Thursday, May 15, 2014

Father's Day

Mother's Day is just past and Father's Day is a ways away yet (ever notice how Father's Day comes nine months before Mother's Day?) but we may well have identified the winner of a "Father of the Year" award: Calvin Days. You see Mr. Days has a son at Georgia Tech who happens to be a pretty darn good athlete. Good enough for a football scholarship. Good enough to start.

Until recently. Turns out Mr. Days' son is as big an academic screw-off as he is an outstanding athlete and has earned a spot on academic probation--out for the 2014 season. No real surprises here. It happens all the time in college athletics.

And what is Mr. Days' reaction to this sad state of affairs? Well, he's not interested in perpetuating "football scholarship" as some twisted oxymoron. Instead he wants his son to learn a lesson saying that it is his and his wife's wish that his son be released from his scholarship until he proves he is serious about his schoolwork. Wow. Parents that understand the key element of "scholarship" is "scholar."

Observing that his son failed the class because he skipped classes and didn't turn in assignments Days is quoted as saying "Your job is to go to class. What you're doing (by not going to class) is you're stealing." Brains and integrity.

And to cap it off?  "We're talking about the rest of his life, not will this hurt his chances for pro football?" Days said. "I would rather him not play football and grow up and assume responsibility for the things that are important."

But it is not as if this man is some heartless "Tiger Dad". He is a father and a human. "I know he's hurting," Days said. "I want to hug and make it better. I want (to say), 'We're going to make it work.' But that's probably the worst thing I can do right now. That's the difficult piece."

The world would be a far better place if it had more parents like the Days. While we and the Georgia Tech community are fortunate for the likes of Calvin Days there are two even more blessed: Jabari and his older brother Synjyn.