduate.

Your body will fail you long before your mind does!

44 people like this
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 20, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Sad to see the business and financial end of amateur sports creeping into the game. A bad move by this player in my opinion. Just a poor reflection on what a teammate and player should represent. As a team leader undoubtedly this player preached total commitment, sacrifice, hard work, and finishing strong. And now with one game left on the table it's all about him? Not good. Quite frankly I would question his fortitude and commitment as an NFL executive considering to draft him as well. I'd rather have a player who chooses to play in the bowl game, take advantage of that final showcase, and perhaps raise my stock on draft day.

There's also the issue of fans who shell out good money to travel and watch these bowl games, only to have the premier players not participate. In this case he's trading character and commitment for overly cautious. Not a good reflection on the player. Not a good reflection on the game.

4 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 20, 2016 at 4:42 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

America is not a country, it's a business. He made a smart business decision. Stanford has made lots of money off him. he didn't see any of it. he was a commodity. Stanford wouldn't guarantee that if he got injured in the Sun bowl and missed the draft, he would be compensated for lose of wages. He is doing exactly what he should be doing as a college student who isn't compensated for making money for Stanford Stanford, he is making a smart businesses decision. If Stanford can do it, so can he.

3 people like this
Posted by Marv
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2016 at 6:15 pm

@ Mauricio: College football in not professional football. Stanford likes to claim it is about student athletes, graduation rates, etc. Most Stanford athletes have zero chance of making money in the professional realm. Just think about those incredibly hard working members of the crew teams. Yes, college football is a money maker for the rest of the athletic department and for bragging rights among the alumni, but it simply should not be a minor league for the pros. This young man's image will be tarnished, and it is completely unnecessary...he could still change his mind, and make it right.

1 person likes this
Posted by Lovethegame
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 21, 2016 at 1:29 pm

This is an unfortunate and perhaps inevitable trend. The individual over the team begins early. Travel, club, AAU teams subsidized and influenced by a wealthy few take precedent over school teams subsidized by . . . . This also might represent the 'helicopter parent' issue, another cancer in sport.

McCaffrey is on scholarship. Why isn't he honoring his scholarship? Where is his respect for his teammates? How about the hype machine that inflated his Heisman candidacy? As for the Helicopter parent issue, being familiar with the careers of his parents and the improbable progress of all of their offspring, one might wonder how much independence was exercised in their choices. Certainly the Stanford crowd will turn their heads in 'smart business decision' denial. But this is plain ugly.

1 person likes this
Posted by Morality
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 21, 2016 at 3:54 pm

This is happening more and more, as it should.

Injuries play a huge and increasing role in the success of both college and pro teams, and it is clear that rogue or condoned intentional player actions lead to injury.

Look at tapes of ucla early in the season.

And although the official stance of nfl is that intentional injury is wrong, it wins games and helps seasons, and it is done.

A pro contract managed wisely can bring enough money to support a family, including very high college tuition for multiple kids.

It would be irresponsible to put that at risk through injury during a quickly forgotten bowl game. Would you insist all players play to the end of won or lost games? They stop in order to reduce risk of injury and give others a chance to play.

1 person likes this
Posted by Lovethegame
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 22, 2016 at 9:26 am


A Stanford scholarship/education managed wisely should also bring enough money to support a family including high college tuition for multiple children.

Better idea than participating in rogue sport with intentional injuring? Find another interest.

Would I insist on players playing to the end of won and lost games? Never. But because it is a team sport personnel changes, player development, and mental/physical 'recharges' are strategies behind winning TEAMs. These strategies or choices to come out are made by COACHES not players (or helicoptering parents of players)

Thank you for your point-of-view.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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