Fall Athlete?  Yes!  But Be a Student First!

Fall Athlete? Yes! But Be a Student First!

We’ve been doing some college football previews over the past few weeks. As we peruse the pages of the sporting world’s news, however, the news is less and less about the teams and players and more and more about the antics and transgressions going on off of the field.

You’ve probably heard some of the allegations about Miami. Georgia Tech has been in hot water. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is selling off his iconic sweater vest collection to pay for his misdoings.

Not all athletes are lunkheads, though. Some take advantage of the opportunity a scholarship brings and combine talent and brawn with a sharp noggin.

Look back at Bill Bradley. One of the greatest to ever pick up a basketball. He stayed a Knick for a career spanning 742 games in which he scored almost 10,000 points. Before he became a Knick, however, he graduated from Princeton, volunteered for the Air Force Reserves, and went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He became very active in social and humanitarian causes while still a player. He went on to become a respected U.S. Senator, presidential candidate, and the author of several books.

Robert Smith was one of our favorite NFL players to watch. He became the all time leading rusher for the Vikings and retired to actually go BACK to school. Medical school at that.

Myron Rolle is a Seminole alumnus who sat out his first year of eligibility to earn a degree in medical anthropology from Oxford. He went to the Titans in the 2010 draft and can probably do a pretty good job of diagnosing his own injuries.

Ryan Newman. Famous NASCAR driver? Yes. Athlete? Depends. Graduate of Duke with a degree in vehicular structural engineering? Yes.

One of the exciting kids we mentioned a few weeks ago is William & Mary’s Jonathan Grimes. On his way to becoming one of the best tailbacks to ever play at his school, his dad calls him, “a student who happens to be able to play football.” Grimes politely hands the ball to umpires after every score. Soft spoken and hard working, he’s majoring in music. Active with his church choir, he was practicing piano for a final exam as Cam Newton was practicing his Heisman speech.

Hats off to Grimes.

Not all players are miscreants. Not all programs are dirty. We love scholastic sports, be it college, high school or pee wee.

Let’s remember what we call the players, though. “STUDENT-athlete.”

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