Doctor, Lawyer, NFL, NBA, Candlestickmaker

Want To be
BobLee
July12/ 2017

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” has been asked of every boy and girl since the Dawn of Mankind or soon thereafter.

“Not something’s lunch” was #1 answer for the first few 1,000 years.

Today we put on our hip boots to wade in the Twin Swamps of Major College Sports… Football and Basketball.

I am rethinking my POV on the legitimacy of the academic paths trod by many/most “student-athletes” (cough, cough, wink, snort) matriculating at Power Five institutions of higher learning (more cough cough wink snort).

I, like some but not-all-of you, decry the abject hypocrisy of the student-athlete sham masking the odiousness of Big Time College Football and Basketball.  Getting more odious each year.

NOTE: We are NOT talking about fencing, acapella choir, or transgender crew which often include legitimate students. Students who use their laptops for purposes other than solitaire or porn and who use the campus library for purposes other than to pee or escape a sudden rain shower.

“Studies show” an abnormally high % of youngster attending Power Five institutions to play Football or Basketball do so with the sole aspiration that Football or Basketball will be their post-school vocation.

They will “major” in ____ball.  … NO PLAN B!

Put aside the needle-in-a-haystack odds of that pro sports career.

Put aside the odds of a serious injury during his college athletic career ending that dream.

Put aside that his athletic development “peaks” well below the elite level of a pro athlete.

That youngster dominated a Pop Warner league and/or hit a homer as a 9-y/o in Little League. He set his sights on “a pro sports career”.  Aspirations encouraged by his family, friends and community.

Put aside that “a pro sports career” lasts an average of 3-5 years if one is fortunate to have one at all. Extending that to 5-6 years… the thought of what about those next 50 years is a non-issue.

Make bazillions in those 5-6 years to tide one over for life? Alas “studies show” 70% of NFL / NBA “former players” are broke within two years of their playing career ending. Broke at 30 with zero marketable skills for any occupation beyond bodyguard for a famous rapper… bouncer at a strip club?

Let’s consider another demographic…

Consider the suburban middle class Cauc youngster who answers the “…. when you grow up?” question with Lawyer… Doctor… or Engineer…

Maybe a parent or relative is one or maybe he/she watches a lot of legal / medical TV shows. Whatever…

Maybe the prime reasons for both demographics choices are (1) they make a lot of money; and (2) society views those occupations as prestigious.

As with becoming a pro athlete, becoming a lawyer / doctor / engineer takes more than “I really want to be one”.

It requires an intellectual proficiency as well as stellar academic achievement… then the rigors of becoming professionally certified. The best of intentions and burnt midnight oil can still fall short.

Many a pre-med pre-dental major at UNCCH has fallen victim to Chem 11.

Many a want-to-be engineer at NCSU has been waylaid by Calculus.

That is why those hurdles are placed in their path early on. BE ADVISED: This academic road is HARD and UNFORGIVING!

OK:  Yes, I am skirting the fact that “rigorous preparation for self-sufficiency” is no  longer a concern at liberal arts colleges.  Their #1 priority is insuring lifetime dependency.  At STEM schools that, thankfully, is not the case.

Ravenel Bridge

If you can’t pass Calculus, can you redesign the Ravenel Bridge over the CooperRiver? …build a motherboard?

Is there much of a difference between a want-to-be MD and a want-to-be NFLer/NBAer arriving on campus full of piss & promise. Then realizing… it ain’t gonna happen?

Is “the difference” that the disappointed Not-a-Doctor / Not-a-Lawyer has fall back options due to a more all-encompassing education… than does the Not-a- pro athlete?

A Not-a-MD / Not-a-lawyer can fall back to teaching, accounting, banking, sales, corporate something, et al… tele-marketer?

The semi-literate Not-a-pro athlete with a bum knee and an unimpressive creampuff transcript falls back to…. bodyguard / bouncer.

Millionaire coaches treat their sport as the #1 priority for their recruited student-athletes. Their work-outs / practice are the equivalent of the pre-med pre-law student’s library / lab time.

The coaches know the slim odds of a “pro career”.

Mary Willingham knew those odds too. Mary Willingham simply wanted to be sure her tutored athletes COULD READ at a 9th grade level when they left UNCCH.

Be able to read would be the most basic of fall backs when their pro sports dream died… as 98% will.

Mary Willingham was cussed and run out of Chapel Hill for her concern.

