Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two student good one bad

Two events, one good and one bad, took place this past college football season that I found interesting because both relate to what Athletes Helping Athletes represents, sportsmanship/civility and the importance of student in student-athlete. One concerned Rudy Carpenter, the star quarterback of Arizona State University -- considered the Sun Devils' best-ever signal caller. The other is Myron Rolle, starting free safety for the Florida State University Seminoles.

Carpenter represents the bad because he was tossed from a sporting event by the officials. The ejection, strangely enough, did not take place on the football field, but rather at a girl’s basketball game Carpenter attended with his girlfriend to cheer on her sister. He violated our Fair Play Agreement when he and his group got on the officials so much they really had no choice but to force Carpenter and company to leave the arena.

Other than being ejected, no further action was taken against Carpenter either by his school or law enforcement, and while he later denied any wrongdoing, it most likely had an effect four nights later when the senior was to play his final game against archrival University of Arizona Wildcats, whom he had defeated three years in a row. Carpenter and the Sun Devils lost.

We travel across the country to find the good -- Myron Rolle, the perfect example of an athlete who is both a student and an athlete. His coach, defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, said following a game against the Miami Hurricanes that he had just witnessed the finest performance by a safety he had seen in his 25-year career.

Of Bahamian descent, Rolle, who was raised in New Jersey, graduated with a pre-med degree from Florida State in just 2 ½ years and now joins former President Bill Clinton and former senator and basketball great Bill Bradley as a Rhodes Scholar.

On the afternoon Rolle had to be in Birmingham, Ala., for the Rhodes Scholarship interview, his team was scheduled to play that night in College Park, Maryland against the Maryland Terrapins. Because the NCAA wisely bent their rules, Rolle was permitted to fly by private jet to College Park, arriving in time for the second quarter, where he was mobbed by his teammates who had learned he was awarded the scholarship.

A shoo-in to be drafted by an NFL team, Rolle decided to put a pro football career on hold and journey to Oxford, England to study medical anthropology.

Without question, Myron Rolle has put student in student-athlete! We cannot forget, though, that he is a star athlete, and we congratulate him.

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