Kid Reporter Blogs

Harrison Clark

The Smartest Athletes in Sports 62

  • Posted by: Harrison Clark
  • January 24, 2011, 4:20 PM


Do you rush home from school so you can get your homework done before basketball practice? Is it too out there to think that the best and brightest minds are the biggest and fastest athletes? Do you think thousands of people would fill a stadium to watch a debate or a spelling bee every Sunday? What about Stephen Strasburg vs. Toby Gerhart in a chess match? Does that sound worthy of Super Bowl hype? The golden answer is no.

According to the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, approximately 46% of NFL players and coaches have a four-year college degree. In the MLB, it's only about 3% for all players and managers. It makes me wonder if there should be more athletes with college degrees. What I do know is that doing well on and off the field is difficult to balance. Whatever the statistics I am more impressed with those athletes who can do both consistently.

Toby Gerhart of the Minnesota Vikings established a reputation on the field as a complete running back with the strength of a freight train and thrilling speed. In his first NFL season, he was able to back that up with solid stats (322 yards on 82 carries). What we don’t all know is that Gerhart had a 4.0 GPA at Stanford.

Similarly, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is going deep on the field emotionally and physically. This year Tebow made his mark by posting an 82.1 passer rating and 11 touchdowns for Denver. Tebow also went deep in academic achievements. Prior to his pro career, among his many memorable moments from the University of Florida were a Heisman Trophy, two national championships and finishing college with a 3.66 GPA.

Obviously being able to throw a 100 MPH fastball wasn’t enough for Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg. In his first MLB start he recorded a stunning 14 strikeouts. He also clocked a 3.9 GPA at San Diego State, which will no doubt give him options as he recovers from his injury. There’s probably a good chance his ERA will be less than his GPA.

New Orleans Hornets big man Emeka Okafor has had an impressive NBA career path. He earned Rookie of the year honors in 2005, and a spot on the 2004 USA Olympic basketball team. At one point in his career, Okafor started 92 straight games, a Charlotte Bobcats franchise record. More impressive is that he graduated from the University of Connecticut in three years with a 3.8 GPA.

Other Notable Smart Guys: Grant Hill in the NBA, Craig Breslow in MLB, Myron Rolle in the NFL, and George Paros in the NHL.

The debate on college education in professional sports will continue. Until we resolve it, athletes like the ones above are my new role models. Could scouting the state spelling bee or math tournament mean you’re watching the next NFL Hall of Famer? If so the possibilities are endless. What do you think?

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (81 votes)

62 Comments

Great you like Peyton Manning... Happy 2.3 GPA buddy. He just barely graduated. He saved all his brain power for football. Which is ok while he's still in the NFL

maybe i like dumb athletes becouse i dont like strasburg tebow or gerhart

dont be mean

jhujhu

Saw Highschool football selection show preview and thought of tihs article I wonder the grad rate of all athletes in college? and why is a highschool selection show on TV?

i agree i have never heard of any of these football recruits and proboally never will
most of them will be lucky to get a 2.0 gpa

timmy STINKS tebo (his full name)footballwinner78 is wrong tebow stinks......................STEPHEN ROX.

Thats a lie. You mispelled Tebow by the way.

I am an Alabama fan, but i loooovvveeee Tim Tebow. GO BRONCOS!!!!!

That is just weird XcRb.

Go Tim Tebow, The Broncos, and the Gators.

That is a VERY good article

Hey, BaseballFantastic, You're RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW this is an awesome blog but i have just one thing to add~~~~~
if players are going into the professional leagues, most of the time, they dont need extra acedemic knowlege. someone else would do it for them. and since playing a prof. sport is their job, they dont need to be smart in order to get a "good job". But to any athletes not going professional- yes, it is more important to be smart than athletic, In my opinion. GREAT BLOG! :D
PS what is GPA? PLEASE REPLY! THANKS!

GPA is a average of all your grades 4.0 is fantastic and 2.0 is NOT good at all but athleats might not always be "booksmart" (math science other school subjects) but you have to be pretty good to read a defence at the line.

I agree with Athlete Artist.

Yeah there are a lot of smart people in sports, no one noes it.

I like this wedsite somuch.

also important to consider is that peanut butter lasts longer than most professional sports careers; it's THAT hard to get on the roster and stay there. There are guys who spend literally their entire NFL lives on the practice squad, and baseball players who never make it past double-A ball. Athletes have no job security, so having second options is vital.

hahaha. GPA stands for "Grade Point Average" And in order to have a succesful life after sports it is good to graduate from college. Maybe becoming an anylyst and a sports talk show host. Every single one of those guys either majored in communications, or took a class and passed it so it is important. I see what youre saying though

I think smart and athletic is the key. Issue is most college systems are producing the athletes. the smart ones make more $ Maybe the answer to your question on GPA for the College system is "Got Professional Athletes" :). Payton Manning for President (of Walmart :)).

I agree. I live near Seattle and my cousin played football at USC when they "cheated" but I do agree.

Wow I learned some stuff in here... What's the deal on Strasburg is he coming back?

ok

Yeah he is. He had Tommy John and hes in a recovery facility now. He should be ready to go by just before mid-season.

Tebow is the man!!! GO GATORS!!! GO PATS!!! AND GO TIM TEBOW!!! THE DOUBTERS ARE WRONG!!!

Go Timmy,the Broncos and the Gators

What about this:
Jackson is the man!!! GO BRUINS!!! GO EAGLES!!! AND GO DESEAN JACKSON!!! ALL YOU DOUBTERS ARE WRONG!!!

BaseballFantastic, YOU'RE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me try too!
Bradford IS the man!! GO SOONERS!!!! GO RAMS!!!! AND GO SAM BRADFORD!!!! EVERY SINGLE DOUBTER IS WRONG!!!!!

By Sport Blogs

By Date