Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rhodes Scholar or Instant Millions? Tough Choice

Florida State safety Myron Rolle had a tough choice, either declare himself eligible for the 2009 draft or defer entry to the NFL until the 2010 draft and accept a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University. While admirably he chose the latter, at least in the short term, his decision to not enter the NFL draft until 2010 will certainly impact his financial interests if and when he decides to play.

Since the NFL appears to be headed for an uncapped season in 2010, the owners could institute a Rookie salary cap for the 2010 draft. This would mean that a player, like Rolle, that was looking at being drafted in the top 4o players will receive drastically reduced wages, not unlike incoming NBA players did when they put in place their own Rookie cap.

Not to mention that NFL personnel memories are short and if you aren't playing, you aren't going to get drafted high. By Rolle going to England for a year and since he wasn't a top 10 candidate anyway, he almost certainly will slide down draft boards and not get anywhere near the draft pick and thus the money he would've gotten had he come out in 2009 even if there isn't going to be a rookie cap.

Neither having a Rhodes scholarship nor playing in the NFL is a sure way to making millions of dollars and leaving yourself set for life for sure. While the prestige of playing in the NFL can take you places (ask Steve Largent and Heath Shuler) a Rhodes scholarship can certainly carry more weight in one's life after one's playing days are done (ask Bill Bradley) but either one's prestige can only go so far to pay the bills and that 1st or 2nd round pick money could certainly have been of some use to a guy as smart as Rolle. Then again, maybe I have no idea how much someone in the field of medical anthropology makes.

Via The Quad, NY Times Blog


Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight.
This young man should be commended and congratulations are in order.

The comments about the rookie salary cap have already been disproved by commissioner Goodell till at least after the 2011 draft!!

Chimpanzee Rage said...

Hi there Anon. I didnt say it was a fact that there would be a rookie cap. In addition, rookie cap or no, there is no way he would get drafted as high as he could be now by sitting out of football for a year thus costing him money. I'll send him your congrats and commendation if I ever see him.

BC said...

I'm pretty sure if he decides to play later he'll be able to pay his bills.

Anonymous said...

I think a key thing for Rolle had to be that, unlike most guys we talk about who can "finish their education later," the Rhodes Scholarship is a once in a lifetime, set yourself up for greatness by spending a year in England, type thing. He can't just play in the NFL and then, when he's 35 and has made his millions, go back and apply again. It was take it or leave it, and no matter how much we all love the NFL, it was absolutely the right choice. I hope young black males will see him as a role model, especially once he's a pro-bowler in the NFL who also happens to be brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Dude has played football all his life. Let him expand his horizons and grow as a person. With his talent and credentials he'll be set for life either way.