What if NFL fails?

So you win the national championship. Is that the end of the line?

It is a wonderful accomplishment especially for a team, a school, which has been through so much in the last five years. But how can some say that it is the end of the road?

Juniors’ Jeremy Shockey, Clinton Portis, and Phillip Buchanon said this victory is the pinnacle of their entire college career. In fact, the exact words said to a CNNSI reporter on Jan. 6, 2002 were: “There isn’t much more I can do in college.” These words, which came from Portis, our star running back, greatly upset me. Not only does Miami lose three incredibly talented players, but it also seems as though seniors of the recent past have made no impact on the minds of their fellow players. Is it no longer the pinnacle of a college career to complete the education, to obtain a diploma, to stand there at the end and know that you did not sell yourself short by choosing money over an education? And is it still not understood that football does not last forever, that things can happen beyond your control, and when all is said and done it is crucial and rewarding to have that piece of paper framed saying you received a college degree?

Apparently someone forgot to tell our players that the NFL is not going to cease to exist at the end of next fiscal year, and that the millions will still be there if they were to wait it out and graduate. In this past NFL season we saw two of Miami’s past starters, Dan Morgan and Santana Moss, benched for almost half a season with injuries. At least they had the security of knowing that if it were all to end right then and there they had a diploma to vouch for their education, a safety net they could fall back on. Maybe it is not good enough for these three players to know that for the past five years their teammates have clawed their way back to the top, and that seniors have stayed for their final year to make sure they kept this team going.

Maybe the millions are more alluring than that piece of paper all of us common students hold in such high regard. But then again, I guess everyone has their list of priorities. Unfortunately it does not seem that Shockey, Portis, or Buchanon consider a college degree one of theirs.

Denise Kolb is a sophomore majoring in criminology.