Doctor, Lawyer, NFL, NBA, Candlestickmaker

Want To be
BobLee
July12/ 2017

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” has been asked of every boy and girl since the Dawn of Mankind or soon thereafter.

“Not something’s lunch” was #1 answer for the first few 1,000 years.

Today we put on our hip boots to wade in the Twin Swamps of Major College Sports… Football and Basketball.

I am rethinking my POV on the legitimacy of the academic paths trod by many/most “student-athletes” (cough, cough, wink, snort) matriculating at Power Five institutions of higher learning (more cough cough wink snort).

I, like some but not-all-of you, decry the abject hypocrisy of the student-athlete sham masking the odiousness of Big Time College Football and Basketball.  Getting more odious each year.

NOTE: We are NOT talking about fencing, acapella choir, or transgender crew which often include legitimate students. Students who use their laptops for purposes other than solitaire or porn and who use the campus library for purposes other than to pee or escape a sudden rain shower.

“Studies show” an abnormally high % of youngster attending Power Five institutions to play Football or Basketball do so with the sole aspiration that Football or Basketball will be their post-school vocation.

They will “major” in ____ball.  … NO PLAN B!

Put aside the needle-in-a-haystack odds of that pro sports career.

Put aside the odds of a serious injury during his college athletic career ending that dream.

Put aside that his athletic development “peaks” well below the elite level of a pro athlete.

That youngster dominated a Pop Warner league and/or hit a homer as a 9-y/o in Little League. He set his sights on “a pro sports career”.  Aspirations encouraged by his family, friends and community.

Put aside that “a pro sports career” lasts an average of 3-5 years if one is fortunate to have one at all. Extending that to 5-6 years… the thought of what about those next 50 years is a non-issue.

Make bazillions in those 5-6 years to tide one over for life? Alas “studies show” 70% of NFL / NBA “former players” are broke within two years of their playing career ending. Broke at 30 with zero marketable skills for any occupation beyond bodyguard for a famous rapper… bouncer at a strip club?

Let’s consider another demographic…

Consider the suburban middle class Cauc youngster who answers the “…. when you grow up?” question with Lawyer… Doctor… or Engineer…

Maybe a parent or relative is one or maybe he/she watches a lot of legal / medical TV shows. Whatever…

Maybe the prime reasons for both demographics choices are (1) they make a lot of money; and (2) society views those occupations as prestigious.

As with becoming a pro athlete, becoming a lawyer / doctor / engineer takes more than “I really want to be one”.

It requires an intellectual proficiency as well as stellar academic achievement… then the rigors of becoming professionally certified. The best of intentions and burnt midnight oil can still fall short.

Many a pre-med pre-dental major at UNCCH has fallen victim to Chem 11.

Many a want-to-be engineer at NCSU has been waylaid by Calculus.

That is why those hurdles are placed in their path early on. BE ADVISED: This academic road is HARD and UNFORGIVING!

OK:  Yes, I am skirting the fact that “rigorous preparation for self-sufficiency” is no  longer a concern at liberal arts colleges.  Their #1 priority is insuring lifetime dependency.  At STEM schools that, thankfully, is not the case.

Ravenel Bridge

If you can’t pass Calculus, can you redesign the Ravenel Bridge over the CooperRiver? …build a motherboard?

Is there much of a difference between a want-to-be MD and a want-to-be NFLer/NBAer arriving on campus full of piss & promise. Then realizing… it ain’t gonna happen?

Is “the difference” that the disappointed Not-a-Doctor / Not-a-Lawyer has fall back options due to a more all-encompassing education… than does the Not-a- pro athlete?

A Not-a-MD / Not-a-lawyer can fall back to teaching, accounting, banking, sales, corporate something, et al… tele-marketer?

The semi-literate Not-a-pro athlete with a bum knee and an unimpressive creampuff transcript falls back to…. bodyguard / bouncer.

Millionaire coaches treat their sport as the #1 priority for their recruited student-athletes. Their work-outs / practice are the equivalent of the pre-med pre-law student’s library / lab time.

The coaches know the slim odds of a “pro career”.

Mary Willingham knew those odds too. Mary Willingham simply wanted to be sure her tutored athletes COULD READ at a 9th grade level when they left UNCCH.

