Why is this interesting? Because Florida State safety Myron Rolle is the first major-college athlete to win the most prestigious academic scholarship since Princeton basketball player Bill Bradley won the award in 1965.
Rolle is in his final football season at Florida State and now faces a difficult decision. He will have to choose between perhaps playing in the N.F.L. next year and studying at Oxford. His planned course of study would be a one-year master’s degree in medical anthropology; he plans to become a doctor and open a clinic to help needy people in the Bahamas. Rolle has said that if he wins the award, he will make a decision with his family when things settle down.
“I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he heads off to Oxford in October,” Karioth said of Rolle. “He’s really an academic. There aren’t a lot of Renaissance kids out there. He really is.”
Rolle has long stood out at Florida State. He was the country’s top recruit, started as a freshman and has had an all-American-caliber junior year in 2008.
Along with graduating in two and a half years with a 3.75 grade point average in pre-med, Rolle was awarded a $4,000 grant to conduct cancer research and set up a program in Okeechobee, Fla., to teach Seminole Indian children about health and physical fitness.
Whether Myron Rolle decides to play in the NFL or take his academic scholarship, it has been awhile since any major college athlete has been known more for his smarts than his play on the field. This is something that should be celebrated.