Wednesday, December 14, 2011

15 Professional Athletes Online Students

The lure of huge salaries and lucrative advertising deals are often too much for college sports stars to turn down. Waiting to graduate before going pro means potentially risking millions of dollars by getting injured or dropping in the draft. However, many of these athletes come to realize that a) injuries are just as much of a threat in the pros as in college, and b) sooner or later, everyone’s playing days come to end. Although many do not have the time to physically attend campus, the world of online universities makes it possible for linebackers and power forwards to head back to school from anywhere they have an internet connection. Here are 15 pro athletes who studied in cyberspace:

  1. Shaquille O’Neal

    The former Lakers center and self-titled “Big Aristotle” proved his intellectual prowess by earning a MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2005.

  2. Troy Aikman

    It took him 20 years, but the legendary quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys finally completed his last two courses online in 2009 and earned his degree in sociology.

  3. Jimmer Fredette

    Now a member of the Sacramento Kings, Fredette was such a sensation at BYU that the school asked him to take all his classes online to keep him from being a distraction on campus.

  4. Venus Williams

    The other half of the twin powerhouse, tennis champ Venus Williams completed online coursework through the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and received an associate’s degree in fashion design.

  5. Lisa Leslie

    Leslie won the MVP award in the WNBA three times, and in 2004 she added an MBA from Shaq’s alma mater, the online University of Phoenix.

  6. Jalen Rose

    He was one of the “Fab Five” of Michigan basketball’s all-star recruiting class in 1991, but he began his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets without getting his degree. In 2005, he remedied that by earning a bachelor of science online at University of Maryland University College.

  7. Andrea Jaeger

    At the tender age of 16, Jaeger was ranked second in the world in tennis. Years later, the one-time “Superbrat” completed a theology degree online on her way to becoming a nun.

  8. Bobby Newcombe

    A former Nebraska football standout, Newcombe was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2001 NFL draft. Soon after, he signed up to seek an MBA at the University of Phoenix.

  9. Ray Lewis

    Lewis found time between lighting up quarterbacks for the Baltimore Ravens and lying to cops in murder investigations to get a bachelor’s in management studies online from University of Maryland University College.

  10. Dan Connolly

    Connolly has played offensive lineman for the Patriots and Jaguars, and he once set a record for the longest kickoff return for a lineman (71 yards). In 2010, he earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies online from Southeast Missouri State.

  11. Vonta Leach

    The Green Bay Packers signed Leach in 2004 as a free agent. Six years later the fullback missed a workout with his new team, the Texans, to participate in graduation at East Carolina University after completing his degree through online coursework.

  12. Larry Sanders

    After averaging 15 points per game at VCU in his junior year, Sanders was snapped up by the Milwaukee Bucks for the fifteenth pick overall. With an NBA lockout looming, Sanders signed back up at VCU for two classes — one online — to wrap up his degree in sociology.

  13. Trevor Ariza

    Ariza was another of a handful of NBA players who used their time off during NBA lockout discussions to hit the books again. Ariza enrolled at UCLA and said when the lockout ended he’d finish his classes online.

  14. Anthony Randolph

    Anthony Randolph of the Minnesota Timberwolves went so far as to rent an apartment near LSU to attend classes there. Like Ariza, he’ll finish his classes online now that the NBA is back in business.

  15. Ken Dilger

    Before he retired, Dilger played ten seasons in the NFL as a tight end and won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay in 2003. Off the field, Dilger is setting off on a new career path as a businessman. His first step is graduating from the online Western Governor’s University with an MBA.

Taken From Online Colleges

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