Be able to read would be the most basic of fall backs when their pro sports dream died… as 98% will.

Mary Willingham was cussed and run out of Chapel Hill for her concern.

Next month 1,000s of 18 y/o want-to-be pro athletes… want-to-be doctors… want-to-be lawyers will walk onto America’s college campuses to chase their dreams… and have Reality revise them.

And then fall-back to…

###

It has occurred to me that I cannot name ONE – not ONE – returning player on ANY ACC Football team. Including that Louisville QB that won the Heisman.

Blondie and I are scheduling our Fall beach trips. I never once checked any football schedules.  …

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fayettewuf
3 years ago

““Studies show” an abnormally high % of youngster attending Power Five institutions to play Football or Basketball do so with the sole aspiration that Football or Basketball will be their post-school vocation.” . Not doubting your claim, but I would be interested is seeing those studies; this just to see how many we are really talking about. I suspect that the further we get from the top 20 in the smaller the percent who are fooling themselves. I am familiar with D-III athletes. Many of those athletes just want to keep playing beyond high school. The love of playing keeps… Read more »

Harper Cooper
Harper Cooper
3 years ago

Colleges have become the minor leagues for the Pro’s and the Pro’s don’t don’t have to supplement expenses (maybe) . That’s why there are fewer minor league teams. It’s all about the money and not just the player.

Jon Sasser
Jon Sasser
3 years ago

Unsuccessful student-athletes do not always just wander away. This year, 740 D1 basketball players transferred colleges. http://www.verbalcommits.com/transfers/2017?division=D1 That’s more than two per team who decided that the grass is greener somewhere else.

If you scroll down this list, you will note that very few moved to more competitive teams – some transferred out of the NCAA entirely. Others have not yet landed anywhere.

Hard to give up on that dream.

myowngrandpaw
myowngrandpaw
3 years ago

Biggest joke of all time. “There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and most of us will go pro in something other than sports.” NCAA . I wish someone would sue them for false advertisement. Then people ignore fact an NCAA school can revoke a scholarship for any reason. It is on a year to year basis. . The sad thing is athletic programs have academic advantages regular students do not have. Ready made tutors, class schedulers, food, medical…playing a varsity sport as a non scholarship athlete, I still had access to academic perks. That REALLY came in handy on drop… Read more »

Tom
Tom
3 years ago

NCAA college sports are possibly more crooked than the mob. The difference being the mob admits they’re crooks. What kills me is that the highest paid state employee in most states is a university sports coach and said coach knows absolutely nothing about their athlete’s taking BS classes. i.e Sgt Schultz over at UNCCH.

TarSpartan
TarSpartan
3 years ago

I just read Leland Melvin’s autobiography a few weeks back. He was, at the time of his graduation, the leader in TD receptions at University of Richmond. He was drafted in the 11th round by the Lions, but cut due to injury before he ever took a snap in a regular season game. Mr. Melvin was the odd duck who majored in engineering while playing football, so his plan B was to go to graduate school and get a Masters Degree. He parlayed that degree into a job at NASA Langley, and was later accepted into the astronaut corps, flying… Read more »

70sTarheel
70sTarheel
3 years ago

I’d personally vote for more bodyguards/bouncers and fewer lawyers, even though I fall into the latter category. I had a client tell me a lawyer joke yesterday:
Q: What’s the difference between an estate lawyer and a tick?
A: At least when you die the tick drops off.

UNC.Med.Guy
UNC.Med.Guy
3 years ago

Most aspiring med school applicants seem to wash out before getting accepted to med school. The med schools don’t take those who struggled with organic chem. However, once they are accepted there is a huge effort to make sure they succeed. . I don’t know the stats but I have the sense that they haven’t changed much. . Medical schools have a very different philosophy than some other professional schools. We have all heard the comments about Law School deans, on day one, telling the students to look to your right, then look to your left …… . it is… Read more »

WolfPack00
WolfPack00
3 years ago

Civil Engineer Class of ’00

When I was a freshman we had a class intro to engineering or something like that.

They told us that less than 50% would graduate and less than 30% would stay in Engineering!

WolfPack00
WolfPack00
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Not as physically tough but mentally similar!

