Earlier this weekend, I wrote a post at ScalpEm.com linking to several articles that discussed Florida State University student-athlete Myron Rolle. Rolle, a starting safety on the FSU football team, recently became a Rhodes Scholar and was awarded a scholarship to Oxford University. Although everyone seems to be agreement that Rolle’s achievement is quite the accomplishment, unfortunately, no one is talking about it.
Where are the columns promoting Rolle as a role model? I thought I was sure to find some. When I looked however, there were few to be found. From the African-American community, I found a few blogs that gave Rolle a shout, or a courtesy post, but none that compared his story to that of PacMan Jones, Chris Henry, Mike Vick, or other African-American athletes who have made headlines for the wrong reasons. I would think a post or an article discussing the achievements of Rolle and Barack Obama and why more of the African-American community should strive to be like them would write itself. Maybe I am wrong.
Another group that has failed to live up to my expectations in discussing Myron Rolle is the reporting press of the FSView, the Florida State University university newspaper. If there is any group that could relate to Rolle’s workload and the full impact of his accomplishments, it is his fellow students. Yet scrolling through the FSView archives, I only found one article, dated September 4th, devoted entirely to Rolle. Other mentions of Rolle’s accomplishments are blended in with overall football team news. With another story that should write itself, I would think the FSView would be the foremost authority in comparing Rolle to some of the more infamous members of the football team, especially in light of a few wide receivers’ brawls and battles. I don’t think that would be a hard story at all.
On a related note, where are the stories about the people behind Myron Rolle’s success? Rolle is the pinnacle of achievement in college student-athletics, yet no one is writing about his teachers, his mentors, or his university program. From the popular writing, Rolle’s Rhodes Scholarhip seems to be derived entirely from his own abilities without any help from anyone. Just as a student-athlete could not cheat his way through college without help, Rolle needed a hand to be as accomplished as he is. I find it odd that when a student drastically misbehaves, such as former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, numerous articles are written examining and investigating how the system failed, but when someone does exceptionally right in the same system, who speaks on behalf of the advisors, the professors, or the counselors?
(This video post, for example, I found absolutely deplorable. Apparently, Mark Kriegel of FoxSports believes that Rolle’s accomplishment is a great seque into a denouncement of the horrible and horrendous NCAA system, a system that demands athletes be one-dimensional ignoramouses. Note to Mr. Kriegel: Myron Rolle is a result of that very system. He doesn’t go to Yale, or Harvard, or some other college known more for its academics. He goes to Florida State University. What Mr. Kriegel doesn’t seem to understand is that if given the opportunity, most people will take the easy way towards a goal. That goes for student athletes in Geology 101 “Rocks for Jocks” or writers who mail in 2-minute rambling video diatribes about the horrors of student-athletes using every well-worn argument against the NCAA. Maybe if the system demanded more of the athletes, instead of less as Mr. Kriegel seems to want.)
The bottom line is that Myron Rolle’s achievements should not be overlooked. What Rolle has accomplished, as the first major sport student-athlete to receive a Rhodes Scholarship in over 25 years, is an amazing feat. He should be a role model, not only for his teammates, his community, and his school, but for all of us. And hopefully more people understand that, start talking about it, and start pushing each other to be more like Myron Rolle.