On Monday's All Things Considered, a report on the student-athletes by correspondent Uri Berliner was introduced like this:
Illinois and North Carolina face off Monday night in St. Louis for the NCAA championship. Along with all the excitement of arriving at the pinnacle at college basketball, many players are coping with school deadlines as well.Berliner began by noting that "just before North Carolina's locker room was opened to the media yesterday, reserve guard Wes Miller was sweating it out. Not on the basketball court, but in a study hall." Said Miller:
"I've got a paper due on Thursday, so I've been working on that a little bit. So yeah, we've missed so much class in the past three weeks it's tough to keep up with the academics. But you've got to try somehow."Berliner asked Miller what his paper was about. "It's on political theory," replied Miller, "Thomas Hobbes and John Locke" -- an answer that just about had me salivating as I listened while driving in my car. What a meaty topic! What fun it would be to write. But then Miller deflated those thoughts as he continued: "So it wasn't too exciting."
Not exciting? Hobbes and Locke? He must just be preoccupied with the basketball tournament and unable to appreciate the evolution of English political theory during the 16th and 17th centuries. Berliner tried to draw Miller out a bit by asking what he had to read to prepare his paper:
"I had to read Thomas Hobbes [laughs] and John Locke. Like John Locke Treaties [sic] of Government or something like that. I don't know. It was awful."Somewhere at the University of North Carolina is a student who knows that Hobbes wrote Leviathan and Locke wrote Two Treatises of Government. That student does not, however, play reserve guard for UNC's basketball team.
I'm glad I won't be grading Wes Miller's paper -- the one due on Thursday.