Dr. Shaquille O’Neal Speaks To The NCAA Convention

Shaquille O'Neal Speaks to the NCAA ConventionYeah, you read it right, Dr. Shaquille O’Neal.  In addition to being a former NBA All Star, a Movie Star, a TV Star, a Recording Artist and an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal, the Shaq has earned his doctoral degree in education from Barry College in Florida. In fact, when Shaq was asked to speak at the NCAA Convention down in Grapevine, Texas, NCAA President Mark Emmert introduced him as “Dr. Shaquille O’Neal”.

O’Neal started his appearance at the convention on a humorous note confessing to the entire group that he had committed numerous NCAA rules violations while he attended LSU from 1989-1992.  He openly admitted to having received a free bowl of Jambalaya right before every game.  Emmert just laughed and said not to worry because the statute of limitations had already run out on that one.

The discussion then turned to a more serious note as Emmert proceeded with a 30 minute question and answer session with Dr. Shaq who told the group that earning his doctorate in education was harder than anything he ever did athletically.  He went on to stress the importance of education and state that NCAA basket ball players should have to stay in school at least three years before moving on to the NFL instead of the “one-and-done” practice which we are seeing more and more of these days.

Even Doc Rivers’ son Austin left Duke after only one season to join the New Orleans Hornets.  NCAA football players are required to stay at the university for three years before declaring for the NFL Draft.

O’Neal said, “A lot of guys do it because of their financial situation and they need to do it. That’s the only way to provide a better means for their family.  So, when you look at it from that aspect, I understand”.  However, Shaq still says that if it were up to him, the rule would “probably say three-and-done”.

O’Neal’s advice to those guys who just have to make the jump early is to always go back and get that education. He said, “it’s not a matter of how much money they will make, but how much they’re going to keep”.

The topic of Shaq’s doctorial dissertation was “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.”

……and what’s next for the Shaq, why, he is going to law school!

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