Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Are you a bookworm or a ballworm?

Okay, so you are a pretty good basketball player. I'm sure I've probably written about you on the blog or on Rivals.com. Congratulations. Your name is in print. That's what you play for, right?

Think again.

Think long and hard about that.

You want to know what matters? Scholarships. You earn those. And more times than not, you earn those by getting it done in the classroom and by what you do on the court.

And when you get to college, the books still matter.

Think long and hard about that, too.

If you are lucky enough to earn a scholarship from Georgia or Georgia Tech and go there, don't think you can slack off. Just ask Mike Mercer or Albert Jackson or Takias Brown at Georgia. Or Lewis Clinch or Ra'Sean Dickey at Georgia Tech.

All five have missed or will miss a significant number of games in their college careers. They are lucky to still have their scholarships.

Clinch missed the second semester of his sophomore year. His loss certainly hurt Georgia Tech's chances of a big year. He was a major scoring option for the team and the best perimeter threat on the floor.

Dickey will miss the first semester of his senior season because he is academically ineligible. He is a senior folks. A senior!

Georgia announced that three key players from the team will miss a good part of the year. Mercer, a junior, will miss 15 games this season because he basically skipped classes. Brown, a senior, is suspended for nine games and Jackson is out for six.

Georgia has it's best roster since Dennis Felton took over the SEC school. Mercer, the team's most versatile player, and Brown, the top scorer and rebounder from last year, were both looked as the top options in a team that could make a run for the NCAA tournament.

No one is asking you to be a genius. That isn't the case. But be accountable to yourself, your teammates and your potential as a college student athlete.

Think long and hard about that.