Pro Athletes — former Student Athletes?

Professional / Student Athletes

Are the professional athletes who play for our NFL teams (and other professional sports) really former student athletes or did they just attend school on dollars paid by others, including taxpayers and other students?

What kind of an education did, and do, these players actually get? What do they learn beside how to be better athletes? Do they attend the same classes other students attend, or do they attend classes especially set up for student athletes?

Many of them never graduate.

Los Angeles is currently in the hunt for an NFL franchise to call its own. Personally, I think our two current “professional” football teams are sufficient, but what do I know? In the running are three teams which used to call Los Angeles home: the San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders and the Saint Louis Rams. Why we would want any of these back again is beyond me.

I ventured to the San Diego Chargers website and looked to see if I could find out anything about the education their players received while in college. After all, if you had a team composed entirely, or almost entirely, of college graduates, wouldn’t you want to brag about it?

The only place I could find any information about the education of the people in the Charger organization was their Media Guide. As you might expect those in charge of the organization and its finances were highly educated. The players . . . not so much.

Following is a list of coaches and players and their college majors and degrees. I may have missed a few but the list below contains the information I found while looking at the Media Guide rather than watching football.

Maybe you’ll come to the same conclusion about “student” athletes I did.

San Diego Chargers

General Manager — Tom Telesco — John Carrol University, 1995, degree in business management

Head Coach — Mike McCoy — University of Utah “graduated”

Asst — John Pagano — Mesa State, degree in business marketing

Asst — Frank Reich — Maryland, graduation and degree not mentioned

Asst — Kevin Spencer — He earned his bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and a Master’s from Cortland State.

Asst — Joe D’Alessandris — Bachelor and Masters from Western Carolina University

Asst — Fred Graves — Utah, degree in business

Asst — Don Johnson — Butler Community College and Jersey City State, no degree mentioned

Asst — Kent Johnston — graduated from Stephen F. Austin University and he earned a master’s in physical education from Alabama

Asst — Pete Metzelaars — Wabash College, degree in economics

Asst — Ron Milus — University of Washington, graduation and degree not mentioned

Asst — Mike Nolan — University of Oregon, graduation and degree not mentioned, “Nolan began his coaching career in 1981 as a graduate assistant at Oregon.”

Asst — Nick Sirianni — Mount Union, graduation and degree not mentioned

Asst — Ollie Wilson — Springfield College, BA, MA in physical education

Asst — Craig Aukerman — University of Findlay, degree in elementary education

Asst — Andrew Dees — Syracuse, degree in child and family studies

Asst — Bobby King — UTEP, graduation and degree not mentioned

Asst — Rick Lyle — Missouri, degree in parks, recreation and tourism

Asst — Greg Williams — North Carolina, degree in sociology

Asst — Shane Steichen — UNLV, degree in journalism and media studies

Asst — Chris Shula — bachelor degree from Miami of Ohio and masters in education from Oklahoma

Asst — Mark Ridgley — Pittsburgh, degree in economics, masters in education from Central Michigan

Players —

Jahleel Addae — Central Michigan, major/degree not mentioned

Keenan Allen — University of California, African-American studies major, degree not mentioned

Jerry Attaochu — Georgia Tech, science, technology and culture major, degree not mentioned

Joe Barksdale — LSU, general studies major, degree not mentioned

Donald Brown — Connecticut, exercise science degree

Donald Butler — Washington, construction management and business major, degree not mentioned

Ryan Carrethers — Arkansas State, interdisciplinary studies degree

Kellen Clemens — Oregon, business administration degree

Kavell Conner — Clemson, sociology degree

Richard Crawford — SMU, major and degree not mentioned

Chris Davis — Auburn, public administration degree

Greg Ducre — Washington, sociology major, degree not mentioned

King Dunlap — Auburn, adult education degree

Brandon Flowers — Virginia Tech, sociology major, degree not mentioned

Malcom Floyd — Wyoming, health sciences major, degree not mentioned

D. J. Fluker — Alabama, health studies degree

Orlando Franklin — Miami, psychology degree

Antonio Gates — Kent State, general studies major, degree not mentioned

Ladarius Green — Louisiana-Lafayette, degree in finance

Chris Hairston — Clemson, management major, degree not mentioned

Melvin Ingram — South Carolina, degree in African-American studies

Dontrelle Inman — Virginia, digital art major, degree not mentioned

David Johnson — Arkansas State, degree in physical therapy

Stevie Johnson — Kentucky, sociology major, degree not mentioned

Jacoby Jones — Lane College, Tenn., interdisciplinary studies major, degree not mentioned

