North Texas Daily

Column: Two sports, one dream

Column: Two sports, one dream

Column: Two sports, one dream
February 05
09:40 2019

Growing up, we were encouraged to get involved with as many sports and extracurricular activites as possible. We were told to try and make new friends and playing multiple sports was the easiest way to do that. What happens when an athlete plays two or more sports and is torn between the two?

Some of the best football players ever played two sports in high school or college. Tight ends Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham were both college basketball players before making the transition to the gridiron. Future Hall of Famer, Julius Peppers,was also a basketball player who switched to defensive menace and wreaked havoc on quarterbacks for the past decade.

The (arguably) greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also played dual-sports. After Jordan won his third title in a row after the 1993-94 season, Jordan decided to swap his sneakers for some baseball cleats. Jordan played over 100 games for the Chicago White Sox’ minor league affiliate the Birmingham Barons.

So why should any North Texas athletes commit to just one sport? Well, injury concerns and money are the two biggest reasons why athletes should seriously think about which road they decide to travel down.

Not every athlete is former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman winner Kyler Murray. Murray has a legitimate shot at being the first person ever to be selected in the first round of both the MLB draft and the NFL draft. Murray was selected ninth overall in the 2018 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics and the A’s agreed to let Murray play one more season of college football at Oklahoma.

Well, Murray has now declared for the NFL draft, where ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Murray slotted at No. 3 overall in his mock draft.

Any North Texas athlete who can play baseball should lean towards it if they have a realistic shot at going pro. Baseball is not a contact sport, which means that there is less of a chance of getting injured and losing out on money.

In football you have a pretty good chance of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for short. The NFL has been in multiple lawsuits regarding CTE and how to handle the cases stemming from it, so any Mean Green athlete who can play a different sport should.

Lastly, the money. Yes, you will spend some time working your way up through the minor leagues in baseball or basketball but you will have better long-term success. Once you make it to the big leagues, you have the ability to change your life forever. Fully-guaranteed contracts and not pounding your body 16 weeks of the year? That sounds a lot better to me than having to deal with training camps, preseasons and trauma caused by playing football.

Any North Texas athletes who are unsure of which path to travel should discuss their options and futures with their friends and family. A future on the diamond is more appealing than the trauma that comes with football.

Featured Illustration by: Jordan Collard 

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Dillon Swan

Dillon Swan

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