Next month 1,000s of 18 y/o want-to-be pro athletes… want-to-be doctors… want-to-be lawyers will walk onto America’s college campuses to chase their dreams… and have Reality revise them.

And then fall-back to…

###

It has occurred to me that I cannot name ONE – not ONE – returning player on ANY ACC Football team. Including that Louisville QB that won the Heisman.

Blondie and I are scheduling our Fall beach trips. I never once checked any football schedules.  …

MORE BobLee Says – LINK

BobLee
  • fayettewuf Reply
    3 days ago

    ““Studies show” an abnormally high % of youngster attending Power Five institutions to play Football or Basketball do so with the sole aspiration that Football or Basketball will be their post-school vocation.”
    .
    Not doubting your claim, but I would be interested is seeing those studies; this just to see how many we are really talking about. I suspect that the further we get from the top 20 in the smaller the percent who are fooling themselves. I am familiar with D-III athletes. Many of those athletes just want to keep playing beyond high school. The love of playing keeps a lot of those kids in school.
    .
    I wonder if a semi-pro league was established with the teams being associated with universities whether those teams would have the same connection with college fans.

    • BobLee Reply
      3 days ago

      The “studies” were restricted to FB / MBB recruits at Power Five schools. Certainly in the “smaller schools” their student-athletes have more realistic goals and take their academics more seriously.
      .
      I have a plan on the shelf offering FB/MBB the option of $25,000/year OR an academic “scholarship”.

  • Harper Cooper Reply
    1 week ago

    Colleges have become the minor leagues for the Pro’s and the Pro’s don’t don’t have to supplement expenses (maybe) . That’s why there are fewer minor league teams. It’s all about the money and not just the player.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      It is a business… for everyone involved.

  • Jon Sasser Reply
    1 week ago

    Unsuccessful student-athletes do not always just wander away. This year, 740 D1 basketball players transferred colleges. http://www.verbalcommits.com/transfers/2017?division=D1 That’s more than two per team who decided that the grass is greener somewhere else.

    If you scroll down this list, you will note that very few moved to more competitive teams – some transferred out of the NCAA entirely. Others have not yet landed anywhere.

    Hard to give up on that dream.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      I noticed how quickly “trends” develop in Major College FB/BB. The last year transfer came into vogue 5-6 years ago and now its a popular go-to option.

  • myowngrandpaw Reply
    1 week ago

    Biggest joke of all time.
    “There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and most of us will go pro in something other than sports.”
    NCAA
    .
    I wish someone would sue them for false advertisement.
    Then people ignore fact an NCAA school can revoke a scholarship for any reason. It is on a year to year basis.
    .
    The sad thing is athletic programs have academic advantages regular students do not have. Ready made tutors, class schedulers, food, medical…playing a varsity sport as a non scholarship athlete, I still had access to academic perks. That REALLY came in handy on drop add day back in the day. They had a side door for athletes and we got in an hour before the rubes. I was in and out of drop add in 15 minutes. Faster than I could on any computer. If tutor was needed, just ask. Teachers had no problem working with athletes AS LONG as the athlete provided a schedule of when they might be on the road or practicing.
    .
    Yet these schools use the programs to steer kids to programs that help them stay “eligible” and not concern themselves with what they get close to graduating in. OR, the students are not brow beaten enough to take full advantage of academic help.
    .
    Finally, I have no problem with schools hiring people to just help in the BASIC reading, writing and math skills to get them at least close to college prep. So even if they do not graduate, the athlete can function. Give a credit or two towards graduation. It is a WIN for society if they improve a persons ability to improve on basic skills. Maybe they won’t find that athlete under a car in a parking garage.
    ,
    NCAA has failed so many human beings over the years, it should be a crime!

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      The schools and NCAA will never admit that a high % of AfAms receive marginal to poor public education. When they get to college they can NEVER succeed on any level without basic tutoring in reading and reading comprehension.
      .
      Mary was willing to provide that assistance but UNC would not admit the athletes needed it.

  • Tom Reply
    1 week ago

    NCAA college sports are possibly more crooked than the mob. The difference being the mob admits they’re crooks. What kills me is that the highest paid state employee in most states is a university sports coach and said coach knows absolutely nothing about their athlete’s taking BS classes. i.e Sgt Schultz over at UNCCH.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      They know what they want to know… and know the deep-pocketed boosters will cover for them via influence and $$$.

  • TarSpartan Reply
    1 week ago

    I just read Leland Melvin’s autobiography a few weeks back. He was, at the time of his graduation, the leader in TD receptions at University of Richmond. He was drafted in the 11th round by the Lions, but cut due to injury before he ever took a snap in a regular season game. Mr. Melvin was the odd duck who majored in engineering while playing football, so his plan B was to go to graduate school and get a Masters Degree. He parlayed that degree into a job at NASA Langley, and was later accepted into the astronaut corps, flying two missions into space. He holds the distinction of being the only person in history (to date) to be drafted by an NFL team and fly into space. Sadly, his story is the exception rather than the rule.

    I was a lab assistant helping with an intro to computing class the year after Curtis Johnson (of 90s Johnson & Johnson 1000-yard rushing fame) turned pro and was not drafted. He was a nice guy and eager student, but again, I fear he is the exception rather than the rule.

    For the record, 8 AM Quantum Mechanics on the Tuesday-Thursday schedule (i.e. 90 minute classes) was the one that almost did me in.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      Rashad McCants, Rasheed Wallace, etc have no clue where Venable Hall is, nor any need to know.

  • 70sTarheel Reply
    1 week ago

    I’d personally vote for more bodyguards/bouncers and fewer lawyers, even though I fall into the latter category. I had a client tell me a lawyer joke yesterday:
    Q: What’s the difference between an estate lawyer and a tick?
    A: At least when you die the tick drops off.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      I am headed to lunch with Raleigh’s version of Suits’ Harvey Specter.

  • UNC.Med.Guy Reply
    1 week ago

    Most aspiring med school applicants seem to wash out before getting accepted to med school. The med schools don’t take those who struggled with organic chem. However, once they are accepted there is a huge effort to make sure they succeed.
    .
    I don’t know the stats but I have the sense that they haven’t changed much.
    .
    Medical schools have a very different philosophy than some other professional schools. We have all heard the comments about Law School deans, on day one, telling the students to look to your right, then look to your left ……
    .
    it is relatively uncommon for someone to “flunk” out of med school. Some of us have a problem with this because it more or less assumes (yes, I know) that the admissions committee is infallible. If someone doesn’t do well, the tendency is to have them repeat the year or two before giving them their walking papers. And of course we all know what we call the person who graduates last in their med school class.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      Thanks. I do not want an Affirm Action MD cutting on my retina. Or an Affirm Action Engineer building a high-rise or a 747.

  • WolfPack00 Reply
    1 week ago

    Civil Engineer Class of ’00

    When I was a freshman we had a class intro to engineering or something like that.

    They told us that less than 50% would graduate and less than 30% would stay in Engineering!

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      sounds like SEAL training.

      • WolfPack00 Reply
        1 week ago

        Not as physically tough but mentally similar!

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      1 week ago

      In 1963, it was LOOK to your LEFT. LOOK to your RIGHT. Neither one of them will graduate…..
      .
      Somehow, as an Engineering Graduate, I feel a bit more “lucky” and also proud of what I accomplished. I did have several friends that chose to “go over the hill” after their freshman year at NCSU. Some of them were very smart and were in the “University Honors” programs and were Beta Club members in their local HS’s.
      .
      I totally agree with BL, I want the smartest and the best (and I am willing to put up with their “I AM GOD” attitude) when they cut on me and play video games with my urinary track and do NOT cut the “Jolly nerves” or when they cut open my chest and stick a “can” inside that about the size of two stacked silver dollars and then push two pieces of 22″ of wire down UNDER my heart though an artery (vein?) and then “screw” those suckers in place and guarantee that the wires will last 30 years.
      I decided to invest in Medtronics after the last one. Missed a 6X gain in robotic surgery when my prostate was plucked out by 4 robot arms…
      I DO compliment my UNC (undergrad and MD) on his video gaming skills…..he was a real “PINBALL WIZARD”. Lest one think that I am an “IST”, my Cardio guy is an immigrant from Egypt….Hardheaded, but SMART….and he and I get along great….
      .
      Don’t let some “Affirmative Action or whatever” person that got in because of how they pee or what color or whatever…..cut or poke or prod on me or my family. Best and Brightest….regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, political affiliation, whatever….

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        Folks better pay attention to whats happens in colleges or THAT will be happening.

  • Mary.Fayett Reply
    1 week ago

    So… IF UNC had listened when they heard Mary blow her whistle and… Instead of making her “Typhoid Mary” they had instituted For Real changes in their FB /BB athlete academics, UNC could have possibly been a LEADER in Reform of a Rotten System?
    .
    Instead they denied denied obfuscated lied… and have become the punch line for a Rotten System regardless of whether they “lawyer” their way out or not.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      Yes ma’m. Thats how I see it. They chose the path of deny and obfuscate instead of mea culpa and FIX IT.
      .
      Of course if they did away with “eligibility academics” entirely they would NOT be competitive much less winning 8-10 /year. Can’t have both these days.

