Terrelle Pryor

Yesterday, Terrelle Pryor annouced that he would be attending The Ohio State University.  He is the No.1 high school football player in the country.  I was proud to see this young man, deciding to attend college.  At the same time, I was concerned about how he made his decision.  He made the decision based on which school would likely lead him to a NFL contract.  I know some are wondering; what’s wrong with that?  Plenty…

Whatever happened to education being top priority?  What ever happened to balance between sports and education? So many of our black youth have been told by us and by society that the only way to become succesful  is to bounce or throw a ball.  Universities are looking out for their best interest; whoever is the best, which will lead to championships, advertisement deals and big bucks. 

It is up to parents to look out for their children who are given these types of opportunities.  Studies have shown the that top NCAA schools have graduated African Americans at a lower rate than their white counterparts (Study: Top NCAA Seeds Lag Academically).  There are far more hoop dreams that have not come true than those that have; these people’s stories need to be told to shed balance.   

I am not saying that Pryor doesn’t value or appreciate the position that he is in, but I hope that he has a plan B.  I understand that his goal is to play in the NFL, but it would be nice to see him complete his degree requirements.  I know people will say that there is nothing wrong with leaving college to get “paid”  but what happened to education being the prize? 

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4 Responses

  1. Education at a four-year institution will get you a prize of an average starting salary of somewhere between $30,000 to $50,000 a year. If he does well at the The Ohio State University, he’ll make more than a million dollars during his first year. For someone with his size and talent, I think it’s a no-brainer.

    However, for the millions of other athletes of lesser talent who select smaller schools (e.g., a Division II or III school), they should focus more on education rather than football because their chances of making it to NFL are slim to none.

    In reality, it is not that education is undervalued. Rather, it is just that professional sports are overvalued. The rewards are so much greater in professional sports, the choice between education and pro ball is no longer a choice–it’s a decision to make unreasonable amounts of money or to live an average life. As much as I believe in education, if my son was in the same situation as Mr. Pryor, I’d be proud and supportive of his decision. However, as you said, I would stress to him that education will carry him through his post-athletics life and would strongly encourage him to finish his degree at some point.

    I must disclose that I am a bit biased here, because I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and spent my first year of undergraduate studies at Ohio State (I finished my degree at Averett College). That said, I’m well aware of Ohio State’s status as an NFL feeder school.

  2. Hey Afripino:

    I feel you and if I was faced with an NFL contract or continue school, I would probably take the contract. But I would go back to finish my degree; I guess because it was drilled in my brain as a child that education is key for all things.

    You hit the nail on the head that sports in this country have been overvalued. I wish Pryor the best. i have seen footage and he is a beast.

  3. “Whatever happenED to education being top priority? What ever happenED to balance between sports and education? So many of our black youthS have been told by us and by society that the only way to become succesful is to bounce or throw a ball. Universities are looking out for their best interestS; which is to recruit WHOEVER IS the best, which will lead to championships, advertisement deals and big bucks.

  4. CC: Thanks for correcting my errors. Do you have a comment about the topic?

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