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The Hawkeye

Don’t idolize college athletes

John Stevens

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With the college football season underway, it is important to remind ourselves that college football players should not be made into super-star athletes that we worship every Saturday.

When you lose the concept that these players are only in their early twenties and not fully matured men, you don’t understand their mistakes as easily. Whether their mistakes are on or off the field they’re bound to happen at some point.

Off the field problems can be due to college athletes feeling like they should have celebrity treatment. In 2011, Texas A&M quarterback, Johnny Manziel was beginning his rise to fame, or should I say infamy?

Either way he was a bigger than the university he played for. This is where his troubles off the field with drugs started to begin. If we as fans make a college football player seem like he’s invincible in every aspect of life, he’s going to eat it right up.

We all know what happened to Manziel after his college career, he went to the NFL and just couldn’t get rid of that college lifestyle. While some may argue that it’s 100% his fault, I can’t help but to think the people around Johnny in college could have done their part.

Off the field trouble isn’t the only reason we should be mindful that college football players are humans too.

Last fall, Michigan took on Michigan State in a highly coveted, in-state rivalry contest, which ended in heartbreak for one team.

With a two-point lead late in the game for his team, Michigan punter Blake O’Neill fumbled the snap and gave up possession to Michigan State’s Jalen Watts-Jackson, who ran the ball in the end-zone with no time left and won the game.

After the game, Michigan fans were outraged and even set the young punter threats regarding his safety. This is clear evidence that we look at these collegiate athletes as robotic machines that should do no wrong.

The Australian punter added after the game that he was sorry about what happened, but he was going to look forward and move on with life.

Why can’t we as fans do the same thing? Is it because we spend way too much money buying tickets or apparel to support our teams?

Or maybe because we feel entitled to the fact they they’re representing our school and we don’t want them to embarrass us.

Either way it’s selfish. There’s no other way to put it.

While we do support our favorite schools, we are in no way apart of their team. No matter how much athletic foundations want you to feel like you’re apart of the team, you’re not. No matter how much money you donate to the alumni foundation, you’re still not the one putting on the pads.

So stop treating the players like the heroes we make them out to be. Stop with the violent threats when they botch a last second field goal or drop a crucial pass on fourth down. There’s no room in college football for selfishness.

If we treat these players like they’re larger than life, it’s only going to allow for more mistakes on and off the field. So get out and support the team every weekend, but keep it within moderation please.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Don’t idolize college athletes