I had the pleasure of speaking at the Tiger Club, and the number one topic was Missouri quarterback James Franklin.
It’s a huge story right now.
Franklin refused to take a needle for a sore elbow and missed Saturday's game against Arizona State.
Gary Pinkel told reporters before and after the game that there was no structural damage to his quarterback's shoulder. The coach said the torn labrum had been corrected.
But Pinkel emphatically told reporters that Franklin "did not want to play."
That statement, from a coach, really bothers me.
Pinkel left the impression there's a toughness issue. He was telling everybody who would listen that Franklin had been cleared by the doctors but "he didn't want to play."
Now Pinkel comes out with the statement that anybody who doesn't think Franklin is tough has been in a coma for the past couple of years.
Uh-uh. Pinkel blew this.
He could have nipped it in the bud by saying Franklin's got a sore arm and will not play tonight. End of story.
Personally, I admire and respect the young man for taking this stance on his injury.
Franklin said he simply doesn't believe in taking painkillers of any type -- including aspirin.
Football is a tough, brutal sport. The old-school thinking, you must suck it up and play injured -- well, that doesn't necessarily fly anymore.
The culture is changing.
There's the big issue of concussions in the NFL.
Of course, Franklin's issue is completely different, but we've all become more sensitive to any type of injury and the long-term effect it could have on a player.
Gary Pinkel is paid more than $3 million a year to win football games.
James Franklin is a student-athlete, who obviously didn't think he was healthy enough to play Saturday night.
I say, good for him.
That's Jack’s Smack.
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