Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah delivered the Big 10 Football Kickoff Luncheon which is earning widespread praise for both its style and substance. Abdullahâ€™s speech was titled â€œThe Essence of a Student-Athleteâ€.
â€œThe true essence of a student-athlete is someone who has the desire to educate themselves athletically, academically and personally,â€ Abdullah said. He himself scores high on all these measures.
Abdullah mentioned the long-term economic advantages of a college degree, citing a study which state a college graduate will make about $1 million more than a high school graduate over the course of a lifetime. â€œThatâ€™s like saying you can win the lottery by just going to class and doing your work,â€ Abdullah said.
The ninth of nine children born into a Muslim home in the Birmingham, Ala., suburb of Homewood, Ameer also will be the ninth Abdullah to graduate from college. Several of his siblings have advanced degrees as well. There are two lawyers, a CNN producer, a branch manager of a bank and several business people among the Abdullahâ€™s three boys and six girls.
He also mentioned about the tense days after September 11, 2001 when his father counseled his children how to respond when lot of questions were being raised about their faith.
â€œFrom this point on, thereâ€™s going to be a lot of ignorance, a lot of misinformed opinions,â€ Ameer recalled him saying. â€œThey told me to encourage others to make informed decisions. â€¦ Before you judge something, really do thorough research for your own knowledge. If you still donâ€™t like it, fine, but donâ€™t just watch Fox News.â€