The Florida State-Maryland football game on Saturday night was something to see, and not because of the action on the field. FSU safety Myron Rolle ran onto the sidelines just before halftime to a hero's welcome. He won a Rhodes Scholarship earlier in the day, a heartwarming affirmation of hard work and dedication at a time when everyone could use a lift.
Rolle, 22, completed his undergraduate work in just 2 ½ years and wrote his Rhodes personal statement about his family's move from the Bahamas to the United States. He hopes to become a doctor and practice in impoverished countries, and he has long had the admiration of his teammates for his accomplishments on and off the field.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the most well-known and highly prized award for international study and academic achievement. Joining Rolle on Saturday as one of this year's 32 Americans selected for the scholarship was Abigail Seldin of Tierra Verde, a 20-year-old anthropology student at the University of Pennsylvania. Both students deserve to be recognized for their remarkable accomplishments. In Rolle's case, of course, his big day played out on ESPN.
Florida State has had more than its share of academic scandals and poor behavior involving athletes; five football players were recently suspended for a game for their involvement in a fight on campus. Saturday offered a more inspiring side. ESPN showed Rolle in Birmingham, Ala., after winning the scholarship, taking a chartered flight to the game in Maryland, hustling to the stadium and running onto the field. It was a nice reminder that there are college athletes who are also serious students, and that there are role models who excel off the field as well as on.