The other day an alert popped up on my phone that really surprised me. It said that D’eriq King was going to sit out the remainder of the College Football season, with the intention to redshirt and transfer from the University of Houston. Further developments have him now saying that regardless of this current situation, he is going to be staying with the Cougars…
Where, in the sports world, did this culture change of athletes sitting out and demanding what they want come from? It’s been rapidly increasing over the last few years with big-name stars either refusing to show up to training camp, demanding trades, and now, in this case, sitting out the remainder of the season.
This really struck me when I saw this because just a couple weeks ago, I had watched that Washington State vs. Houston game and was really impressed with D’eriq King’s play. He reminded me a ton of Kyler Murray for a lot of reasons. Recently, he just broke Tim Tebow’s FBS record, recording one pass TD and one rush TD in 15 straight games.
Then this happened.
I can’t say I fully blame him, if I’m a college athlete, I’m looking up at the professionals to see how they go about their business because I want to be just like them. Take a look at who these college guys aspire to be: Melvin Gordon, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Zeke Elliott. All these guys are either currently sitting out, have sat out, or released for a multitude of reasons one being that he sat out. It’s not just football, it’s an epidemic among all sports. Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving were all guys that were unhappy with their current situation and demanded trades from their teams.
Rich Eisen had a quote from his talk show that I absolutely loved. Take a look.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. For so many of these guys, they’ve worked insanely hard their entire lives to get this point where they’re making millions of dollars to play the sport they love. Really quickly, think back to when you were 10 years old and who your idols were.
As kids grow up, many of the people they look up to are athletes. What kind of example are we allowing to be set for kids, when they sit and watch these top players, the cream of the crop at their positions, virtually throw a temper tantrum, sit out, and be away from their team, until they get what they want. What does that teach kids, that if we complain we’ll get our way?
There’s a reason I love athletics and the culture of sports because there is nothing that helps better prepare you for life in the real world than being a part of a team. Playing sports for a team teaches you about hard work, dedication, teamwork, how to fail and how to fight through adversity, I can literally go on forever. It is all about being a part of something that is bigger than yourself, and that’s what sports are all about. The game has been going on long before I was born, and it will go on long after I’m gone. But the culture’s changing. Now kids are getting participation trophies for “being a part of something.” I’m not sure what life lessons that instill in anybody, other than explaining what is currently going on here.
On the flip side, that is why I give Dak Prescott a lot of credit, and if I am Jerry Jones I give him every penny of what he wants. Think about it this way, all the nonsense Jerry’s had to deal with over the years with Zeke, all the handcuffs, the suspensions, the holdouts, blah, blah, blah… and he still paid him. If you’re a professional athlete, don’t find ways to put yourself in the spotlight. That is exactly what Dak has done his entire time in Dallas, he has kept the spotlight off of the Cowboys. He might not be the best Quarterback in the league or the best thrower of the football, but he has held that locker room together through the good times, and the bad times.
If I were to write a letter to D'eriq King it would look a little something like this:
You made a commitment. A commitment to a University, a coach, a team, that you were going to play football for them and represent their school with pride. Honor your commitment and stay at Houston, show people what an electric and athletically gifted talent you are, and I promise you scouts, NFL coaches, and executives will respect you more for staying true to your word. It says a lot about a person.
The people who just want to watch you play football