As a former college athlete I was always known to others as a STUDENT-athlete. It is a title that is, more times than not, overlooked.
When I read about Ben Roethlisberger graduating this past weekend from Miami University, I am not going to lie, I thought it was a joke. You can't tell me initially you thought it was real either? The guy has been in the NFL for eight years and has won two Super Bowls in those eight years. College degree; say what?
As of 2004, only 46% of NFL athletes had earned a college degree. I can only imagine that number has increased over the past 8 years, by just a smidgen.
Now, Roethlisberger is a part of that statistic.
Playing in the NFL, or any pro sport, for the matter, usually trumps the idea of an individual receiving a college degree. I know that may seem ridiculous, but it's true.
Here's a concept that's even harder for me to grasp: Because you excel in a specific sport, you have been given an opportunity to earn not just an education, but a FREE education. Why would you not want to take advantage of that?
Even though I am an avid Bears fan (DA BEARS), I will say, Roethlisberger earning a college degree after playing eight years in the NFL is astounding. It is humbling.
He said it himself, "how can I tell my children one day how vital an education is, if I don't have one myself?" This statement speaks volumes about Roethlisberger and his commitment to not only education, but also to his stomping grounds of Miami University.
I don't know about you, but as tough as it is to earn a college education as a student athlete; multiply that times 10, because it may be that hard to earn one as a PRO.
Never thought I would be a Steelers fan, but an accomplishment such as this may just have done the trick.
Black and yellow or Orange and Navy; it's now questionable to this Bears fan, thanks to Mr. Roethlishberger.