View Full Version : Polamalu graduates from USC w/ history degree. Congrats Troy

05-16-2011, 10:06 AM

Troy Polamalu graduates from USC
ESPN.com news services
Updated: May 14, 2011, 11:23 AM ET

Study time is over for the NFL's reigning defensive player of the year.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who was drafted in 2003 after his senior season at USC but hadn't earned his degree, has been awarded a bachelor's in history from the school.

Polamalu, a two-time All-American for the Trojans, took part with more than 1,000 master's and undergraduate students Friday morning in a commencement ceremony for USC's political science, international relations and history majors.

More than 6,000 people were in attendance for the the Shrine Auditorium event on the school's Los Angeles campus.

The student receiving the loudest cheer, though, was one of the oldest of the bunch: Polamalu, who was drafted 16th overall in 2003 by the Steelers.

"I'm officially a USC graduate!" the six-time Pro Bowler wrote on his website, troy43.com.

Polamalu, 30, returned to school this semester, using the NFL lockout as an opportunity to complete a long-term goal.

"I decided to finish what I started and walked that stage today not only because it was very important to me personally, but because I want to emphasize the importance of education, and that nothing should supersede it," Polamalu said.

Polamalu has been receiving treatment in Los Angeles for a foot injury sustained late last season. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he won't need surgery and should be fully healed in time for the start of training camp, assuming the NFL season starts as scheduled.

"The majority of top picks in the NFL get drafted before they complete their college education," Polamalu said on his website. "I truly love football and it's such an immense blessing and privilege as an athlete to be given the rare opportunity to use those talents at the highest professional level, but it's certainly not a replacement for an education."

Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Pedro Moura was used in this report.


Troy Polamalu's time well spent
May, 14, 2011 May 1412:09PM ET
By James Walker

Similar to his great instincts on the field, Pittsburgh Steelers safety and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu is staying two steps ahead during the lockout off the field.

While many players are scrambling and trying to figure out what to do with their free time, Polamalu returned to USC this semester and earned a history degree at his alma mater. Polamalu, 30, didn't complete all of his credits before being drafted by the Steelers in 2003 but utilized the lockout to do so eight years and two Super Bowl titles later.

"I decided to finish what I started and walked that stage today not only because it was very important to me personally, but because I want to emphasize the importance of education, and that nothing should supersede it," Polamalu said.

In addition to Polamalu, other AFC North players have found interesting ways to pass the time during this extended lockout, which started in March.

Steelers teammate Hines Ward is doing well on "Dancing With The Stars." Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski registered two knockouts as a professional boxer, and Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco tried pro soccer and will ride a bull this weekend.

05-16-2011, 10:48 AM
Maybe Bill Gates will be motivated to go back and finish his degree now :)

College is overrated imho.

05-16-2011, 11:50 AM
Troy is an outstanding example of a person. He didn't need to finish his degree, but by doing so he has shown all his fans, and more importantly his own kids, that an education is importnat even if you are a multi-millionaire.

It would be nice if alot more of these guys realized that they could do alot for society and themselves finishing their degrees.

05-16-2011, 12:09 PM
I should have just posted the picture of Troy in the cap and gown with the floral necklace, and put "Troy Polamalu gets lei'd at the USC graduation" in the subject line. :wink:

05-17-2011, 08:04 PM
He not only graduated, he graduated with highest hair honors.

05-18-2011, 03:03 AM
Congratulations Troy, you are a great role model for our youth to follow! :Clap


05-23-2011, 01:48 PM

Troy Polamalu finally finishes what he started

Mon, May 23
12:01PM ET
by Kelley L. Carter

Troy Polamalu shakes his perfectly coiffed hair -- his famous mane is pulled back into a pony tail this evening, but it's still as bouncy as ever -- and laughs at the kudos he was getting Sunday evening.

Technically, the 30-year-old strong safety was being honored at the 26th anniversary of Sports Spectacular, an event that benefits the Medical Genetics Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was being toasted at the Los Angeles event alongside Blake Griffin, Lindsey Vonn and Landon Donovan, but in this moment, on the event's red carpet, he was getting props Sunday night for finally finishing college and getting his degree from USC.

"For one," he starts in, when asked why it was so important for him to finish, "it was a promise I fulfilled to my aunt and uncle who raised me. Second of all, I've always believed that education was important, but I never could speak about it with any authority, you know? I can't tell a kid, 'go to college and School's the most important thing,' when I have no authority to speak with it. It's just like if I were to speak with anybody before I had children about being a father; it's very similar to that. But now I feel very blessed and it's a very big fulfillment for myself. You could spend a lot of your life trying to achieve certain goals, but school is a huge part of that. And if you fall short it's a very big disappointment."

Polamalu says that walking across the stage last week to receive his bachelor's degree in history -- it happened eight years after he left the university to join the NFL in the 2003 draft -- was humbling.

"It's great to just be considered one of everybody, you know? Because in the world we live in today, people try to put somebody ahead of anybody else. Somebody's more important, less important," he says. "But I was just one of five or six hundred students that walked across the stage and that was a huge blessing for myself, but very humbling as well."

He laughs again and hedges when asked how graduating ranked to playing in the Super Bowl.

Then he concedes, saying "it might've felt better if I would've completed it on time! I didn't complete it on time. The other part of it is I just finished school. I should've finished school a long time ago, so there shouldn't be so much press about, 'hey, he finished school! He went back to finish school!' When it's something I should've done in the first place. That's like saying, 'man, he didn't cheat on his wife!' You know what I mean? It's like, well, you're not supposed to."

Moving forward, Polamalu is thinking about how he's going to put that degree to good use. And he does have a plan.

"I want to teach, ultimately. That was something I wanted as much as playing football."