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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back to school

It came to Darnell Autry, once a star running back and a Heisman Trophy finalist, that life could offer more than working hotel security or making sure hardy partyers weren't falling into the pool at a Las Vegas casino. If only he had his college degree.

It occurred to Hudhaifa Ismaeli, once a star defensive back, that life could offer more than a place on the production line in a factory that made sewer pipes, or doing construction work. If only he had his college degree.

Standouts in college, both among the key players on Northwestern's improbable run 10 years ago to an outright 1995 Big Ten title and the 1996 Rose Bowl, neither Autry nor Ismaeli made it big in the NFL. Each had left Northwestern with about two years' worth of college credits yet to be earned. And then their pro dreams were dashed.

Each, swallowing a heaping dose of pride, eventually went back to school, back to Northwestern, in Evanston, Ill., immediately north of Chicago, a demanding academic institution.

And now, each is poised to take part in graduation ceremonies in June. Autry will turn 30 three days after the ceremonies on June 16; Ismaeli will be pushing 31.

You ever wonder what happened to those college football stars? When a professional football career doesn't pan out, meaning no multimillion-dollar guaranteed contract, what can they do?

I'm surprised that these players end up having to pay for their post-football schooling. The least the school could do is allow the players to get their degree, to show how thankful they are for how the players pumped money into their football programs.

My favorite line from the article:

In one of Autry's first classes back in Evanston, the professor took roll. After class ended, another student approached Autry and said, "You're Darnell Autry?! You know, I used to watch you when I was a kid."

I bet that made him feel old!


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