Degrees should be players’ priority

I don’t know exactly what it was.

Maybe it was my upbringing. As a child, my father, an avid reader, required me to read black history books such as the “Autobiography of Malcolm X” and “Soul on Ice,” by Eldridge Cleaver.

Maybe it was the nearly four years I have spent at FAMU. Everybody, whether they want to admit it or not, becomes a little pro-black on their way to becoming a professional while on the Hill.

Regardless of what it was, as I sat in the Leon County Civic Center on Nov. 21, I started stewing.

I was there to watch my homeboy Alleo Frazier, starting point guard for fellow HBCU, Alcorn State University, play college ball live for the first time against FSU.

I could feel it building up inside me. It was that silent anger.

The whole scene just didn’t sit right with me. Watching from the stands, I was reminded of a line from west coast emcee Ras Kass’ song “Uni-4-Orm”.

“Record industry rule numbers one, two, and three

Jews run it,

Ni***s run around in it,

Believe me.”

Minus the anti-Semitism, I couldn’t help but feel his sentiment. The same theory applies to the business of major intercollegiate athletics.

Conceal your intentions is the third law in Robert Greene and Joost Elffer’s book “The 48 Laws of Power.”

By the time the chiseled brothers representing the school down the street realize they’ve been getting the wool pulled over their eyes, it will probably be too late.

It was the cheering that set it off for me. The unadulterated adoration of the home fans for their team and their relentless heckling of the kids from the poor, little black school made my stomach turn.

Draped in garnet and gold from head-to-toe, a woman behind me supported the Seminoles verbally throughout the contest. “Jam it right down there throats,” she yelled. “Take it to ’em.”

To me it sounded like she was rooting for the system. To her, she was just supporting her “boys.”

I wonder if she knows if any of them are on pace to graduate. I wonder if she cares.

You know how the game ended. The bigger, stronger, (better) Seminoles bullied their way to an 85-67 victory over the Braves.

After watching, I was reminded of a quote from Ceelo: “In order for a capilitalistic society to be successful,” he said, “someone has to be capitalized on.”

I wasn’t worried about my friend. He’s going to graduate summa cum laude with a degree in computer science this spring. I hope the same can be said for the seniors on the Seminoles’ squad.

Like my boy James always says, “Don’t be an idiot your whole life.”

Run tell that.

Nicholas Birdsong is a senior newspaper journalism student from Tampa. Contact him at