Searching for Role Models
By JOAH SPEARMAN
Feb. 8, 2010
When Alabama’s Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy he made sure to mention his father, Mark Ingram Sr., a former N.F.L. receiver who was an important member of the Giants’ 1991 Super Bowl victory and a role model to him.
However, Mark Ingram Sr. spent his son’s Heisman year in prison after being sentenced to seven years for bank fraud and money laundering charges. Even still, the elder Ingram tries to remain a positive force in his son’s life (the two speak on the phone regularly) by telling him not to make the same mistakes he did. Is that what a role model should encourage?
February is Black History Month, which leads me to an important question: what kind of role models should student-athletes have? I once heard a professor say, “while striving to achieve hoop dreams, many young black children are having academic nightmares.” Dr. Louis Harrison Jr., an African-American studies professor at the University of Texas, is the man behind that line and this month, “Real Role Models,” a book I co-authored with him, addresses this important issue.
Read the rest here @ NYTimes.com.