Myles Jack resting during UCLA’s game against Virginia at the Rose Bowl. Photo courtesy of GoJoeBruin.com
Regarding your decision to leave UCLA to rehab your injured knee and enter the 2016 NFL Draft in April due to your desire to be compensated for your skills, I would like to sum up my feelings toward this in two words…
Allow me to elaborate:
While it is disappointing to see you go and while I would have preferred that you return to the Bruins next season, which is a sentiment that is shared by at least 98% if not all of the Bruin Nation fan base, at the same time I completely understand that you have to do what is necessary to take care of yourself, your future, and your family.
Although it is my absolute conviction that nothing is more important than an education and getting a college degree if given the chance to; I once turned down a job offer during my days as a student in Westwood so I can finish my bachelor of arts degree,
I also strongly feel that anyone who is in a situation where they can have their family financially set not only for life, but for generations to come, by doing nothing more than putting their signature on a dotted line, well…
It would be extremely difficult on a pronounced scale to pass up that opportunity, to turn down the millions of dollars that are sure to come.
Heck, I understand that in the worst case scenario, if you are not drafted in the first round or end up not being drafted by any of the 32 NFL teams and become a rookie free agent, you will collect $5 million from an insurance policy.
I would not expect anyone to turn down that kind of money, least of all you; I wish I had five percent of that amount right now.
As for school, I know for a fact that you can always return to UCLA to finish your degree, which you have already indicated that you are planning to do.
Many athletes have done this, most notably a guy who’s arguably the greatest Bruin quarterback of all time: Troy Aikman (who I incidentally had a sociology class with during the 1988 fall quarter), who returned to Westwood 20 years after playing his last game in a UCLA uniform and got his degree.
It should go without saying that if Troy, as well as numerous other athletes, can earn their degree years after wearing a true blue and gold uniform with those four iconic letters imprinted on it, there’s no reason whatsoever why you can’t.
That’s why I understand your no longer being a part of the Bruin football program; as much as I (and every other UCLA fan) would have liked to see #30 on the Rose Bowl turf for what I freely admit are selfish reasons, I get it.
There was once a time when I would get angry and upset whenever any Bruin announced that they were going pro before their eligibility was up, as I felt they were abandoning the school that supported them and the people who loved them in a traitorous kind of way.
However, I want to emphasize that I no longer feel that way, and haven’t in some time due to my evolved sense of understanding.
You are doing what you have to do to fulfill your lifelong dream, and I respect and applaud you for that.
As well as wish you nothing but the best.
A longtime and dedicated member of Bruin Nation and a loyal alumnus of UCLA (class of 1991)
Looking quite intense in what would be his last game in a UCLA uniform, against BYU on September 19th. Photo courtesy of ocregister.com