Cordarro Law — coaching education major, degree not mentioned

Sean Lissemore — William & Mary, kinesiology major, degree not mentioned

Corey Liuget — Illinois, sociology major, degree not mentioned

Ricardo Mathews — Cincinnati, criminal justice major, degree not mentioned

Kyle Miller — Mount Union, health and physical education major, degree not mentioned

Nick Novak — Maryland, degree in kinesiology

Branden Oliver — Buffalo, completed last two classes for a degree in sociology

Tenny Palepoi — Utah, degree in sociology

David Paulson — Oregon, business major, degree not mentioned

Austin Pettis — Boise State, communications major, degree not mentioned

John Phillips — Virginia — degree in sociology

Kendall Reyes — Connecticut, degree in communications

Philip Rivers — North Carolina State, degree in business

Patrick Robinson — Florida State, social science major, degree not mentioned

Trevor Robinson — Notre Dame, management/consulting major, degree not mentioned

Lowell Rose — Tulsa, communications major, degree not mentioned

Mike Scifres — Western Illinois, communications and broadcasting degree

Brad Sorensen — Southern Utah, economics major, degree not mentioned

Damion Square — Alabama, major and degree not mentioned

Darrell Stuckey — Kansas, degree in communications

Manti Te’o — Notre Dame, graphic design degree

Johnnie Troutman — Penn State, African and African-American studies degree

Mitch Unrein — Wyoming, criminal justice degree

Jason Verrett — Texas Christian, sports broadcasting major, degree not mentioned

Chris Watt — Notre Dame, marketing degree

Eric Weddle — Utah, special education major, degree not mentioned

Kenny Wiggins — Fresno State, communications major, degree not mentioned

Steve Williams — California, sociology major, degree not mentioned

Tourek Williams — Florida International, sport and fitness major, degree not mentioned

Jimmy Wilson — Montana, business major, degree not mentioned

Mike Windt — Cincinnati, degree in psychology

Danny Woodhead — Chadron State, math education major, degree not mentioned

Melvin Gordon — Wisconsin, life science communications major, degree not mentioned

Denzel Perryman — Miami, Sociology major, degree not mentioned

Craig Mager — Texas State, physical therapy degree

Kyle Emanuel — North Dakota State, degree in construction management

Darius Philon — Arkansas, enrolled in college of arts and science, degree not mentioned


 

The list goes on, but I got tired after the sixty or so above. I may have spelled a name or two incorrectly or missed a degree or two, but on the whole I believe the data is correct–at least, as it was laid out in the Media Guide.

I realize that in today’s world we treat entertainers, and professional athletes are only entertainers, in a manner that is different from how we treat others. I do not, however, believe that we should give them or their organizations a free ride. If they go to tax-supported schools, they should take real classes designed to give them a real education–in something other than the sport they wish to play. College should not be a taxpayer supported minor league for the NFL or the NBA.

They should get an education that will prepare them for life, not just a couple of good years in the professional leagues before they are worn out and tossed away.

Perhaps this article would be instructive–The cost of a career: NFL players and bankruptcy

 

Immigrants, History and Culture

We are all either immigrants or the children of immigrants. Some of us are recent immigrants, within the last few years or decades, and some of our families have been in their current homes (country, state, province, city) for generations and centuries.

I was born in California about fifty miles from where I now live. My wife was born in England and has lived in the U.S. for forty years. Although my mother was born in Minnesota, her parents and some older siblings came from Sweden. My father came from Missouri where his family had lived since at least the 1790s (originally coming from France).

Those of us who live in the United States, and are not descendants of Native Americans, are either immigrants or the descendants of those who came here in the years following the European discovery of the Americas by Columbus’ expeditions in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Native Americans are also the descendants of immigrants, but immigrants who came here millennia ago.

Some of us came willingly, even eagerly. Some of us came as refugees, forced by circumstance to leave our ancestral homes. Some of us were brought as indentured servants, criminals or slaves. In one form or another people still come to the United States for most, if not all, of these reasons.

The same is true of people and nations all over the world. Australia was colonized by Aborigines from Southeast Asia thousands of years ago, people who left Europe for a brighter future and criminals exported from the British Isles. Refugees have fled Syria and Somalia for Europe and America. Vietnamese fled South Vietnam following the fall of Saigon in 1975. In the 1840s the United States stripped Mexico of one-third of its territory and since then millions from the remaining two-thirds have come here legally and illegally. (Of note to some may be the historical reminder that there were those Americans in 1848 who wanted to annex all of Mexico. Maybe, that would have solved today’s immigration problems?)

