I know that I have personally been guilty of being overly critical of some college athletes about their performance on the field of play. Someone’s not giving full effort, a step too slow, or otherwise just not putting it all out there on the floor for their team and their fans.
Here’s a story that should make everyone check that attitude for a minute.
Tennessee’s preseason All-America guard, Chris Lofton, started off the 2007-08 season in an absolute funk. He wasn’t scoring, his play seemed a bit lackluster, and couldn’t hit a three to save his life.
Well, the facts were really that he was battling to actually save his life.
Diagnosed with testicular cancer following a random NCAA drug screen after the 2006-07 season, he fought a private battle with the cancer, with only the closest of the close among his family and friends knowing what he was going through.
Meanwhile, local sports fans and commentators were critical to varying degrees about Lofton’s performance. There were calls for him to be benched along with wild speculation about what his problems on the floor were.
I just think that this is a good opportunity to remind everyone that college athletes are young kids, from divergent backgrounds, with any number of personal problems that can impact their play. So, before you take time to bash someone on a message board, call in to a talk show, or otherwise express an opinion without all the facts, slow down and take Chris Lofton’s situation to heart.