(SP) – Alabama announced today that it will skip Monday night’s national championship game in order to prepare for April’s NFL Draft.

“This is a difficult decision and we appreciate all the support that Alabama fans have given us,” read a statement from the team. “But it’s time to prepare for the draft. Our entire team has a professional future, and playing a game for free that we’ve already won a bunch of times before is not really the worth the risk to our future.”

Alabama’s decision was immediately embraced throughout college football.

“This is huge for the future of the college game,” said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. “Alabama is making the right decision and I hope several other programs that are significantly better than us do the same.”

But Alabama head coach Nick Saban did not support the decision of his team to focus on the draft.

“They will regret this,” Saban said. “The NFL isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They’re just going to go there and go 6-and-10 and then come crawling back to college as cowardly failures. You’ll see.”