If the San Antonio Spurs’ TIm Duncan, one of the most feared power forwards in the NBA, had had the inclination, he could have entered in the same draft as fellow superstar Kevin Garnett (1995) or Kobe Bryant (1996). Instead he completed four years of college at Wake Forest University with a degree in psychology and later went on to win four championships rings. So when you hear that Myron Rolle, the 22-year-old football player from Florida State University, is deferring professional plans for higher education, it shouldn’t sound to crazy. Especially when you learn that Rolle graduated pre-med in two and a half years from Florida Sate and postponed the NFL for a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. There are millions to be made, sure, but it’s understood that the spoils will come. Just ask Bill Bradley.
GIANT: How difficult was this decision for you? Very. It’s been my dream to play in the NFL, and that’s always been my goal athletically. Toward the end of my junior football season, I started to hear that I was a high draft choice, but once I won the Rhodes Scholarship I started to believe that my life would take a different path.
How so? One year at Oxford puts me in an environment where i’ll be able to expand my vision of the world, of myself, of my community to where I can make a significant impact-not to say that football won’t allow me to do that-but a Rhodes Scholarship is special. Studying at Oxford is just something I can’t pass up. And I’m confident that I’ll show the NFL teams and the franchises that I’ve come back to fulfill that dream, too.
Do you think it’s financially wise for a student to pass up the NFL to study? I had lunch with the Secretary of the Department of Children & Families for the State of Florida and we were talking about just that. He told me that a lot more students are applying to grad school, to law school and second-level degrees because of the climate right now. For me, money’s never been an issue. My family has never had a lot of money. I wasn’t raised to know that lifestyle, all i know is acquiring knowledge.
What do you do when you’re not studying, practicing, or plotting to take over the world? I love Mob movies. All three Godfathers, The Sopranos on DVD, Casino, Goodfellas, I got ’em all. I can watch them over and over again. And I’m a member of Kappa alpha psi, so I hang out with my frat brothers. It’s different than being around football players. They’re like-minded men of color who don’t really care how many tackles I made or what I scored on my test. It’s always good to have that.