  • Ann.GSBO Reply
    1 week ago

    Fluffers !! NOOOOO. OK, I googled it too. Aaaiieee!
    .
    I always thought Roto-rooter or proctologist or “the guy who cleans up after the elephants at the circus” had the worst jobs. Fluffers have to be on that list.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      It might be a longer list that we know.
      .
      Getting specific “being Hillary’s or Bully Barber’s proctologist” might be #1. Being Bully Barber’s “fluffer” now THAT might be #1A.

  • BobLee Reply
    1 week ago

    We have a goodly numbers of NCSU Engineer-types who are BL addicts. I need your input…
    .
    Of all the Freshman “engineer wannabees” that arrive on NCSU campus… what % actually end up majoring in/with a degree in any facet of Engineering?
    .
    If you don’t know. Best guess?

    • NCSU77 Reply
      1 week ago

      I graduated a long time ago. Back then, I’m guessing about 1/3 to 1/2 changed majors. The best recruiting tool the Speech and Communications School had was the School of Engineering. The second semester calculus course or Chem 105 (anybody remember Coots and Carmichael?).

      Today, it’s so competitive, I think they more are making it through. The big myth is getting through in 4 years. Odds are it will take longer. At today’s tuition rates, that is a BIG deal.

      • BobLee Reply
        1 week ago

        Thanks. I would have guessed more than 50% wash-out. But I understand an NCSU Eng grad walks off campus into a lot of nice job choices. That makes it worth it I would think.

        • NCSU77 Reply
          1 week ago

          Getting into engineer at State now is very tough now. The ones that are accepted are highly qualified and highly motivated. So I think the success rate may be better now. In my day it was easier to get in, but staying in was a whole other issue. In the seventies I think we had a lot more distractions ( My Apartment Lounge, The Jolly Knave, etc)

          • BobLee
            1 week ago

            Tough academic road … but a brass ring waits at the end!

          • Mayberry Jim
            1 week ago

            It doesn’t end after you finally earn a BS in engineering. Those that have the guts to attempt to earn their Professional Engineers license have a similar probability of success. There is often less than a 50% pass rate on that exam (8 questions, 8 hours to complete, and you have to make a 60 to pass). Most brutal day of my life.

          • BobLee
            1 week ago

            Those disciplines are HARD. Only very capable individuals should be in such professions. Becoming certified SHOULD be very difficult.

  • Allan.Y.64 Reply
    1 week ago

    BobLee, I’m going ask the question a lot of your readers must be wondering…
    .
    How come you know so much about the porn business?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      HAA! I knew that was coming. 🙂 … “know so much” = “know more than you do”.

      .
      #1 : I read A LOT of crime fiction… big city “rogue cops”… “gritty stuff” by legitimate popular novelists like Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Robert Crais, Don Winslow, John Sanford and 6-8 others. They are always dealing with organized crime, vice, seamy stuff, etc. How those authors get THEIR info is the real question. I learn second-hand from them.
      .
      I also have read a few tell-alls by former practitioners of assorted XXX occupations. How they “got into the biz – hooking, stripping, porn”… “what the biz is like” … “how/why they got out”.
      .
      And then there is the “I just make up crap” part too. Don’t tell MAHA. 🙂

  • Former96heel Reply
    1 week ago

    Congrats on cutting ties from the NCAA and Cable TV’s altered reality. I know a whole lot of us who are there already, even though the Clemson contingent in the office makes up for everyone else’s loss in enthusiasm. Their QB will be able to play Clemson’s version of George Rogers for the rest of his life after his NFL dream crashes, but once he is outside that 50 mile (or is it 25 in the Upstate?) circle, I am assuming he is not ready to sit for his CPA exam.
    .
    Will I ever live to see the system collapse, or ever turn back around?
    .
    Curious, doesn’t one have statistically about the same chance of making the NFL from say Carson Newman as they do from a second tier Big 5 school (FSU, Alabama, etc excluded)? Close to zero is close to zero. 5 active NFL alumni compared to 2 still means the incoming freshman class needs to take advantage of the educational opportunities at hand.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      Yes to the statistical chances. NFL scouting is so extensive these days that it is very hard for a kid with a legitimate skill set to not come up on some teams radar. EVERY team videotapes their practice and games and it is so easy to distribute those MP3 / YouTubes / videos.
      .
      NFL and NBA may not be as “statistics-obsessed” as MLB is but getting there. The only issue with small school players is lack of PT in high pressure “big time” games. Can he perform under the REALLY bright lights on the really big stage?
      .
      Kids playing FB/ BB at small schools usually have “a Plan B” because the odds are even worse for all but the SUPER talent at that level. My son-in-law played at Div III Wheaton and NONE of his teammates ever had Pro Dreams. They simply “loved the game and the team camaraderie” aspects. That final game as seniors was IT.
      .
      Could the system implode on itself? I’m sure there is some DoomsDay Scenario but I don’t see it in my lifetime.

