Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Shaq Got a #doctorit And All I Got Was This T-Shirt

The Big Ph.D.

So why for come ain’t nobody not tell me that Shaquille O’Neal got a Ph.D. in some Ph.D. sh*t from Barry University?

By the way, that last sentence was brought to you by publicly funded education.

So the homey Cheekie sends me an email talking about Shaq getting his Ph.D. last weekend and I immediately hit her with the virtual Chris from Family Guy, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?”

Let me tell you something. That made me smile. Big and wide. Kind of how I like my white women. With there being so much drama in the LBC, you rarely hear stories about athletes making vast educational achievements. Turns out, the Big Aristotle also has an MBA. Sure its from the University of Phoenix-Online, but hell, do YOU have an MBA…from anywhere? (If you do just shut up and sit there silently as to not destroy my point. Thanks. — Management)

I feel like its very to easy to read article after article about low graduation rates from college for athletes. Especially basketball playing (read ninja-like) athletes. But I’m fairly certain that if it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t know about Shaq getting a Ph.D. (from Barry University in Miami) in leadership and education with a concentration on human resource development. What does that mean? I don’t know. But I’ll bet the other folks with Ph.D.s in that know.

I feel like stories such as this one should be well reported everywhere. I remember some years ago when Vince Carter decided to possibly miss a playoff game to go to his graduation from UNC. People were in an uproar. How could he not be devoted to his teammates at such a pivotal time. Vince Carter was like, “dude, this is my life. You go to college to walk across the stage and graduate, and that’s what I’m going to do.” I couldn’t be mad at him or blame him. The NBA, is his job. Getting an education is a life goal that so many of us have and that achievement gets acknowledge by walking across the stage so that friends and family can witness what was such a lofty goal for so many of our ancestors.

I also remember some years ago when Myron Rolle, from Florida State, ended up becoming a Rhodes Scholar and decided to go to Oxford for a year and pasing up the NFL draft to get a Master’s degree first. His coaches, some players, and analysts thought he had lost his damn mind, but he was very focused on his education and getting to his ultimate goal of becoming a doctor. He plays in the NFL now. And is well on his way. Hell his Wikipedia page might be the most interesting athlete page ever.

I did a google search trying to find out how many professional athletes have graduate degrees (or hell degrees period) and couldn’t find anything. But if I wanted to know which school didn’t graduate the most athletes I’m sure that’s available (my guess is Kentucky). And this isn’t a race thing. Athletes, especially, professional athletes get credited as being dumb jocks a lot but the truth is that a lot of them (not all, obviously not all) do value getting an education. And finish those degrees. It’s just some rich white man was willing to pay them millions of dollars to hold a ball. I remember telling my father that if I had a chance to play professionally, I’d finish college first and my father looked at me like I was crazy. He said if somebody’s willing to pay you for that, school isn’t going anywhere. So the incentive to roll out is substantial.

But numbers of these guys go back and finish their degrees. Which is why hearing that Shaq has a Ph.D. is such a great story to me. I don’t even know him and I’m proud of him. He knows the value of an education and kept at it. You go Shaq.

I think I wrote all that to just say, “you go Shaq!”


So, happy Friday! Um…isn’t that great?

By the way, I do realize the inherent “low standardism” that I displayed by being excited that an athlete actually got a degree. Maybe that says a lot about me. Maybe that says a lot about how I view athletes. N.E.R.D. has a song called “Maybe”.

*takes ball and goes home*

The floor is yours.


Also, I feel like I should introduce for those who haven’t been, an interesting webseries that I’m sure all of you cubicle-n*ggas can understand and relate too: The Unwritten Rules. Peep the trailer then go check out the two episodes. It’s worth the watch.

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Jammy Jams if you are going to make me watch something, make sure you are actually in it. Thanks!

    Right this minute I just got blessed with my Doctorate in One Eye in One Eye Dead
    Cottamn….I swear, Iunno what I’m typing.

    I’m happy for Shaq,but imma need him to get a Doctorate in TAWKIIIIN and pronouncing errygatdamn syllabo like this Italian that reminds me of pounded yam

    Oh Lawwwwdieeeeeeeee what’s was the question again?!

  • Congrajulashins Shaq on yer PhDeez. Now hopfulee ewe can tweet beter thna Tyereese and say sumthing coheerint on Inside Tha NBA

  • eye(c)ande

    Peejes and cream, I’m trying to figure out how you missed this. You usually know everything. You’re like AT&T’s network (in the commercials not in real life). Dude had his regalia and errthang on during Inside the NBA. Who was watching Disney huh?

  • Proud of the Shaq Attack, I think its a great thing he has done. it ll inspire many kids and folk out there. I wish news like this get publicized more. O well. It must be a conspiracy by the man to prevent young black kids from hearing uplifting and positive news and ish. The unwritten rules web series looks interesting, for some reason I have never gotten into web series. Still havent seen the awkward black girl thing. I have heard rave reviews and stuff but i m too busy watching Game of Thrones, Californication or House of lies to really care.

  • Bad Mama Jama

    It’s not low standardism because it’s a Ph.D. 3% of Americans have a doctorate or professional degree. #gameover

  • The Unwritten Rules is one of my favorite webseries outside of ABG and Anacostia.

    If I were given the choice to make millions before graduating or to finish my degree, I’d finish my degree. I’m one of those folks that has to see things through to completion, so i’d eventually regret leaving school prematurely even if it were for a major sports deal.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather listen to Shaq speak over Charles Barkley.

  • b sweet

    I’m sorry now, what?

    Degrees are becoming the new h@es down for a one night stand with no condom-easier to get with money and status.

  • Maneek

    I’m sorry but I can’t focus on anything in tonight’s entry until someone confir s if that’s HOOPS WEARING A CAP N GOWN TOO?! Was it a twofer deal?

  • As a Pharrell stan, N.E.R.D. only has one album worth a damn: Seeing Sounds.

  • Val

    Good for Shaq. Now he needs to encourage his ex-wife to get her doctorate in “I promise not to produce anymore TV shows, ever”. Her thesis can be “How I made a bunch of money by making Black women look like fools on VH1 and now no one worth a damn has any respect for me”.

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