FSU's Myron Rolle chooses Rhodes scholarship over NFL's millions

By Ebenezer Samuel
NY Daily News

Terrell Owens can't stop wrecking teams. Roger Clemens can't tell the truth. Chad Johnson - err, Ocho Cinco - can't keep his mouth shut, and Plaxico Burress is not happy to see you, he has a gun in his pants.

And you're probably sick of it. The past few months, the off-field drams of the sports world have been positively rank.

Which is why Florida State's Myron Rolle is so refreshing: He's the giant Glade Plug-in we've all been waiting for.

The Seminoles' starting safety could be preparing for the NFL draft, where he'd likely be a top-50 pick. But he's spurning NFL millions for now - and leaving Florida State with a year of eligibility left - to pursue his education.

That's right, to pursue his education. This kid puts the "student" back in "student-athlete."

In November, the 6-1, 213-pound junior was awarded a Rhodes scholarship, and a month later, he earned his bachelor's degree from FSU. This fall, he'll head to Oxford University to earn a master's in "medical anthropology," with an eye toward a career in neurosurgery.

"It's just so fascinating - how the networks and synapses control the body," he says. "I've always been interested in that."

That - and a need to "serve others" - made Rolle's decision to temporarily put football away easy.

Yes, many an athlete would die for Rolle's gifts. He played football and basketball at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J., and excelled at both sports. Despite occasionally ducking out of film sessions to study for tests or head to labs, he was a Third-Team All-American this season, and finished third on the team in tackles.

But Myron Rolle's eventual goal is to open a free clinic in the Bahamas, where his parents were born.

"I've spent so much of my life taking and taking," he says. "It's time for me to transform into a person who gives back."

Sound like Mother Teresa? Makes you want to check his closet for skeletons, doesn't it? Good luck finding them. Rolle may have attended Playboy's No. 6 party school of 2008, but he doesn't smoke or drink.

"There's too much to do," he says, "and so little time."

Don't expect him to start partying at Oxford, either. He's planning to enter next year's draft, so he'll balance training with studies once again.

Of course, by 2010 he might be rusty, perhaps a bit out of shape, which may cause him to slide down a few rounds in the draft, and possibly millions. But he's not worried.

"I have confidence in my ability," he says. "I won't slide too much."

Even if he does, this kid has plenty upstairs to fall back on.