  • MaHa Reply
    1 week ago

    BL: Just read the new column. Thought you were kidding about “fluffers”.Googled it. You weren’t. Wish I hadn’t. There is some really sick stuff out there. MAHA.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      Maha, bless your heart. You been hanging out here since about Day One. I remember when you didn’t know how to e-mail. You oughta know by now…
      .
      I will tell you stuff you didn’t know.
      I will tell you stuff you don’t need to know.
      I will tell you some stuff you’re better off NOT knowing.
      “Fluffers” fits all three categories.
      .
      But I will NOT burden you with faux misinformation. I leave that to The N&O and The N&R and CNN et al.

  • LRP Reply
    1 week ago

    Yea… that Chem 11 cancelled my plans of following in my father’s footsteps…..but what was I going to do with my 4 semesters of Portuguese and 2 semesters of Chinese 50? When I told my Dad that I was going to major in Political Science ( lawyer…maybe? )., he replied, ” What are you going to do with that?…..Open up a Poli Sci shop? “

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      Many a Wanna Be MD Dream died “deep in the bowels” of Venable Hall.

  • Sharon.Wilm Reply
    1 week ago

    Beyond whatever, if anything, happens with TGU; the sham and hypocrisy of major college Football / Basketball “student-athletes” is not getting any better, is it?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      No ma’m. If anything its getting worse each year. The high stakes $$$$ side of Major College FB/MBB now owns The NCAA membership. Once a school says it wants to compete in Major College FB/MBB it sells its soul to a TV-rights Satan.
      .
      “Winning” is all about “recruiting” is all about “facility bling” is all about “Booster / Fan base $$$”. Look at it like a Crystal Meth habit… virtually impossible to “break”. Feed The Beast… Feed The Beast.
      .
      The kids who come out the back end with no marketable life skills are pretty much like what comes out of all “back ends”. Flush’em and move on Feeding The Beast.

  • UNCBlue Reply
    1 week ago

    Spot on. Sure hope the alum and students enjoy those games.
    BTW-reading Sacketts on your rec. -much fun.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      Barnabas Sackett is my ALL-TIME Literary Hero. Even more than Joe Pickett and Mitch Rapp. And Joe and Mitch are terrific. I only went about 6-7 Louis LaMour books into The Sacketts. The first 3-4 are WONDERFUL!
      .
      Thanks for mentioning it. You made my day!

  • RTF.72 Reply
    1 week ago

    Do any Power Five schools track the post-eligibility lives of their student-athletes. Not just the obvious success stories… ALL of them?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      EXCELLENT QUESTION: That is an entire column in itself. NO… and if they did you would NEVER see or hear about such data. “They” ALL tout their NFL/NBA alums and certainly the rare ones who achieve beyond pro sports. The media guides have special sections devoted to them.
      .
      To be fair… many of the “Sorry Charlies” simply fall off the grid when their eligibility runs out. They knew they were being “used” by the system… and vice versa. Once there is no further mutual use for each other, they sever contact. An “I used to be…” with no eligibility left and no marketable life skills is not anyone a program wants hanging around.
      .
      UNC’s notorious Chris Hawkins is a good example. They all have’em.

  • Tracy.H Reply
    1 week ago

    I have to ask… What about the “I want to be a Porn Star” faction?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 week ago

      The “Studies show” research is not as accessible there. I suppose there is the Adult Films equivalent of the NBA’s D-League or “he’s playing overseas” for Pornies too.
      .
      There is a category in “the biz” known as “Fluffers”. A Fluffer “prepares the male pornies for action”. Not sure if a Fluffer is a big hit at her HS reunion. I guess it depends on the relative achievements of her classmates.
      .
      Questions lead to more questions lead to … It never stops.

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