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
3 years ago
Reply to  WolfPack00

In 1963, it was LOOK to your LEFT. LOOK to your RIGHT. Neither one of them will graduate….. . Somehow, as an Engineering Graduate, I feel a bit more “lucky” and also proud of what I accomplished. I did have several friends that chose to “go over the hill” after their freshman year at NCSU. Some of them were very smart and were in the “University Honors” programs and were Beta Club members in their local HS’s. . I totally agree with BL, I want the smartest and the best (and I am willing to put up with their “I… Read more »

Mary.Fayett
Mary.Fayett
3 years ago

So… IF UNC had listened when they heard Mary blow her whistle and… Instead of making her “Typhoid Mary” they had instituted For Real changes in their FB /BB athlete academics, UNC could have possibly been a LEADER in Reform of a Rotten System?
.
Instead they denied denied obfuscated lied… and have become the punch line for a Rotten System regardless of whether they “lawyer” their way out or not.

Ann.GSBO
Ann.GSBO
3 years ago

Fluffers !! NOOOOO. OK, I googled it too. Aaaiieee!
.
I always thought Roto-rooter or proctologist or “the guy who cleans up after the elephants at the circus” had the worst jobs. Fluffers have to be on that list.

NCSU77
NCSU77
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

I graduated a long time ago. Back then, I’m guessing about 1/3 to 1/2 changed majors. The best recruiting tool the Speech and Communications School had was the School of Engineering. The second semester calculus course or Chem 105 (anybody remember Coots and Carmichael?).

Today, it’s so competitive, I think they more are making it through. The big myth is getting through in 4 years. Odds are it will take longer. At today’s tuition rates, that is a BIG deal.

NCSU77
NCSU77
3 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Getting into engineer at State now is very tough now. The ones that are accepted are highly qualified and highly motivated. So I think the success rate may be better now. In my day it was easier to get in, but staying in was a whole other issue. In the seventies I think we had a lot more distractions ( My Apartment Lounge, The Jolly Knave, etc)

Mayberry Jim
Mayberry Jim
3 years ago
Reply to  NCSU77

It doesn’t end after you finally earn a BS in engineering. Those that have the guts to attempt to earn their Professional Engineers license have a similar probability of success. There is often less than a 50% pass rate on that exam (8 questions, 8 hours to complete, and you have to make a 60 to pass). Most brutal day of my life.

Allan.Y.64
Allan.Y.64
3 years ago

BobLee, I’m going ask the question a lot of your readers must be wondering…
.
How come you know so much about the porn business?

Former96heel
Former96heel
3 years ago

Congrats on cutting ties from the NCAA and Cable TV’s altered reality. I know a whole lot of us who are there already, even though the Clemson contingent in the office makes up for everyone else’s loss in enthusiasm. Their QB will be able to play Clemson’s version of George Rogers for the rest of his life after his NFL dream crashes, but once he is outside that 50 mile (or is it 25 in the Upstate?) circle, I am assuming he is not ready to sit for his CPA exam. . Will I ever live to see the system… Read more »

MaHa
MaHa
3 years ago

BL: Just read the new column. Thought you were kidding about “fluffers”.Googled it. You weren’t. Wish I hadn’t. There is some really sick stuff out there. MAHA.

LRP
LRP
3 years ago

Yea… that Chem 11 cancelled my plans of following in my father’s footsteps…..but what was I going to do with my 4 semesters of Portuguese and 2 semesters of Chinese 50? When I told my Dad that I was going to major in Political Science ( lawyer…maybe? )., he replied, ” What are you going to do with that?…..Open up a Poli Sci shop? “

Sharon.Wilm
Sharon.Wilm
3 years ago

Beyond whatever, if anything, happens with TGU; the sham and hypocrisy of major college Football / Basketball “student-athletes” is not getting any better, is it?

UNCBlue
UNCBlue
3 years ago

Spot on. Sure hope the alum and students enjoy those games.
BTW-reading Sacketts on your rec. -much fun.

RTF.72
RTF.72
3 years ago

Do any Power Five schools track the post-eligibility lives of their student-athletes. Not just the obvious success stories… ALL of them?

Tracy.H
Tracy.H
3 years ago

I have to ask… What about the “I want to be a Porn Star” faction?

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