ESPN analyst Greg McElroy didn’t take Kayvon Thibodeaux’s thoughts on an education at the University of Alabama too seriously.
During an interview at the national championship game, Thibodeaux said there is a “stigma”, though he was referring to the stigma, around football players “being dumb athletes” and a stigma about education in Alabama, and He said he was worried that if he went there, he wasn’t sure if his title would mean anything.
In “McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning”, McElroy, an Alabama graduate, pushed back on his claim, first challenging him for his use of “stigmatism” on stigma and saying that he “sounds like a dumb jock”.
“What I don’t understand is why he felt the need to shrink Alabama,” McElroy said on his radio show with Cole Cubelic. “And as someone who has always taken your academic standing very seriously, I’ll just tell you this: If you want to take an IQ test, I’m available. If you want to take the Wonderlic test, I’m available. As a proud graduate with multiple degrees from Alabama, I’ll compare my title to yours any day of the week.
Thibodeaux was being interviewed during Monday’s college football championship game with Fox’s Joel Klatt, and was asked why he chose Oregon over the Crimson Tide. He said that education in Alabama “is not the West Coast.”
He was also asked if he was aware that every recruiting class in Alabama had won a degree, and Thibodeaux said that while it’s important, he said, “I wish everyone had jobs and stuff later.”
Thibodeaux almost certainly won’t have to worry too much about jobs after college, as he currently projects as one of the top two, if not the No. 1 prospect, in the 2022 NFL Draft class.
“What people don’t realize is that football is an American sport. So no matter how great Alabama is, you only play football in the United States, Canada and a couple of other places,” Thibodeaux told Klatt. “But a brand like Nike, I mean, to me it was like what brand associations do I want to be tied to? To me, I already hate the stigma that football players are dumb. You know the stigma of education in Alabama? It’s not the West Coast. It’s not Harvard.”
Thibodeaux also said he didn’t like Saban’s argument for telling athletes he would say when they are ready to play instead of when the players think they are ready.
Thibodeaux later also appeared to push back on Twitter at those who corrected him for using “stigmatism” over “stigma.”
McElroy explained that when he was recruited, he had offers from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and most Ivy League schools. In 2010, while a senior at Alabama, McElroy was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, which is awarded to 102 graduate students seeking to attend the University of Oxford.
McElroy finished college in three years, earning a 3.85 GPA in business marketing, earning him magna cum laude. At the NFL Combine, he scored 43 on the Wonderlic test, a test similar to the IQ test used by NFL scouts to assess the intelligence of athletes in the draft. Ryan Fitzpatrick has the highest scoring by a quarterback with 48, while punter Pat McInally is the only known player with a perfect 50 score.
“I just personally take offense, man,” McElroy said. “I really do. I don’t care. Don’t come. If you think so little of us, don’t come. It’s fine with me, because I know the people who live in this state. I chose Alabama because I love Alabama.
“If you don’t want to see Alabama for the greatness it can potentially bring you, it’s up to you. You’re missing out.”