OT: Josh Rosen Q&A with Bleacher Report

Submitted by MightAndMainWeCheer on August 8th, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Bleacher Report does a Q&A with UCLA's Josh Rosen.  He makes some of the same points that have been espoused by this site's owner (e.g. players majoring in football, how to spend all the money that is generated, etc.)

The young man clearly is willing to speak his mind, and I respect him for doing so given that the safest thing for his NFL draft position is to say nothing.


FYI - for those of you that don't follow recruiting, Rosen was a former 5-Star QB recruit out of Los Angeles who took an unofficial visit to Michigan when Hoke was the coach.  He liked Umich and the program; however, he ultimately decided to stay close to home (not too dissimilar from JT Daniels recently).



August 8th, 2017 at 12:00 PM ^

"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. Then there's the other side that says raise the SAT eligibility requirements. OK, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers."


August 8th, 2017 at 1:12 PM ^

That SAT quote (or rather, the least flattering snippet of it) is making the rounds.

But I don't think that's a shot at Alabama, rather a statement of fact that not all football players are as academically focused as he is. And he spends a good part of the interview explaining the challenges with an academic focus (even to the point where there was a class he needed that he had to skip in the spring due to football). Are guys at Alabama generally there to play football first, school second? Well, yeah, and a pretty substantial portion of them are going to do it professionally. I think it's great for them that they can get an education that will be an asset to them for decades after football is over.

Even the bit about "some schools are harder than others" he does a nice job qualifying by explaining that for HIM it's tough because MBAs are tough to get compared to some other degrees. Is this true? I suppose it might be. 


August 8th, 2017 at 1:46 PM ^

The click-baiters are really taking that quote out of context.  It was not a jab at Alabama but speaking of college football in general and the impact of raising the SAT requirements would have on a football team.  He just used Alabama as an example. 

ANother prime example why so many players just give canned platitudes instead of a thoughtful response to a question because the media will spin anything to get clicks


August 8th, 2017 at 4:44 PM ^

MBA's are not tough to get. Getting into top tier MBA programs is tough to get. 

It's all about signalling your intellectual ability not necessarily what you learn in an MBA program. By design, a top tier MBA program still needs to hit mid-level basics of accounting, econ, operations, strategy, stats/modeling, and some electives. Intentially broader curriculum than a 400-level theory based course deep in your concentration at UM. Speaking from experience.

But, the standards to get into a top program are very difficult. Really high GPA in those solid undergrad programs, 720+ GMAT scores, etc. 

The hardest part is getting in. 


August 8th, 2017 at 9:31 PM ^

As both an MBA student and a hiring manager of MBAs, I can tell you that the appeal of the degree for employers is the screening.

When you hire MBAs from a top program like Michigan, you know that you are going to get someone that has generally been well-vetted.  

Yes, they learn some stuff, but you are not expecting them to come in and change the world based on a handful of MBA courses.



August 8th, 2017 at 2:34 PM ^

Raising SAT scores won't do much to solve the problem because the problem isn't just the NCAA or individual schools. Dexter Manley was a former NFL standout who graduated from Oklahoma State without knowing how to read. But whats more disturbing is that Manley, and everyother academically unprepared athlete got through the K-12 syestem being woefully underprepaired and uneducated. Teachers, administrators don't want to be the ones to end a promising athlete's career, so they just pass them along. Raising SAT scores will just mean that teachers, administrators, and test takers will have to get more creative in passing kids along K-12


August 8th, 2017 at 4:03 PM ^

I have a few buddies who have taught athletes. Most teachers want them to learn and earn their passing grades. They get hamstrung by administration, parents, the kids, and societal reality. The administration is run by business grads who normally don't have any classroom experience who get to dictate classroom policies. The parents have learned that if you complain loudly enough, you get your way. So admin caves to parents and force teacher's hands. The kids are smart enough to know this, so why waste effort in school you could be using getting better or getting laid. And if that doesn't happen, you can't force kids to be held back too many times. Society won't allow an 8th grader whose been held back 2-3 times and is now at least 16 to be going to school with kids as young as 11. That is the dating pool for kids, their classmates. Si even if a teacher wants to do the right thing and actually force an education on some of these kids, they aren't allowed.


August 8th, 2017 at 12:17 PM ^

Apart from finally coming out and speaking the truth about the lip service paid to academics and "getting your degree" while playing football, he has some real zingers about Alabama and Clemson. Night King posted the Alabama one above, but how about this one:

BR: How is it, then, that some guys graduate in three years? Deshaun Watson graduated in three years from Clemson. So did his roommate, Artavis Scott.

