Sunday, June 30, 2013

Good athlete, bad athlete

A former Stanford football player stopped a runaway bus in San Francisco. Frank Primus happened to be on his way to his position as a surgical resident when he jumped into action. Meanwhile, a former Florida (and now former New England Patriots) football player, Aaron Hernandez was charged for murder. Some players have a good plan for life after football, while others still haven't learned to live a life during football.

We have seen plenty of football players acting like thugs. However, we also see cases of thugs finally growing up. (See Cam Newton returning to Auburn to take classes towards his degree.) The current lawsuit seeking compensation for former players should be a wakeup call for the NCAA and college football in general. They have often treated the players as true semi-professionals. This is a disservice both to the universities and the players. College should be a time of learning and self-discovery. When teams forget the person behind the player, we get antics like that of Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. He's a great player, but all his juvenile activities are out in the public eye. Where is the university to educate him? Most students get a chance to be an idiot in front of just their facebook friends. He gets to do it in front of the entire world.

Some football players go on to become doctors or Rhode Scholars. They may have come in with these goals and used the experience to their advantage. Others come in with only a desire to become an all-pro in the NFL. These guys are the ones that could most benefit from the life lessons in college. Whether they make it pro or not, a good education could help them in their future. If colleges fail to do this, they are really nothing more than minor leagues.

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