In the eyes of many people, Ohio State freshman quarterback Cardale Jones stuck his foot right in his mouth with his tweet on Friday.
"Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS," he tweeted.
Considering the fact that he plays for a Division I football team that is pretty well known for a winning tradition, was it the smartest move for him to post that on a public forum like Twitter? Absolutely not.
The reality is, Jones said something that many student-athletes, not just football players, truly feel inside. Some student-athletes go to college for the sole purpose of playing sports, with hopes of one day playing professionally. Most of them see school as just a backup plan and don't even care about education at all.
The NHL, MLB and most soccer leagues don't have age limitations when it pertains to being drafted and signing contracts (although you can't actually play for the team until you're 18; parents must sign waivers before that), while both the NBA and NFL do.
In 2005, as part of their collective bargaining agreement, the NBA made the rule saying that you must be 19 years old in order to be eligible for the NBA draft, basically forcing high school athletes to play one year of college before being drafted.
Part of the reason rules like this are made is so athletes out of high school can grow and develop before handling the rigors of the big leagues.
However, current NBA player Bill Walker probably made the best argument, saying, "I’m against it. I don’t see why you have to be 19 to play a game of basketball when you can be 18 and go to war for our country and die. It’s ridiculous."
Considering how many student-athletes—if you can even call them that—leave college early to go the NFL or NBA, is there really any point of disallowing high school graduates from going to the pros right out of high school?
Why give scholarship money to those who are only going to school to play sports? Why not give it to someone who is playing sports in order to help pay for college? Why not give it to someone who actually wants to learn something? Why not have developmental leagues for graduates of high school who have no plans of attending classes in college?
In Jones' case, he obviously has no interest in actually taking classes at Ohio State. He just wants to play football. He's not the only person who feels that way; he just said something that most others just keep inside. It may be a completely frowned-upon concept, considering how important integrity is in Division I college sports, but is what he said really illogical, or is it just the plain truth?
The reality is, education is just not as important to some as it is for others. While the NBA and NFL aren't directly forcing players to go to college in order to play in their respective leagues, what other choices do the athletes have in order to reach their dreams? Semi-pro leagues very seldom produce pro athletes, so that may not even be an option.
You can tell these guys to "suck it up" all you want, and you can say it's for their own good, but honestly who is anyone else to judge that? College is not for everybody, and if the students are only going to stay for a year or two, why waste all that scholarship money on them?
Cardale Jones should probably have bit his figurative tongue on his thoughts of school. Unfortunately for him, he didn't, and he got reprimanded for it. But at the end of the day, there was some element of logic to what he said.