The point is that, as we now understand it, all of our ancestors came out of Africa tens of thousands of years ago. Wanderlust, population pressure, and warfare have caused us and our ancestors to be refugees and immigrants time and again. Groups have intermarried and interbred again and again over that span of time–there are no pure nations, races or ethnic groups.

The Egyptians of today are not the Egyptians of Cheops’ or Ramses’ or even Cleopatra’s era. Italians are not Romans; Mexicans are not Aztecs. We are not just the great-grandchildren of the Puritans and the Pilgrims. We are the sum total of all who have come before. Caesar and Constantine might not understand us as individuals, but they would recognize our multi-ethnic society–an amalgamation of people from all over the world creating a culture that would be the envy of the world.

And I have gradually come to understand that it is the culture that is important–not religion, language or race. My great-great-grandparents in pre-Civil War Missouri had quite different feelings about color, race and equality than my father held. Mine are different still. As a society and as individuals we have grown more tolerant and accepting of those whose physical characteristics and beliefs are different from our own.

It is our culture, our belief in the freedom and rights of the individual, that has allowed, and even mandated, this growth.

It did not originate in the tribalism of Africa, the Chinese “Mandate of Heaven,” the god-kings of Egypt. It originated in the city-states of Greece some twenty-five hundred years ago. It was defended at Thermopylae and Marathon and Salamis. It was spread by Alexander and the Caesars. It was rescued by the Renaissance and cemented in political reality by the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (and its amendments).

It is this cultural heritage, brought to western Europe and the Americas by refugees and immigrants that is important. Race, religion, color and language do not, I believe, in the long term, matter.

Our children are marrying people of other races and colors and our grandchildren are a blend. That doesn’t mean we love them less. And, are we not ourselves the product of an ongoing blending tens of thousands of years old?

Let us dispense with the aberrational fears and discriminatory attitudes of previous generations (and our own upbringing) and embrace the diversity that comes with immigration and the changing human landscape. Immigration is not going to stop, and we are not going to deport millions of “illegals” anyway–at least, not without turning ourselves into a police-state that would have Washington and Lincoln spinning in their graves.

Your daughters and sons are already dating, marrying and having children by men and women of other races. Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren may not look like you, but, if you love them, they will love you in return. Indeed, they may love you anyway, despite your intolerance and prejudices.

Remember, it is our culture, not our racial and ethnic composition, that is important–and education is the key. The more people we educate in our schools to believe in the rights of the individual, in freedom of thought and equality, the safer the world will be for ourselves, our children and grandchildren.


Jump Start

Stone Soup

English Exercise

Picked up several books at Camelot (used book store) today. Among them was Sue Grafton’s W is for Wasted. Looking at the list of her titles in the Kinsey Millhone series, I was reminded of an exercise I used to assign my seventh graders back in those days when I taught spelling, vocabulary and grammar. (May they never return.)

I’d have the kids write sentences using the words for the week–real imaginative, huh? Some of the sentences had to use two or more of the week’s words. For example: outlaw, evidence, innocent, alibi. Although the outlaw had an ironclad alibi, the evidence showed that she was not innocent and that her accomplice had given perjured testimony.

They could change nouns to adjectives to verbs to adverbs, etc. I also gave them a chance to stump me by “throwing” a bunch of words at me and seeing if I could do it on the fly. I don’t remember ever being stumped, but that could be memory’s ego talking. I do remember stretching things, especially when they’d have me do the whole list, mixed up of course, in a single go.

Well, here goes: The alibi the shapely burglar used was insufficient to save her from becoming a corpse as the deadbeat hodad’s board had evidently hidden a gumshoe of homicidal intent who was bent on blowing away the less than innocent as she passed judgment on the killer whose lawless sense of malice acted as a noose around the neck of the outlaw Pauline who realized that her continued existence was in peril as she was the quarry of the bullet ricocheting off the seawall which in its lack of silence was trespassing the pacific surfline and catching her in the undertow of its vengeance and wasted away her life in the uncaring sand.

Ah, well, the Angels won–on to Chapter 4.

Retirement Party . . . and other things.

Retirement Party

My wife, Diana (Charlie) AuBuchon retired after 30+ years of teaching. Most of that time

Charlie's Retirement Party
Diana (Charlie) AuBuchon

was spent as a full-time language arts teacher at McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana, California. She also taught in Orange at both Yorba and Portola, middle/junior high schools. She also worked as a substitute at both the junior and senior high school levels.

As a beginning teacher, raised in England, she was assigned an American History class at Yorba and wore a red coat to her open house. As seems to be the habit in the U.S., she was given a half-dozen preps her first years–you know, history, English, French (two levels). Our administrators seem to try and break beginning teachers rather than trying to give them assignments that may encourage them to give their best and stay in the profession.

