After countless players opted out of their respective bowl games this postseason, those involved in organizing them understand something needs to be done.

Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy noted that Bowl Season now “isn’t what we’ve grown up watching,” and Bowl Season executive director Nick Carparelli seems to agree.

Carparelli has held his position for over three years, and while even when he started, it was not uncommon to see players opt out of the games, it’s now running rampant.


“The problem is not bowl games or the bowl system. The problem is all the unregulated circumstances around it now, with transfer portal and NIL and early signing period all happening at the same time,” Carparelli recently said to Yahoo Sports. “That doesn’t occur in any other sport. That’s what has to be fixed.”

More and more players are opting out of bowl games, whether it is to protect themselves for the NFL Draft, realignment forcing traditional bowl game matchups to be a thing in the past, or other reasons.

Because of that, Carparelli said compensating players for participating in bowl games “is a very real discussion that needs to be had.”

“I’d love to discuss with the NCAA the notion of student-athletes being compensated to promote the event itself. I’m still not sure what’s wrong with that,” he added.

“What is legal is they can promote the title sponsor of the game, destination of the game – the convention and visitor’s bureau of that area. There’s a lot of ways that can be done now under the current rules, but I’d like to think that there could be more direct ways to do it.”


Plenty of players were gone, because they had already transferred – Kyle McCord didn’t even play for Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl despite going 11-1 with them in the regular season, since he’s transferring to Syracuse.

“We need to revisit the structure around the transfer portal,” Carparelli said. “Maybe there should only be one transfer portal window that happens at the end of the academic year. Maybe it allows student-athletes to rethink things. ‘Let me see how things go in spring practice.’ Gives coaches an opportunity to get high school recruiting done, evaluate the roster in the spring, and people can make decisions based off of that.”

At the end of the day, Carparelli wants everything to go back to the old days.

“All the commissioners and all the head coaches I talk to are adamant about the fact that bowl games and the bowl season are really important for college football,” Carparelli said. “We really can’t have a postseason system that only has 12 opportunities. It’s important we protect the bowl system, and all the leadership in college football is committed to doing that.”

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