Rolle Model

I guess you should never judge a book by its cover. I'm not going to lie to you, when I think of Florida State, particularly Florida State football, I think of controversy. I think of academic scandals where the players were caught cheating on tests, I think of Laveranues Coles and his shopping mishaps, I think of all the "free shoes" the football team got in 1993, and I think of Bobby Bowden and his smug, hillbilly way of sidestepping all of the allegations.

Does this happen all over? Yeah, most definitely. Is Florida State the only one? No. It's just curious how The Seminoles always get caught. I guess when you're one of the most winning schools in D-1 football in recent memory, you're under a microscope. All of that being said, there aren't too many people that put much creedence in the "student" portion of Student-Athlete. Oh, about that aforementioned book's cover...

Not quite sure how this story isn't getting more attention, but on Saturday, Florida State safety Myron Rolle was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship. For those of you have no idea what that is, it's basically one of the most prestigious international scholarships around, one which has some fierce competition where the winners get to attend Oxford University. Rolle is the first major level player to be awarded the scholarship in over a decade. Myron is definitely in some rarified air, just look at the list of notable winners. There are four standards by which the applicants are judged on. Let's see how Myron stands up:

  • Literary and scholastic attainments: Myron was a 4.0 student in high school and he brought that attitude to college. In just 2-1/2 years, Myron completed his bachelor degree in Exercise Science (pre-Med emphasis) while starring on the football team and holding down a 3.75 GPA. Currently, he's pursuing a master's degree in public administration, ultimately aspiring to become a neurosurgeon and open up a free clinic in the Bahamas, his parents native country.
  • Energy to use one's talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports: Coming out of high school, Rolle was one of the top ranked prospects in the country. His play on the field definitely warrants mentioning, he is currently 2nd on the team in tackles, and most mock drafts show him as a first or second round pick and one of the top ranked safeties.
  • Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship: Balancing an athletic career and scholastic career is tough. On the night that he was awarded the scholarship, he took a private jet and had a police escort to get him to his team's game. He arrived just before half, entering the game with about a minute left. Rolle also realizes that his award gives his school a much needed boost in the PR department: "In the midst of the troubles that have gone on here at Florida State academically, there are still student-athletes doing the right thing. Possibly we can move that perception from being a school that's just focused on partying and athletics."
  • Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings: in his spare time (how does he have spare time?), Myron has visited with Native Americans of the Seminole tribe, speaking to children about how physical fitness and a healthy diet can help combat the tribe's problems of obesity and diabetes. With his aspirations of a career in medicine, the last offseason he was in the medical labs helping with research on cancer and stem cells, for which he received a $4,000 research grant.
Certainly a breath of fresh air for college athletics. So much for the Dumb Jock stereotype. I couldn't muster a GPA even close to that, and I had no extracurricular activities outside of drinking and a job, and I sure as hell wasn't taking medical classes. (Of course, I did attend a Big 10 University, where we all know the academic standard is much, much higher than an ACC school)

Hats off to you, Myron. I have a feeling that your best is yet to come.

Comments