I can't say I feel bad for them because I've been in that position and it didn't bother me.
The last year we won a national championship, I was a back-up offensive lineman. Played in every game of the season and the play-offs. The NCAA, being the incredibly stupid pieces of scum sucking shit that those cock stabbing bastards really are*, have a rule in place that you had to dress two players fewer than normal for the national championship game. Coach Wallace darned sure wasn't about to dress the last O-lineman on the depth chart , so I got to stand on the sideline and freeze my butt off. It sucked a little not playing, but it was cool knowing I helped the team get there.
I'm really struggling to explain this to folks who haven't been there. My senior year of high school, we won three total games. I played my heart out because, hey, it's football. When I didn't dress for the NC game, I wasn't upset about not playing because it was the NC game, I was upset because, hey, it's football.
* I am not angry at the NCAA for that particular stupid rule regarding players on NC squads. I am upset because I graduated high-school with a 3.5 GPA and made a 31 on the ACT. The NCAA decided, after I had gone through all of training camp in college, that I was academically ineligible. They never provided a sound reason for me being ineligible, just that I was. It's my sincere, albeit desperate, hope that everyone who works for the NCAA is hunted down by roving packs of ravenous aardvarks and disposed of in the most painful way imaginable.