Your Monday Reality Check: O’Brien saga another example of flawed system

July 22, 2013 | Glenn Clark

Your Monday Reality Check: O’Brien saga another example of flawed system

I’ve never hidden from the fact that I never actually finished my degree at the University of Maryland.

I mean, Mark Zuckerburg never finished his degree either. So no worries, right?

You (have to) know I’m an alum of the school in College Park, and our buddy Chris Lombardi once nicknamed me “The Tradition” because of the old Navy football advertising slogan “tradition never graduates.”

I never got around to finishing my degree for a number of reasons. One was because I got my first (nearly) full-time job in radio and I was very distracted. I missed a number of classes because my radio mentors told me I should try to be at the station as much as possible. I was introducing Jimmy Eat World records late at night and recapping Terps basketball games during the day. I never wanted to leave.

The other issue I dealt with was a bit more personal. My parents offered me about two semesters worth of help (and I’m forever grateful to them for being able to help even that much) financially, and then I was on my own. I cleverly took cheaper classes concurrently at the Community College of Baltimore County (who actually gave me a “degree”, so I’ve got that going for me) for awhile, but ultimately struggled after shifting back to Maryland. I tried to finish my degree using the school’s “University College” program, but I was simply putting myself in much too significant debt while trying to begin my professional life.

Much like Alex Len, I was forced to make the tough choice to leave school early.

It’s nearly a guarantee you don’t care about any of my collegiate career, but if you stuck around I have a point to make.

I would have LOVED to have had the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland with tuition paid. I didn’t get that opportunity. I couldn’t catch a football, I couldn’t dunk a basketball, I most certainly couldn’t nail a behind the back bounce shot on the lacrosse field.

Former University of Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien WAS granted the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland on scholarship. He was given said scholarship because when he played quarterback in high school in North Carolina, former Terps Offensive Coordinator James Franklin and head coach Ralph Friedgen believed he could help them win football games and wanted to convince him to choose the school over other interested schools.

It’s important to point out that as someone who couldn’t really afford to finish my own degree at the same University of Maryland, I do not begrudge O’Brien one bit for being able to get his own without having to pay for it.

I don’t begrudge him one bit because as the quarterback of the football team, O’Brien had significant value at the University. He played a major role in helping the University make money, likely responsible for much more than the amount his three years of scholarship money added up to.

I reference this story because we found out this weekend that Danny O’Brien would be spending his final year of collegiate eligibility at Division II Catawba College this fall. It is a long fall from ACC Rookie of the Year (2010) and starting quarterback at the University of Wisconsin (2012).

The news was first reported by Scout.com Friday night and met with reaction that was quite surprising to me. Here are some of those reactions (including a bit of language) from the @WNST Twitter account…

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    Not a college football fan at all but I saw this kid on TV beat the U of Miami in College Park a few years back guess his freshman year? I was impressed. Don’t try to figure any sense into NCAA rules/politics although you have a valid point. The NCAA division one football system has been flawed for the past century. Everyone knows it and does nothing about it.Kind of like politics.

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