Paul Jones walked into his apartment, headed to his room and fell lifelessly onto the bed. His bag, thrown on the floor surrounded by mangled laundry, crumpled papers and empty Gatorade bottles. Practice ran late and he knew he had to wake up for a 7 a.m. workout the next morning, but couldn’t resist to get a few rounds of NBA 2K12 in on his Play Station 3 with his roommates.
What looks like a shrine of disorganization and carelessness is disrupted by the wall of class syllabi hung up alongside the bed, each one highlighted hot pink with check marks next to each assignment.
For the past four semesters, Jones struggled academically, not because he was dumb, but because he was lazy. He had no motivation, no drive. It wasn’t until the Nittany Lions flew out to Texas for the TicketCity Bowl did Jones have a revelation.
Because his cumulative GPA did not meet Penn State’s academic eligibility requirement, Jones was not allowed to travel with the team to Dallas to take on the Houston C...