(As an aside, my first year consisted of a wood shop class and a metal shop class in two different rooms–my principal said they were both industrial arts classes, and, therefore, they were a single prep. Yeah. I also had four ninth grade history classes–two in the library and the other two were in Spanish classrooms during those teachers’ conference periods–after the department chairman had cherry-picked the students he wanted for his six ninth grade history classes.)

Diana (Charlie) AuBuchon and Friends.
Diana (Charlie) AuBuchon and Friends.

In addition to her American history class, Charlie was given the cheerleaders–they don’t have cheerleaders in England. Like I said earlier, give the newbie assignments that will break them. Don’t believe me? Look up how long the average new teacher actually stays in the teaching profession. Also, look up how many people have teaching credentials but are not teaching.

I have never met a more dedicated teacher than my wife. Her dedication really hit me in the face in the two and a half years since my own retirement. In that time I watched her plan and correct and grade student assignments again and again and again. She spent more time on her students than she did on herself, her cats and me combined. In spite of her health issues these last several years, her devotion to her students and her profession never flagged or wavered.

Being forced to retire has hit her hard. Life without teaching has left a void that will be difficult to fill–if that is even possible. But we will try.

We had seventy or more people at Saturday’s party. Charlie and I had a good time, and, so I believe, did everyone else.

Commercial Plug: food, chairs, tables, servers, bartender and etc. were handled by West Coast Event Productions. http://wceventproductions.com/

Photos taken at the party can be found on my Flickr page:

flickr dot com/photos/joe_aubuchon/

 


Handicapped Access

Any of you out there handicapped? Don’t you love it when

Spec. Ed. SAUSD Bus Blocks Access to Ramp.
Spec. Ed. SAUSD Bus Blocks Access to Ramp.
  • someone without a handicapped plate/sticker takes a handicapped parking place,
  • someone with a handicapped plate/sticker takes a handicapped parking place and remains in the car while the non-handicapped driver/passenger goes into the store,
  • someone blocks access to a handicapped ramp or other access.

At McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana the Special Education buses block access to the handicapped ramps (and the drivers refuse to move when asked).


Meow

Mist and Smoke on Sunday (Siamese cats)
Mist and Smoke on Sunday
 

The last two weeks

The last two weeks were very eventful for Charlie and I (me, us).

After thirty-some years in junior high, she decided to retire. It was a matter of circumstance rather than preferred choice–she’d rather have retired at the end of the school year in June, but that was not to be.

Mist & Smoke Window (Siamese cats)
Mist & Smoke Window

We’re going to have a retirement party for her at the end of the month.

The best thing about this is no more commuting back and forth to her school everyday. (Yeah, but I still wake up early every morning as though she still goes to work.) We still have to go back to her classroom and bring home the things she wants to keep. (What? You really think the school provides all of the supplies teachers need to teach? When did you fall of the turnip truck?)


I finally finished my first novel (first draft). My goal was to tell my story in about 100,000 words. Yeah!

Mist & Smoke Blanket (Siamese cats)
Mist & Smoke Blanket

When I taught history (and other subjects), I often told stories. I would allot myself five or ten minutes for the story in my lesson plans. Hah! I never did figure out that each story told itself–in however many minutes it decided it needed. Give it five, and it took ten. Give it ten, and it took twenty-five.

Stories have a life of their own. They don’t limit themselves the way we try to limit them. The story tells itself in its own good time.

So it was with this story. I aimed for twenty chapters and 100,000 words. The story decided it needed twenty-six chapters and 120,000 words.

Who am I to argue with the story?

There were a couple of stories within the larger story that I thought could stand on their own. I took one of them and re-wrote small sections of it. I submitted it for publication in a sci/fi/fant periodical. Will I get it published? Don’t know, but I’m trying. If I do sell it, it’ll be my first sale–I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Finished my first edit of the novel yesterday and found a number of stupid errors. Corrected most of my errors dealing with punctuation of dialog–NO, I don’t remember learning it in school, but, assuming I did, I forgot an awful lot of it.

I did find some good sites about how to do it, however.

  • http://www.glencoe.com/sec/writerschoice/rws/mslessons/grade6/lesson30/index.shtml
  • http://theeditorsblog.net/2012/02/28/inner-dialogue-writing-character-thoughts/
  • http://theeditorsblog.net/2010/12/08/punctuation-in-dialogue/

Now to print out the five hundred pages and do some real editing.

Hmmm . . . wonder why it’s easier to find errors in printouts than on the screen?