Contrary to what some headlines said, Josh Rosen didn't fire a shot at Alabama
I often get frustrated when athletes say they’re taken out of context.
More times than not, they aren’t. They might not have thought they said what they said, but they use the “taken out of context” excuse as a way to cover their tracks.
Still, every once in a while, it can happen. A little excerpt from a story can make for a big headline for aggregators. Unfortunately, it’s the way media works in the 21st century.
And unfortunately, that was the byproduct of the Josh Rosen story.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Hayes did an insightful Q&A with the outspoken UCLA quarterback. If you haven’t read it yet, go do it. Whether you agree with Rosen’s comments or not, Hayes’ interview shed some light on the topic of being a student-athlete in today’s world of college football.
Hayes could’ve easily decided to take a few snippets from that interview, turn it into a headline-grabby story and deal with possible backlash of taking Rosen’s comments out of context.
Hayes didn’t do that. Instead, aggregators did.
After all, Rosen said “raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have.” Headline. Click.
If you just searched “Josh Rosen” you might find tweets like this:
Rosen, however, wasn’t taking a shot at Alabama at all. If anything, he gave Alabama respect by using it as the standard program for which the college football model is based on.
Here’s the interaction with Hayes that led to that quote:
Rosen: Don’t get me started. I love school, but it’s hard. It’s cool because we’re learning more applicable stuff in my major (Economics) — not just the prerequisite stuff that’s designed to filter out people. But football really dents my ability to take some classes that I need. There are a bunch of classes that are only offered one time. There was a class this spring I had to take, but there was a conflict with spring football, so…
B/R: So football wins out?
Rosen: Well, you can say that.
B/R: So that’s reality for student-athletes playing at a major university?
Rosen: I didn’t say that, you did. (Laughs.) Look, football and school don’t go together. They just don’t. Trying to do both is like trying to do two full-time jobs. There are guys who have no business being in school, but they’re here because this is the path to the NFL. There’s no other way. Then there’s the other side that says raise the SAT eligibility requirements. OK, raise the SAT requirement at Alabama and see what kind of team they have. You lose athletes and then the product on the field suffers.
Rosen’s point wasn’t that Alabama has a dumb football team. Taken out of context, though, that’s what aggregators made it sound like.
His point was that he believes some college football players are being set up to fail under the current NCAA model. Rosen believes that by having low SAT requirements, certain schools are accepting kids that are there just to play football. Just because they can be accepted into that school doesn’t mean they can handle what Rosen called two full-time jobs.
He’s not even saying that football players are dumb. He’s advocating for change to a model that he believes pretends to be all about the student-athlete when it’s putting nearly impossible circumstances on kids who aren’t prepared to handle them.
Whether you believe what Rosen said is up to you. Just don’t be a headline consumer. Read the full story. Understand Alabama wasn’t at the center of it before you fire off some anti-Rosen/anti-UCLA/anti-millennial comment on social media.
It would’ve been easy for us at Saturday Down South to read Rosen’s comments, rip off the Alabama quote and put it in a headline (we didn’t). Shoot, it was easy enough for ESPN and The Big Lead to do it. Anyone could’ve done it.
Well, anyone with an editorial team.
@MattHayesCFB Matt, we just emailed you. Is there any audio from the Rosen article? Thank you!
— FOX Sports Desk (@FOXSportsDesk) August 8, 2017