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Chuba Hubbard Should Be Praised for Sticking It Out, Not Deemed a Quitter

Hubbard didn’t quit.

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Shortly after it came out Saturday that Chuba Hubbard’s college career was done, I made a tweet that elicited a far more visceral response than I expected.

In short, I said Oklahoma State fans shouldn’t be mad at Hubbard, nor should they call him a quitter. He fought off injuries all season, played through injuries, and returned to OSU when the NFL was calling. And even when he couldn’t play, he was front and center on the sideline cheering on his guys.

There were plenty of positive responses to my tweet, but then there were responses saying Hubbard hasn’t cared all year; that he quit on his teammates; and that he didn’t show any effort. Some went so far to say he isn’t a good football player.

So, he doesn’t care?

Hubbard chose to return to OSU after last season when he could’ve gone to make millions of dollars in the NFL. Some guys aren’t even at games when they’re injured, and Hubbard was roaming the sidelines in a boot greeting his team off the field possession after possession in the latter part of the year. In Bedlam, clearly hobbled, he was still carrying the load and battling through.

So, he didn’t give enough effort?

In the five games in which he had at least 20 carries in this season, Hubbard averaged 110 rushing yards a game. That’s … nothing to scoff at. Oh, by the way, that damage was done despite OSU losing three linemen before the year started, and two starters got hurt in the first half in the first game.

So, he quit on his team?

Then why did Kolby Harvell-Peel, his teammate, tweet: “Chuba could’ve shut shxt down a long time ago, but instead he was thuggin thru shxt for us. All the ‘trouble maker’ talk is lame.”

Then, what happened? He got hurt. He miraculously managed to avoid the injury bug through 328 carries last season, and it caught up with him in 2020. Running backs need healthy ankles. It’s fairly vital to the whole “running” part of the position.

If an injured superstar hanging around cheering on his team is a me-guy, what the heck is a we-guy?

A lot of this stems from the Gundy T-shirt debacle from the summer. A debacle Hubbard said himself he wished he would’ve handled behind closed doors.

If you disagree with him politically, or even with how he handled calling Gundy out, be self-aware enough to acknowledge that’s what it is. Because saying he gave up on his team or that he isn’t a good football player lacks sense. You can disagree with him politically, that’s fine. You have that right. But to mask it by taking shots at him as a player and a teammate is nonsensical. Your argument is not rooted in fact.

Hubbard had plenty of opportunities to quit and didn’t. He could’ve left after the Gundy stuff, yet he didn’t. He could’ve opted out with all the COVID stuff, yet he didn’t. He could’ve said, ‘Man, I haven’t seen my family in a year. I’d rather be home in Canada,’ yet he didn’t. After he first suffered his injury, he could’ve shut it down, and yet, he didn’t.

Chuba Hubbard will go down as one of the best running backs in Oklahoma State’s history. His 2019 season ranks second only to Barry Sanders’ Heisman-winning campaign in school history. His 3,459 career rushing yards rank eighth in school history.

Did his college career have a fairytale ending? No. But for a portion of OSU’s fanbase to resent Hubbard for reasons that are as misguided as those out there, it’s just sad.

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