13 January 2009

Putting the "Student" Back In "Student-Athlete"

Hold on to your seats, those of you who've known me for a while: I'm about to praise someone from Florida State University. :-)

Heard two bits of interesting news yesterday. Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh (pictured above) and Florida State's Myron Rolle (pictured below) have both chosen to return to delay entering the NFL draft for academic reasons.

Suh, a projected late-first/early-second round defensive lineman, came on like a BEAST at the end of the year, but every story about his decision to stay for his senior season mentions his family's dedication to academics and their desire that he leave Lincoln with a degree in hand. Rolle, also projected to be a first- or second-round pick, has elected to pursue the Rhodes Scholarship he was awarded earlier this year rather than enter the draft immediately.

Sure, both of these men will probably make millions in the NFL eventually, but it's refreshing and, I'll be honest, personally pleasing to think that there are still players in major college football who believe so strongly in pursuing academic accomplishments. Makes a guy who works on campus feel a bit better about things, to be honest. So, to the two of you and all the other athletes who are staying put in order to finish degree programs or do something remarkable without a football in hand, from all of us who want you to do well academically AND athletically, let me just say this: thanks.

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