I present a story of an extraordinary young man who demonstrates brilliance on and off the football field. Myron Rolle, the All-American safety for Florida State University's football team, decided to forgo the NFL Draft in order to pursue a medical degree at Oxford University. This brilliant young brother is no ordinary collegiate football player; he is considered one of the top safety's in the country, and he is considered to be a second or third round draft pick, meaning if he had entered the Draft, he would most likely have been offered a multimillion dollar contract.
Mr Rolle's remarkable athletic ability is surpassed by his scholastic achievements. Rolle was awarded as one of thirty four Rhodes Scholars that will be studying at Oxford University,a highly prestigious school in England. Being a Rhodes Scholar is nothing to take lightly, the selection process is intense and students are picked from fourteen specified geographic locations. The most notable American Rhodes Scholars are Former President Bill Clinton and former mayor of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke.
Most student athletes will tell you that it is extremely difficult to balance the rigors of being a full-time student and collegiate athlete;with a "school come first" attitude and supportive parents, the Academic All American was able to graduate in 2 1/2 years with a degree in Exercise Science. Along with support from his family and peers, Rolle credits his coach, Bobby Bowden as an influence. Bowden allowed Rolle to miss several practices and other team related events in order to satisfy labs for his science classes.
After earning his medical degree from Oxford, Rolle plans to enter the NFL Daft in 2010, After playing 7 or 8 seasons in the league,he will practice neurosurgery and open a free health clinic in his native country the Bahamas. Rolle is very interested in the anthropology and cultural aspects of medicine; an interests that he hopes will allow him to to spread the message about satisfying the increasing demand for more health centers in underdeveloped countries.
Of all the possessions that we can attain, only knowledge and wisdom are irrevocable. Myron Rolle's story shows us that nothing is as priceless as an education. Within recent months there have been an influx of negative stories about black athletes( most notably of Plaxico Burress and Adam "PacMan" Jones); it feels refreshing to hear stories about black athletes choosing education and community activism over money and fame. In a generation where there is an over saturation of aspiring athletes and entertainers, it is extremely important that we show younger children that there are other options to pursue; they should be taught that its okay to put down that basketball or microphone to pick up a calculator and textbook. To Mr Rolle, his family and the FSU football coaching staff: I commend you for reminding us why the term is "student athlete" and not "athlete student''.
~Quintin Wallace 1/26/2009
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