College degree still necessary for sports stars

This article is an Opinion Sports Column.

Greed and fame. These can be two nasty things that have the ability to take hold of people, especially those who aren’t as mature as they can be.

Division 1 college athletes who are offered a shot at the pros after their junior year should turn down the offer.

We live in the greatest country to get a college education, and for athletes to throw away the opportunity to walk across a stage and accept a degree that will stay with you your whole life is ludicrous and shows that they are only concerned with wealth and popularity.

Here is one scenario. You are a college athlete in Division 1 who gets offered by a professional team to play for them right after your junior year of school. You accept the offer and walk up to training camp or practice and you receive an injury that causes you never to play (or never play well) again.

Great move in not getting that degree. Now you have to try to make something of yourself without impressing people with your natural sport ability. And what’s worse, more than likely you will have to go back to that place that you so eagerly left just for fame.

Anyone remember Greg Oden? This massive center for Ohio State University was the first round draft pick in 2007 and went to the Trail Blazers. However, with a knee injury he received before the basketball season even started, Oden was forced to form a good friendship with the bench.

What happens if you go to a team where you have no glory or, even worse, have an awesome starting season and then amount to nothing after that?

This happens to countless athletes. For football it happens even more frequently.

The number two overall draft pick in 1998 was quarterback Ryan Leaf. He went to the San Diego Chargers and threw only 13 successful passes in his first season while throwing 33 interceptions. Thirteen caught passes in 16 games? Awful doesn’t even describe that.

Saying you’re going to play in the pros and forego the rest of college shows a lack of maturity. You are one year away. Stop thinking about money and fame and think about your future after you play your professional sport.

But of course, here comes the argument of “Well I’m rich, so why do I have to work after I retire?” Grow up and stop being lazy. Prove to others and yourself that you are capable of doing something with your life other than playing a sport.

Athletes should prove their intellect by committing themselves to staying in school. Most Division 1 college athletes either get a nice scholarship or a full ride. So why not honor the school that has chosen you in going for all four years?

Look at New York Giants wide receiver and Superbowl winner, Plaxico Burress.  Forget academically smart, he doesn’t even have common sense.

The man walks into a bar with a gun, and — here’s the kicker — accidently shoots himself in the leg while reaching for the gun should go  all the way back to kindergarten. And let’s not forget the fact that he went to college for only three years before skipping out on his senior year.

I understand — staying in college to play sports has its hazards. You could get injured in collegiate play and possibly ruin your chances at the big time.

But your body only stays fit to play a sport for so long; why not have a college degree that lasts forever?

Author: Stacy Fannin

Stacy Fannin is a junior mass communication/journalism major and is the sports editor for the newspaper. She is from Cedar Park, Texas, where she lives with her mom, little sister and adorable cat, Dusty. Stacy enjoys being with family and friends. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, Dr. Pepper, the Green Bay Packers, Texas and England. Stacy enjoys eating junk food, being around family and friends (and her cat), and talking on her phone named Jeffrey. She is a huge fan of Dr. Pepper, chocolate and of course, the Green Bay Packers!

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