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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
By Khalif Barnes
I will graduate in December with a degree in law, society and justice, around the same time my college football career will end. I'm equally proud of both achievements. When I leave, I'll be able to say I was a student-athlete at one of the toughest universities for football around and one of the most prestigious for academics, and I can say I did it for five years and never quit. Not a lot of people can say they did both of those things.
I came here with the idea of being a forensic pathologist, but that takes a lot more science and math than I planned on doing, and I kind of wanted to get more into the societal part of it. Now I'm thinking something with the FBI sounds cool or working with troubled or delinquent kids.
I was taught by my parents early on to get your work done early and then you can play later. That's what being a football player and a student is really all about time management and the quicker you learn that, the better off you will be.
As freshmen football players, you have to attend study table and stay after classes unless you make a certain grade point. I was one of those guys who didn't want to do that, so I made sure I had the grades and I didn't have to deal with that again.
But the coaches here have always been real supportive of academics. If you don't go to a class, you have to run after practice. You know that it is real important that you do what you are supposed to do on and off the field.
You have to find classes you like. My favorite class was Sociology 275, Murder. I'm a guy who likes mysteries and that kind of stuff, and this class taught about Ted Bundy and the Green River Killer and a lot of different serial killers, and what makes people serial killers and the different things they do. Like the fact that some guys like to stay at the scene and watch from the crowd when the cops are there doing their thing. Things like that are real intriguing to me.
All in all, it's been a great experience, on and off the field. I have no regrets at all.
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