UCLA quarterback, Josh Rosen, made headlines when he told Bleacher Report the following:

“Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t.”

This has led to a lot of people coming out with strong comments against this narrative today. I have to say, I don’t get a lot of people’s reaction to this because football and college just don’t go together. Now can someone be very good to great at football and average to below average at school? Sure, but someone can not be very good at both.

When you practice to the extent these D-I athletes do, you can’t be extremely dedicated to the academic aspect and that is all Rosen is saying. Last time I checked he didn’t say it was impossible, but that they “don’t go together.” Mind you, this narrative shouldn’t just be limited to football. Can I remind you what former number one overall pick in the NBA draft, Ben Simmons, said at one point about college:

“I need to be getting better every day…not worrying about my oceanography class.”

Can someone tell me what is so jarring about these comments? That people don’t like to actually hear that the only reason they are in college is because it is a stepping-stone program? Well guess what? It is. While it is hard enough to balance school and football if you are a middle to low roster player, it is ten times harder if you are a Josh Rosen or Ben Simmons type. Guys who are expected to go high in their respective drafts and lead franchises. If you want to do that, you don’t have time for any other hobbies and that unfortunately includes school.

What this also leads to is people realizing many of these kids don’t have backup plans because they don’t. But many of us don’t. We all take risks going into our own individual careers. There are stories out there of people going through eight years of school to be a doctor, just to not find a job and be in six-future debt. In my field there are stories of people being laid off at 30 and not being able to find another job. These things type of things happen in football too.

Now of course the risk that comes with sports like football and basketball is much greater than most careers and I don’t want to hear anyone giving student-athletes sympathy because of it. These kids are trying to make a living playing sports. There should be a ton of risk associated with that.

All I am saying is if someone wants to be great at school and athletics they have to pick one. You can be average at the other, but nothing more. As Rosen said, if you have two full-time jobs you aren’t going to be very good at both. If you have one job that is sixty hours a week, you can be very good or great at that.

Now I will admit, there are other parts of Rosen’s comments I don’t like, but can we give the kid a break. In a world in which so many athletes fail to speak their true mind, Rosen did just that.

-Article by Nick Friend

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