Last night I watched ESPN's 30 for 30 series. They had a special showing called "The Best That Never Was". This movie was about a RB at Oklahoma named Marcus Dupree, the troubles he went through as he went through stardom and some of the bad choices that he and others made for him. As I was watching this movie, I noticed a couple of things that disturbed me.
Dupree was an immense talent, but no one ever stressed anything to him about the importance of being a student-athlete. Sports can be taken from you at anytime, so you have to be able to do other things in life. Obviously, no one stressed this to him because he felt like he had lost a lot when he had football taken away from him due to injury.
Another thing that struck me was that he nor his mom ever handled his money when he went to the professional ranks. The fact that he had to ask for money from his "handler" was disturbing. His "handler", Ken Fairley, was a snake and he basically used him. It's a shame that someone he trusted would do that to him, but this situation just speaks to the fact that you have to be aware of what is going on.
The last and final thing that I noticed was that Dupree had no father figure in his life. He had guys who were there in his life, but none of them were there when he needed them most. When he left Oklahoma, someone should have told him that he needed to go back and that things weren't always going to be great. He needed someone in his life to speak truthful and honest and not tell him what he wanted to hear.
People who are athletes, are raising young athletes or are coaching/mentoring young athletes, please make these athletes aware that stardom and fame doesn't last forever. You have to be multifaceted and multidimensional in life. Also, please be observant of who enters into these athletes' lives. Everything that looks good isn't always good and all athletes are not aware of this. If we as a society would stop preying on these athletes and start praying and caring for them, our society would be better as a whole. For all that haven't seen "The Best That Never Was", check it out.