If you heard that a can’t miss NFL prospect from Florida State left Tallahassee with one year of college eligibility left, you would probably be wondering which uniform you would see him wearing on Sundays, right?  You might think that the temptation to cash in on a signing bonus and a guaranteed contract was too much, or that he just couldn’t afford to risk getting hurt in his senior season and losing his livelihood.  You probably wouldn’t think for a second that what he chose to do instead of playing out his final year would be something that would actually hurt his chances of being signed by an NFL team. That, however, is exactly what Myron Rolle did.

Instead of playing football in the ACC or the NFL, the athlete that Cornel West called “the future of Black America” is studying at Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar, and preparing for a life after football that includes medical school and being a neurosurgeon.  He is doing this despite the fact that NFL teams are not terribly fond of shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars to people who don’t need to play football.

Imagine that you were in Myron Rolle’s shoes, and you could do just about anything you wanted… what would you do?

Now, imagine that you are the general manager for an NFL team that could sure use a talent like him on the field, but you know that he is already making plans for what he will do when he walks away from the game… what would you do?

Now, imagine you are on the board of a hospital, you need all the talented surgeons you can get, and you think that a career in the NFL is a senseless risk for someone who has so much to give the medical community… what would you do?      

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4 Responses to If you could do just about anything you wanted…

  1. Carolyne says:

    If I were in his shoes, I would probably spend this time taking a trip to Greece, Australia, and/or Europe. However, if he wants to be a doctor and is motivated enough to go through med school, I think that by all means he should go for it! If I were on the board of the hospital, I would definitely have no problems hiring him if he seemed talented in that field enough. If it was after his football career, I see no problem in hiring a talented surgeon to add to the hospital. He is obviously committed to the subject and field enough to study for it after all his opportunities from football. If I were the manager of the NFL team, I would probably be a little more timid because his head may seem to be elsewhere rather than in the game. And if his career as a football player is not working out for him, he can easily leave the team and pursue is medical career. However, I would try to keep him for as long as I could and understand his interests in the medical field and encourage him to do what would make him the most happy!

  2. Lacey Matush says:

    If I was in Myron’s shoes and could do anything I wanted, I would travel all around the world to as many places as I could. I would learn about their cultures and see all of the wonders of the world. If I was an NFL manager, I would consider him smart. Many great athletes never see years on the football team because the NFL does not want to pay them a pension, so they cut them before they can earn this right. I would see that if for any reason I would need to cut him, he would always have something to fall back on and I may not feel as bad. And if I was on the medical board, I would be upset that we lost a mind temporarily but look forward to the talent that he could bring to the medical world in the future. He can’t play football his whole life, so at some point he would eventually catch up to speed with his medical career.

  3. Sue Greer says:

    You don’t mention the brain damage many football players experience. Even players who are not deliberately bashing others with their heads get hurt. A young man who is obviously brilliant and studying neuroscience would probably think twice about the NFL.

  4. Samuel M. Loewner says:

    I think the questions here are good. They draw out some important points. I’d say it’s clear that the fellow had a goal (or multiple goals, more likely) and saw several paths ahead of him. He chose the one that took him towards his ultimate goal of medicine (I don’t know him, so I’m making assumptions, but I think it’s safe to assume that he wants to be a doctor). Football may have been a good end to pursue if he weren’t looking at one of the most prestigious tracks in academia: the Rhodes Scholar program.

    If I were the coaches, I’d sure be disappointed. Losing talent is rough. If I were a Dean of Medicine, I’d be ecstatic: a Rhodes Scholar in my hospital! What a boon! But, what do their concerns matter in the debate? Perhaps they both could lobby, but Myron had a number of options and chose what he wanted. That’s being human, and I believe that our capacity to make decisions (particularly when we are faced with two favorable options or two negative options) is one of the best things we have going for us.

    An additional question that might be posed: Rhodes Scholars are required to be athletic in addition to academic. Is participation in athletics an antiquated way of distinguishing people, now that athleticism (in the truly outstanding sense) can often pay for itself in scholarships or in professional life after school?

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