The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Quarterback’s quick decision to enter pro draft questionable

Vince Young, 10, shows moves against opponents this year as quarterback of the national champions in college football, The University of Texas, which beat University of Southern California in the Rose Bowl.  Photo courtesy University of Texas
Vince Young, 10, shows moves against opponents this year as quarterback of the national champions in college football, The University of Texas, which beat University of Southern California in the Rose Bowl. Photo courtesy University of Texas

By Robert Barowski/NE news editor

Vince Young, 10, shows moves against opponents this year as quarterback of the national champions in college football, The University of Texas, which beat University of Southern California in the Rose Bowl.  Photo courtesy University of Texas
Vince Young, 10, shows moves against opponents this year as quarterback of the national champions in college football, The University of Texas, which beat University of Southern California in the Rose Bowl. Photo courtesy University of Texas

Less than one week from leading the Texas Longhorns to its first national football title since 1970, quarterback Vince Young had to run off and enter himself into the 2006 NFL Draft.

The question I have for Vince is why? Why leave a program that has one of the highest graduation rates in the NCAA to play pro ball? Why leave the school that has one of the largest alumni associations and legions of fans who now consider you a god among men? Why leave when there is still more to accomplish?

Young was quoted as saying, “I have accomplished everything I could in college.”

Well, he did win a national title, the Maxwell award and the Davey O’Brien Award for being the nation’s top player and best quarterback.

Young also managed 467 yards of total offense and three rushing touchdowns against USC in the Rose Bowl, went 30-2 as a starter, beat OU in the 2005 Red River Shootout, won the Cingular/ABC Sports All-America Player of the Year award, received first team All-American status, Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year winner and was a runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting, but fell short in 2005.

The last thing on that list is the biggest thing Young has not accomplished in college; he never won the Heisman Trophy, which is given to the nation’s best college football player.

USC QB Matt Leinart and RB Reggie Bush can both tout Heisman awards that they have won the previous two seasons as they turn their attention to the NFL.

If the fact those two gentlemen have won the Heisman is not enough of an insult, Leinart and Bush can also boast one more national title than Young, winning back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004 with USC. Young is turning away before defending what he did this year at Texas.

The most important, life-altering accomplishment missing from Young’s resume is the hardest thing for students in college: earning a degree. Graduation rates are down across the board as cost of tuition keeps many out of the classroom.

For student athletes with Young’s caliber of talent, scholarships are easily given out, easing the financial burden and in a lot of cases eliminating any cost to the students and their families.

For Young, he is passing up a free education at one of the best schools in the nation. UT is known as the Ivy League school of the South, though it is not a true Ivy League school like Harvard. It may sound nerdy to be concerned with getting an education when you are gifted with athletic skills that many of us wish we had.

However, the average career of an NFL player is too short to go without an education. If he gets hurt and is unable to play, providing financial assistance for his family, like he wants to, will be impossible.

That $25 million he’s being promised will fade quickly.

His decision to leave early without a degree is also a slap in the face to his coach and mentor, Mack Brown, who has a reputation for getting his team members to play out their eligibility and graduate with degrees, preparing them for their future away from sports.

Young has walked away from the man who took him under his wing and molded into the champion he is today. Young is the exception, not the rule in Austin. The opportunities for Young to work after pro ball will be greatly diminished unless ESPN or any other network calls to hire him as an analyst.

Many former pro athletes end up in jobs once considered beneath them. Fans learn about such situations all the time on Beyond the Glory.

Young should have elected to stay at Texas for his senior year … if not for the degree, then at least for the chance to beat OU again and win a Heisman Trophy and another national title. He still has much to do, but now it will never be done.

Student athletes need to stop putting money and fame first and start putting loyalty, commitment and education in its place.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian