Everyone Who Told Gresham and Bradford To Return To OU Owes Them a Lot of Money

So now Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham is officially lost for the season

Back when Gresham and Sam Bradford opted to spurn the NFL to return to OU, there were all kinds of glowing columns on the virtues of staying in school.

Now, both Gresham and Bradford will spend significant portions of this season going through surgeries and rehab.

Obviously, both have potentially lost out on millions of dollars by coming back to play for the Sooners.  And they won’t even get that last season to remember, either.

Will anyone fess up and admit that it probably was against their best interest to come back?  Where are the columns now about the dangers of uneccesarily putting your God-given, money-making abilities at risk?  Shouldn’t this be a teachable moment for those who think the right decision is always to return to school?    

It probably won’t be.  In fact, I’m sure this will all be forgotten the next time an elite athlete has to make this kind of decision. 

Coaches will say that their players should come back to improve their draft stock, fans will selfishly demand iron-clad fealty and the media will play up the value of obtaining a higher education and hanging out on campus.  No one will cite Bradford and Gresham’s experience as an example of why it’s sometimes good to get out while the getting out is good.

I just hope things work out for Gresham, who was clearly the top tight end in the draft, and Bradford, who was a sure-fire first rounder before his shoulder injury.  It could still happen, but now it will be a bit more difficult.  Good luck to them.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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4 Responses to Everyone Who Told Gresham and Bradford To Return To OU Owes Them a Lot of Money

  1. Anonymous September 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anybody who significantly improved their NFL stock by staying in college an extra year. Can you?

    I guess maybe Leinart wasn’t hurt too bad by staying. On the other hand, Mark Sanchez was helped a lot by jumping into a QB-light draft. Maybe Tebow will benefit from playing a season under the tutelage of Steve Addazio.

    I can’t sit here and tell a man what is right for him to do with his life. There are many different things to consider. But, for those whose only goal is to get drafted at the highest possible position, has coming back after a big year ever the right decision?

  2. Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 6:37 am #

    Really? They “spurned the NFL”? I don’t think so. I think they chose to finish their collegiate careers, and postponed joining the NFL.

    It’s also very convenient to say it was a mistake to stay in school, AFTER they were injured.

    I found this site because of the Dan Patrick Show, but if this is the kind of nonsense you offer, then I’ll find something else to read.

  3. Ed Newman September 9, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    I think it is silly to say no one improves their draft stock by staying an extra year. Carson Palmer sure as hell did. So do a lot of fringe guys who move up from rounds 4-6 to rounds 1-3. But if you are a first rounder and choose to stay in school to improve from the lower half of round 1 to the upper half, you are probably making the wrong decision, financially anyways. Take Myron Rolle. He accepted that Rhodes scholarship. That may be an instance where a first rounder made the right choice by staying in school (even though he isn’t playing football this year). Hopefully he will turn out like Roger Staubach and become a Hall of Famer despite taking time off from football after college.

  4. Heismanpundit September 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    I never published a column saying Bradford or Gresham should stay in school. My point is that there were tons of people who did and now that they are injured, they are likely to NOT publish a column that says they were wrong. I think they should, is all.