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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mark Sanchez

It was revealed today that Mark Sanchez, the staring quarterback for the for the University of Southern California, will enter the 2009 NFL Draft. Based on his career at USC, I would question whether or not this is the right decision.

First of all, unlike his predecessors Matt Leinhart and Carson Palmer, he was not even a Heisman finalist. His name never even came up in the talks this year. Now, clearly, it is not necessary to be a Heisman candidate to make in the NFL (ahem, Joe Flacco and Tony Romo, I am looking at you). However, considering where he comes from, Sanchez should have at least been in the running. However, in 2008, the football analysts praised the dominating defensive performance of the USC Trojans. It was a rare moment when anyone even mentioned Sanchez or his play.

In addition, USC has a chance to compete for the national title every year. That's what Pete Carroll does; he prepares his team for the big game. Sanchez has a chance to take USC to the National Championship. This would make his stock in the Draft skyrocket. This year, his team lost to a mediocre Oregon State team to stop their BCS dream in its tracks. Knowing Pete Carroll, this will not happen again.

Finally, Sanchez is a good example of what is wrong with college football today. College is for earning a degree. It should not be a showpiece for talent for the NFL. USC did not pay Sanchez to play football; they paid his way through college. And now he repays that by hurting the graduation rate. I don't want to pick on Sanchez because so many players choose to enter the Draft rather than earn their degrees. What they don't realize is that they are one blown knee from being unemployed and without a degree to assist them.

Sanchez made a selfish choice to enter the Draft; in the long run, he is hurting his team, his school, and his coach. He is, unfortunately, not alone. The mistake is a common one. I just hope his knees hold up.