Jarrod Barnes, a doctoral student in Sport Management, is the only Ohio State football player to ever play while earning a PhD. His degree is, in part, thanks to the Ted Coates Scholarship and the Ruth Jane Yauger Scholarship.
I believe that life is not a marathon, but rather a series of sprints. Those who are the most successful are competitors, sprinting toward their goals instead of casually jogging along. My whole life I have been sprinting, on the football field and more recently in the classroom. The scholarships I received from the College of Education and Human Ecology have given me the opportunity to keep on running.
While I have come a long way during my time at Ohio State, this is just the beginning. My motivation far exceeds personal achievement, financial gain or recognition. My journey isn’t about me but what I can do for others. I sprint for all those who didn’t get the big breaks I was fortunate enough to have. I sprint for all those who feel like giving up on their dreams. I sprint for all the young black kids who are looking for a positive role model. I sprint for my family and my future wife and kids. By completing my PhD, I will raise the bar for my family, student-athletes and more importantly, for minority students all over the world.
In 2014, I founded the Career-Minded Athletes Association to provide personal, professional and career-development services to high school, collegiate and professional athletes across the country. My goal is to expand and utilize my PhD research to provide free content and services to all member athletes.
I encourage those athletes and everyone to never give up on their dreams. I recently participated in Ohio State Football’s annual Pro Day, in which National Football League scouts evaluate future prospects. While I’m was not selected in this year’s NFL Draft, I gave it my all and left a better man because of it. Although my playing days might be over soon, I will always be sprinting. Go Bucks!