Former Oklahoma Sooner Adrian Peterson's $1 Million Gift a Rare Occurrence

By Luke McConnell

There aren’t many stories of professional athletes giving back to their alma maters. At least, there aren’t as many as there should be.

However, the University of Oklahoma received a generous gift from one of football’s best running backs, adding their names to the list of those who have benefited from their alumni’s generosity.

Last week, former Oklahoma Sooners‘ and current Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pledged to donate $1 million to his alma mater, specifically the school’s athletic department.

Peterson’s donation will help fund the completion of the new OU athletic dorms, Headington Hall, as well as establish the Adrian Peterson Football Scholarship Endowment.

“This was something that I had been thinking about doing for a long time,” Peterson said in a release. “I always hoped to be in a position to be able to donate back to the University of Oklahoma and make it an even better place; do whatever I could to help the university that did so much for me.

“It was something that I always wanted to do and there just came a time when I got established and comfortable enough to make it happen. It was a no-brainer to do it and I am thankful that I’m in a position to give back to OU and to show my appreciation.”

As far players giving back in the Big 12, Peterson’s gift is the biggest since former All-American Ndamukong Suh gave $2.6 million to Nebraska in 2010.

Professional athletes are making millions of dollars each year, but it’s shocking how few actually give back to the universities that, in many cases, gave them the opportunity to excel and move on to the professional level.

If nothing else, the universities where the players played gave them a platform to showcase their talents.

I say it’s shocking, but when you stop and think about today’s professional athlete, you don’t find it so surprising. Athletes today are incredibly self-absorbed, and really don’t know how to be a role model.

Common courtesy says when someone gives you something, you thank them. Well, what better way for an athlete to thank a university that gave them so much, by giving just a small portion of the millions they’ve made over the years.

After all, their gift could allow the university to continue to give more and more athletes a future in their respective sports.

Doesn’t seem like a very hard concept to me.

Kudos to Peterson for doing what too few athletes do today. He decided what OU had given him was worth more to him than his money was.

What he did, was say, “Thank you.”

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