Rosen: I'm not knocking what those guys accomplished. They should be applauded for that. But certain schools are easier than others. If I wanted to graduate in three years, I'd just get a sociology degree. I want to get my MBA.

Zing! (it was a fairly polite zinger, but it's there). If you read between the lines here, he's also stating the best pushback against people who say there's no need to compensate players who are bringing in millions to institutions above and beyond their scholarship. To everyone who says "they're getting compensated with access to a 4-year institution at a great school," how are you supposed to take advantage of that when you can't take the classes you need to make it worthwhile because of your fulltime football schedule?

He's 100% right. Schools (including Michigan, let's be real) are just in the business of keeping kids eligible and pushing them along into degrees of questionable value to keep the grad rates respectable and while protecting the true product: the one the field.




August 8th, 2017 at 12:40 PM ^

What is the value of a degree anyway?

I have a degree in mathematics. I loved pursuing my degree in mathematics. I learned an extensive amount of stuff while earning my degree in mathematics. I didn't just pass my gen ed requirements by taking the easiest courses available either, I met those requirements by taking courses in russian literature and cognitive linguistics. And now I work in IT and use absolutely nothing that I learned in school, whether in the math and physics departments or elsewhere.

What is my degree really but proof that I'm a smart person who knows how to read things and follow directions and show up on time and submit work by deadlines? And honestly I really didn't put those last two bits together until after I graduated.


August 8th, 2017 at 1:18 PM ^

but to the extent the whole college process is really about learning how to learn, I use it everyday. I work for a tech company that doesn't really care so much about specific coursework background as it does about evidence that you're just good at learning complex ideas you've never encountered before. Like, say, Don Brown's defense.


August 8th, 2017 at 1:11 PM ^

If the degree is nothing but evidence of what you wrote in your last paragraph, that's probably 95% of what many if not most employers are looking for. But there's more to life (and intellectual growth) than just job skills, so... it's probably a different answer for every person, depending on what they value in life. I'd personally put a high value on the Russian Lit and Cognitive Linguistics classes.

In raw economic terms, I suppose it would be the delta between what someone is willing to pay you with that degree vs. what they'd pay you without it, multiplied by your years in the job market or workforce. Or, just what someone is willing to pay to obtain that degree in the first place.


August 8th, 2017 at 1:26 PM ^

I believe the value of a college education is more in the networking opportunities and internships that allow to use knowledge and skills of your chosen major. I double majored in physics and molecular biology and initiallly chose to pursue research in biophysics. So, I sought out research opportunities for undergraduates. Luckily during my doctoral work at Michigan I also GSI'ed and had the opprtunity to design a course curriculum and teach it. I This teaching opportunity showed me that my real future is in education not in research. I don't have the patience to deal with grant agencies to be an effective academic researcher. However, I didn't burn bridges when I left research for education. If I wanted to leave education, I can always dial up my network contacts to be find a research position. 


August 8th, 2017 at 1:39 PM ^

odd, that with a few exceptions, the people who scream and shout about how school's victimize players and that their degree is usually not worth anything are almost never the players.  And even when it is, it is not the players who are getting an opportunity that probably very few of their friends and family ever had or thought they could.  You take a high school kid from the inner-city or humble beginnings and say "hey, why don't you come to our school in a beautiful, affluential community, we will pay for you to get a degree from a world-class institution, you can play football, get the best coaching available, and gain the adoration of millions and meet and get to know many legends from the program who have done incredible things with their life and have unlimited connections in sports and other endeavors.  Then you will go to the NFL, and if you can't you still have the degree, the experience and the connections."  I don't see many kids going "man, that is a raw deal." 

Whole Milk

August 8th, 2017 at 3:14 PM ^

Yes, it is all about football, and the student part is second, and unfortunately many aspects of that does include Michigan (although I do think Harbaugh and his staff genuienly care about academics and the college experience).

One thing I found crazy was that a family friend is technically going into her Senior year of high school, but she will have taken literally taken every single class that her high school offers by the time the first semester ends. She has ambition of going to U of M, and has been accepted, but Michigan told her that they do not allow students to come in and start taking classes a semester early even if they have degrees. Her response to it is "But if I was a star football player, I would have no problem." It is about maintaining eligibility and creating the best opportunity for good football teams. People should stop acting like that isn't the case.