Stanford running back and last season’s Heisman runner-up Bryce Love didn’t make it to Pac-12 Media Day this week. The returning senior had a perfectly valid reason why he, as a “student-athlete,” couldn’t attend.
“I really wanted to be there to represent the university. But I decided I just wasn’t able to make it happen this year,” Love said. “Based on other commitments, trying to graduate in December required me to take more classes over the summer.”
Stanford officials said that Love, who plans to attend medical school, had already used his excused absence for the class. The running back’s talk with reporters, done via Skype instead, seemed to proceed without any hiccups, so the whole situation was inconvenient for no one except, apparently, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. Dodd could have written his column on whatever anyone else said at media day, but instead he decided to use Love’s “1984-ish Big Brother projection on a ballroom video board” as an example of our “virtual society” in decline. Makes you think.
But his absence does set a dangerous precedent. This is going to give every star player an excuse to Skype in.
That’s ... fine? Unless you’re desperately seeking answers to questions such as, “How excited are you for the season?” and “Talk about the job of being a leader on this team,” NCAA media days are pointless. Love is skipping the dull routine, and in doing so he’s even reinforcing the amateurism myth that allows the NCAA to continue in its current form.
But that doesn’t matter. The important question is, how would Love’s decision have gone down if it were done by an iconic NCAA quarterback playing on the other side of a country a decade ago? Yes, Dodd is literally asking, What would Tebow do?
Put it this way: Try to envision Tim Tebow in his heyday skipping SEC Media Days of because (sic), well, school. Right or wrong, that wouldn’t have happened. The need to better himself, the conference and his school would have outstripped another summer school lecture.
How dare Bryce Love go to class to become a doctor instead of fielding questions about some boring shit people will forget in a week. Tim Tebow would never!