There are plenty of ways into the National Football League, and for former Philadelphia Eagle, Washington Redskin and Dallas Cowboy Mark Sanchez his entry into the bright lights came by way of the University of Southern California when Rex Ryan drafted him to play quarterback for the Jets.
The 2009 and 2010 seasons were campaigns to remember for the former Trojan. That's for sure. He took the green and white deep into the playoffs, but then came the play he'd be forever known for. His signature move, if you will. The, "Butt Fumble". Now its appear he might have a job at ESPN, which shows how a life in the league can keep on giving even after ones playing days have come to a close.
In the Netflix series Last Chance U, the athletes at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas, seem to dream about little else. The dichotomy this creates at the start of season four is one that almost pits the athletes against themselves. On the one hand almost all of these individuals are from out-of-state and are still living off the energy and ego they developed in their sophomore and junior years of high school when the bigger schools were still scouting them.
The flip side of that is not only the fall from grace these athletes suffered as high school seniors when the Div. 1 offers the rest of their lives were supposed to revolve around never arrived, but life then kicked them in the head once again when they got to college and the course work proved challenging. For some the jump in educational standards is all too real, and that forces the faculty into a world of situations I know I never saw when I was in junior college.
Now, with all of that in tow it's time to play football, unless you live in Missouri, that is. At ICC, otherwise known as, "Dream U", on the football team alone the roster runs 150 deep. That's 50 sophomores, 50 freshman and 50 redshirts and the goal in mind for every one of those individuals is to get them game film so they can get a scholarship to continue their education at a Div. 1 school.
There are going to be the occasional rotten apple in a barrel that big. On the show his name was Bobby Bruce, and he didn't come across as a criminal, but when the season started he already had been released from the program and allowed to return, so I guess you could say he was on what they called in the movie Animal House, "Double Secret Probation". Only Bobby knew all about it, yet he still went in someone else's room with two other people, took something and then took the blame for all three.
Not exactly the stuff legends are made of, but I think we all know people who either their initial foray into college athletics simply didn't work out or, because of grades, never took flight. Now these same late-teens and early twenty-somethings walk among us having no idea where their second chance is.
Certainly it would have to be located along a border so it could play in a conference in someplace like Kansas or Iowa, but seeing the opportunities the athletes in the Jayhawk Conference are getting that our homegrown athletes aren't, does Missouri need a junior college with a football program? I'm not suggesting we need another version of Last Chance U, someplace that recruits nationally.
I'm asking is there a pre-existing community college that should be funded to give our athletes an opportunity to earn scholarships that will allow them to spend four years in college without Div. 1 being the same qualifier it is for coach Brown and the Pirates?