Chances are good you've seen the comments made by UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, who made waves earlier this week by stating that "Football and school don't go together."
"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," Rosen went on to add, according to the LA Times.
At his presser yesterday, Nick Saban was asked about Rosen's comments, and offered up some perspective by first noting both the similarities, and how things have changed since he donned the pads.
"I don't know that it's changed a whole lot. I mean, we used to have two-a-days everyday, we don't have any two-a-days anymore. We don't spend any more time in fall camp than we did when I was a player. We don't practice any longer during the week."
Then Saban switched gears a bit.
"Look, I look at it the other way. We had 23, 29, and 22 guys play with their degrees in the last three years, in their last game playing at Alabama. So that means, a lot of guys, even though football may be difficult - no one is saying that it isn't, and no one is saying that school isn't very difficult, nobody is saying that getting a college education isn't very difficult - but for a lot of those guys, being good football players is what created the opportunity for them to make a tremendous investment in their future by graduating from school, and I think that is a really, really good thing."
"Is it difficult? Probably. Was it difficult for me? Absolutely. So I don't think that its any more difficult, it's never been easy. But I do think that the reward of it all and the lessons that are learned being a part of a team, and the lessons that are learned being competitor in an environment like this, or any college football program, the work ethic, the perserverance, the ability to overcome adversity, the lessons that you learn in life, I man how valuable can those things be?"
"It is an opportunity, and with the opportunity comes a burden and the burden is not necessarily easy. So I get that, and you do it for your teammates and you do it for your future and your opportunity to be successful."
Translation: There are very few opportunities out there to learn and grow among that difficulty like there is in college football. So, yeah it's tough, but lots of things worth it are tough. Get over it.
Well said coach Saban. Hear more in the clip.