What they're saying: College football's impact beyond the field

Current and former coaches Pat Jones, Barry Switzer, Mark Mangino, Jay Norvell, Jemal Singleton and the San Diego Chargers' Darrell Stuckey weight in on the impact of college football on athletes who grew up in difficult environments.
by Jason Kersey and Gina Mizell Published: February 9, 2013

College football can have an undeniably positive impact on the lives of athletes who grew up in difficult environments.

Here's what some current and former college football people had to say about the life-changing impact the game can have.

Former Oklahoma State coach Pat Jones: “It's rewarding for all of them to make it, but when you get a kid that's been fighting an uphill battle through no reason of his own doing, it's one of the most rewarding parts of coaching.”

Former Kansas coach Mark Mangino: “Every time I think about a game I lost, I think about the Darrell Stuckeys of the world and it makes me smile.”

Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell: “As they grow from 18 to 22, they really become mature men. They leave with ideas and thoughts and things that will put them on a compass for the rest of their lives.

“You can really affect a guy coming from a tough background into a college environment. They learn how to grow, they learn how to be mature, they learn how to handle their business academically.”

Oklahoma State running backs coach Jemal Singleton: “It's a different environment than maybe it was 10-15 years ago. You're looking at a society that has slowly but surely become known as a fatherless society.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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