Yes there are dumb jocks. But there are also low achieving students that don’t participate in sports at all. I’m tired of the stereotype that those who suit up to play a sport only can do it because the “nerd” does their homework for them. If this were the case Kobe Bryant wouldn’t be able to speak five different languages…fluently. Kobe is a student of the game also. Having learned that you need study something to know about it he watches film from the beginning of basketball to current.
You look at Peyton Manning who graduated with a 3.61 GPA in three and half years. You can say that he had someone do his homework, but you’d be an idiot. Lets take a quick look at a couple of test scores. Matt Birk, center for Baltimore Ravens, scored a 34 on his ACT while Sean Bedford, a center for Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets scored 1520 on his SAT’s. For Sean who's now playing for Spain in NFL Europe if he never makes it the NFL with a GPA of 3.8 in aerospace engineering I’d say he’ll do just fine.
And being smart isn’t a new phenomenon. Michael Jordan had a 3.2 coming out of high school and Scottie Pippen got his basketball scholarship partnered with an academic one.
It’s easy to say jocks are dumb. Just like it’s easy to say that men don’t know how to diaper a child or can’t cook a meal. Where do these stereotypes come from? Seriously. Is having a Y chromosome a precursor to stupidity? No.
You will find the men in my stories are not only capable, but excel in the world. Whether it’s Oscar Jefferys’ from Chrysalis who’s a star athlete, student and cook. Okay I over did it with him a little, but he’s supposed to be perfect. Or Nye from The Frozen who’s a gourmet chef. Then in my WIPS I have Case Thomas in The Guardian’s Heart who’s a brilliant scientist as well as star athlete.
I’ve known a lot of jocks in my day and I’d say only a handful were below average academically, but they still were able to maintain a 2.0 to stay eligible.
Football is a chess game. The only difference is the coaches can’t move the pieces with two fingers. They have to have defensive players that have to try to read the offensive players who are trying to outsmart them. A full play may only take ten seconds. There has to be a quick reaction time by twenty two men on the field and eight to ten coaches on the sidelines and in the press box. Would you have that reaction time?
Too often people see the stories of players who are gym rats playing ball every minute they can to try to get to the pros. They never highlight the fact that the kid had to attend class and get their homework done. We’re moving into a society of the fast buck. “I don’t need to work in school, I’ll just make it to the NBA.” Let’s get the stats on that one. Over a million kids play basketball in rec or traveling leagues ever year. There are thirty-two NBA teams, with fifteen players on their active roster. So of those million kids four hundred and eighty could make a team. That doesn’t include the players who have been around for over ten years in the league making it so there aren’t four hundred and eighty spots even open. I’d be surprised if there were even fifty spots up for contention each year.
So where does that leave our dumb jock…SOL. Don’t get me wrong I want young athletes to push with all their might to achieve the highest level they can. Because all professional athletes were at one time Student-Athletes. There is a reason that student is first in that equation. Next time you see a kid with patches all over his letterman’s jacket look for the National Honor Society one, you might be pleasantly surprised how many have it.
If you want to see who the Sporting News thinks are the smartest athletes check out some amazing stats that have nothing to do with a field or court.