Myron Rolle: A Breath of Fresh Air in the World of College Football

Gustavo DestroSenior Analyst INovember 23, 2008

This past Saturday, the Florida State Seminoles scored an important victory, beating the Maryland Terrapins 37-3 and keeping their hopes of an ACC Coastal Championship alive.

But the school's biggest win came outside of the football field. A few hours earlier, Myron Rolle, the Seminoles' starting safety, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship which will pay for two or three years at London's Oxford University.

Rolle's accomplishment is great news for a school that has been hit with one public scandal after another. The biggest one came just before the football season when it was revealed that 61 students (25 football players) were given the answers to a test in an online music class.

More recently, a brawl in the student union between football players and frat members left a female student severely injured when a chair thrown by one of the culprits hit her in the head.

Rolle was nowhere near either scandal. He was too busy studying and preparing for what he called "the most important day of his life." Here's a man who throws all the dumb jock stereotypes out the window and puts the student back into student-athlete.

Rolle has a 3.75 GPA and is a pre-med major. He finished his bachelor degree in just two-and-a-half years and wants to be a neurosurgeon. He has his own stem-cell research project and he has founded a program to teach Seminole tribe children how to live healthy lives.

Oh yeah, and he is the starter for a BCS school in the hunt for a conference title, is second in the team in tackles (50 total, 33 solo), and is one of the locker room leaders.

Some resume.

The truly spectacular part of the story is that after receiving the news Rolle boarded a private jet and flew to the FSU-Maryland game. He arrived during the second quarter and finished with two solo tackles.

In a world where news of a player being detained by police is met with a shrug and a scoff—"Another dumb jock"—especially regarding Florida State, a school which has gone through so much in the past year, Rolle's news should be given much more air time than stories about brawls and players getting arrested.

Unfortunately it is not. Although has dedicated its college football front page to Rolle's story (until last time I checked), the news is nowhere to be found in or

Think about it, if Tim Tebow were to be charged with assault a day before a game, it would be all over the news. Rolle's story is nothing but a side note.

Myron Rolle should serve as an example to all student-athletes. No, they shouldn't all try for a Rhodes scholarship—that is not for everyone. But they should follow his lead and make decisions that would make them, their schools, and fellow teammates proud, not ashamed.

My football coach once told us after an incident on school grounds involving one of the team's player that, "We [football team members] are painted in the same brush. So if you go out there and do something stupid, the whole team carries that reputation."

If more student-athletes could be like Rolle they would be painted with the same brush. That student-athletes are in fact students first.

To see how Myron Rolle spent his hectic day click here.