"It's been a great year for Carolina football."
Truer could not have been spoken as the opening statement for North Carolina's head coach, Mack Brown. But it wasn't about the accolades of the year or the expectations of the upcoming Orange Bowl game in Miami. Instead, Brown focused on praising the four irreplaceable players who have opted out, Chazz Surratt, Dyami Brown, Michael Carter, and Javonte Williams.
Embedded in his message of high regard, Brown had a subtle yet noticeable message for fans who seem disgruntled with the aforementioned four players' decisions. Fans all over the internet have been having in-depth conversations on lives that don't pertain to them in any manner. Alternatively of cheering for incredible young men's future success, some fans have decided to disregard them altogether and peg them as selfish, money-hungry, or against the university. It's completely irresponsible.
Watching players firsthand, and behind the scenes, their love for their teammates exceeds what most would think; Trust, leaving them ahead of the biggest bowl game since the 1950s is not an easy decision, but football is a high-risk and short-lived sports, once you have the capability to make your coins, do so.
Under the NCAA, there are about 74,000 players in college football, 16,000 of those are draft eligible, and only 1.6% make it pro. The average playing time for an NFL player is 3.3 years, and that's if you're lucky, barring injuries or capable of beating out the competition. Getting to the next level is incredibly difficult, and the chance of a lifetime. Wanting these kids to pass that up to appease people they never met and nor can take care of the people they love is incredibly selfish as not only a fan but a human being. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live out their purpose on their terms, even you.
Brown's statement regarding the players leaving is filled with admiration of a job well done by his staff and the program. While he points out the disappointment of them leaving, there is no satisfying feeling than having these incredible players represent the program with class and dedication during their time in Chapel Hill.
"Over the last four weeks, I figured out that I'm disappointed, fans are disappointed, our team is disappointed, and even they're disappointed they're not playing because they've worked so hard.
So what does it mean when you look at it? Our responsibilities as coaches are helping these young guys improve their lives and putting themselves in better positions to have options when they get out. These coaches have done that.
We tried to educate them on what's out there for them, and then it's their job to make decisions that are best for them. That's no different than anybody else on our team. It's no different than you, me, and or an assistant coach; We may have an assistant coach leave right after the season, and well, some people be disappointed, but if it's best for him and his family, that's what he's going to do.
If you had a better opportunity for you, you would take it; That's what you're going to do. So really, and truly, we should be celebrating the success that those four guys had because we wouldn't be in the Orange Bowl without them."
So here's to Chazz, Michael, Dyami, and Javonte, good luck on the next level.