Why wait? Hawkins leaving Louisville football early

Oh, great, more bad news in 2020. Javian Hawkins is foregoing the remainder of the season at the University of Louisville. Suddenly the upcoming game against Syracuse is no longer a gimme.

One has to wish Hawkins well or get castigated on social media. The ideal situation would be everyone putting team first, but fans have got to get used to the idea that,  increasingly, college athletics are just a stepping stone for professional ambitions.

Now we know why he was not available against Virginia last week,  a game that would have been much more competitive with Hawkins in the backfield.

“After much prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided to opt out of the 2020 season and begin preparation for the 2021 NFL draft,” he tweeted on Monday morning. “Over the next few months I will be finishing my semester at Louisville … Toughest decision I’ve had to make in a while, it has been nothing but a blessing and my heart will forever be here in Louisville.”

Sounds good but the welfare of the UofL football program was not at the top of his priorities. Should make fans much more uneasy about the future of college football. Players calling it quits before the end of the season. It started with players skipping bowl games, now anything goes.

Only a sophomore, Hawkins became the first running back in the program’s history to rush for more than 1,500 yards in a season last year. He ran for 823 yards and seven touchdowns in UofL’s first seven games this season.  He has rushed for over 100 yards in 11 games and 150 yards in five games. He ranks 10th on the program’s all-time rushing list with 2,355 total yards.

The departure of the leading running back is cause for concern even if there are only three games left. Two wins again five losses thus far. The outlook for respectability is pretty bleak. Making it even more depressing is that those games are against traditional bottom feeders like Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest. Click To Tweet

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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