Myron Rolle is the current starting Strong Safety for Florida State University. Coming out of high school, he was one of the top defensive recruits. He has a very strong chance at being drafted, and drafted highly, into the NFL this year or next year.
He may turn it all down.
Why? Because he is now a Rhodes Scholar. He was excused from FSU's game yesterday, which had playoff implications, to interview for the position, with only 32 scholarships being handed out nationally. The NCAA allowed him to take a chartered flight from his interview in Alabama to his game in Maryland, arriving on the field in the 2nd quarter. He found out he had been selected about 3 hours before game-time.
This just a shock that such a good athlete can have the time to focus on his studies. He finished his degree from FSU in 2.5 years, majoring in Exercise Science with a focus on Pre-Med and is currently working on his Master's Degree.
But beyond that, if you had to choose any school that this story would come out of, Free Shoes University* would be far, far down that list. Last year, around 24 players were suspended before the Music City Bowl for being given the answers to a music history exam.**
In their game against Maryland yesterday, 5 wide receivers were suspended because of a fight they got into with a fraternity over a girl. Details about that fight are sketchy at best, but let's just say it was not for the feint of heart.
This is probably the most positive story to come out of FSU since Chris Weinke. He was drafted by the Jays out of high school, spent 6 years trying to make it in baseball, couldn't cut it, enrolled at FSU and won the Heisman as a senior at age 28. He went on to the NFL, where he has compiled a career record as a starter of 2-18. So, yeah, FSU really needs Myron Rolle to succeed. Hopefully he can convince other players that they should focus on their studies, and not take classes like Ballroom Dancing. Every football player is always one play away from having to make a career change.
*Dubbed thusly because of a 1993 scandal where some players had a shopping spree at a local Foot Locker. University of Florida head coach Steve Spurrier accused FSU of using free shoes as a way to win over recruits. FSU went on to win the 1993 National Championship
**Is it ironic that it was music history that kept them from visiting the Music City? No? Okay, just me then.