Education students at Miami University in Ohio had a very unusual peer at their graduation ceremony this past Sunday. Normally, the graduation’s most well-known attendee is the guest speaker, but in this case it was one of the students.
Big Ben left Miami (OH) early in order to enter the NFL draft in 2004. The associate dean of the College says that Roethlisberger was four courses short of meeting the requirements to graduate. Ben completed those courses and was finally able to earn his degree.
This gesture from a two time Super Bowl champion should not go unnoticed. In a day and age where many young athletes (particularly basketball players due to college football’s three year rule) only attend college for a year and jump ship to the pros without the slightest intent of getting an education. Even in college football many stars who are bound for the NFL take classes such as ball-room dancing just to meet the eligibility requirements.
It is rare that such a decorated athlete would choose to finish out their education. However, another star athlete has recently done the same thing. Basketball Legend Shaquille O’Neal received a doctorate in education from Barry University. Shaq also left college early to enter the pros, but promised his parents that he would get a degree.
Roethlisberger and O’Neal should be revered for their will and determination to fulfill what each of them started out to do before they reached a high level of success in their respective sports.
Follow me on twitter @bbonsell24