"Why should we have to go to class if we come here to play FOOTBALL," then-Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones infamously tweeted in October 2012, "we ain't come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS."
Josh Rosen has a much less hostile and more educated way of expressing a similar point about the difficulty of playing football and attending school.
Rosen is UCLA's junior quarterback who could be in line for a top-10 selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. The former five-star recruit from nearby Bellflower, Calif., missed more than half of the 2016 season with injury but still has over 5,550 passing yards and 33 touchdowns in two seasons.
Off the field, he's been an outspoken critic about the demands of a student-athlete and hypocrisy of the NCAA, tweeting last year, "We're still amateurs though … Gotta love non-profits," in response to UCLA's $280 million Under Armour deal.
Rosen chatted with Bleacher Report about everything from his career and injuries to the NCAA and time demands. There was an interesting exchange in which he said going to school and playing football is like having two full-time jobs.
"…I love school, but it's hard," he said about "catching up" on schoolwork after his injury. "It's cool because we're learning more applicable stuff in my major (Economics)—not just the prerequisite stuff that's designed to filter out people. But football really dents my ability to take some classes that I need. There are a bunch of classes that are only offered one time. There was a class this spring I had to take, but there was a conflict with spring football, so…"
The "so…" was greeted with a "So football wins out?"
"Well, you can say that," Rosen responded.
"So that's reality for student-athletes playing at a major university?" he was asked.
"I didn't say that, you did," Rosen said, laughing. "Look, football and school don't go together. They just don't. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs. There are guys who have no business being in school, but they're here because this is the path to the NFL. There's no other way. Then there's the other side that says raise the SAT eligibility requirements. OK, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers."
Even with reduced practice time and other restrictions on student-athletes' time, Rosen is right; student-athletes are full-time athletes who happen to take college courses.
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