Hail To The Funders!

Braylon Edwards, graduate of the University of Michigan and wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns made headlines by doing the right thing.

Braylon Edwards

clipped from sports.espn.go.com

Edwards is certainly not the only athlete with a big heart. Countless NFL players have given selflessly over the years, with Tampa Bay’s Derrick Brooks, Atlanta’s Warrick Dunn and New Orleans’ Reggie Bush coming immediately to mind.But it is fair to say Edwards’ timing couldn’t have been better. By digging deep into his bank account, he gave numerous parents something to smile about and lured the spotlight toward one of the really troubling issues in our society: lousy public education.

Edwards’ latest plan — he also endowed a $500,000 scholarship at his alma mater, the University of Michigan — isn’t complicated. In December 2006, he picked the 100 recipients after his foundation combed through 1,000 essays submitted by eighth-graders who had been recommended for the program by their teachers.After deciding on the pool of kids, Edwards set the guidelines. Every child involved in the program needs to maintain a 2.5 grade point average throughout high school.

  blog it

By the way, if you were going to judge the book by the cover:

you might miss a very interesting read.

Professional athletes are not one-dimensional entities consumed with the glitz and glamor of their chosen careers. They are complex persons with as many facets as the rest of us. While the stage may be different, we owe it to one another to look deeper – and to reject simple constructions that are handed to us in sound bites and image packets. If you are the parent of a Cleveland-area youngster today, you should be inspired that Braylon Edwards is more complex than our rapid-fire depictions of jocks can accommodate. You should be doing all that you can to ensure your child gets the support, encouragement and direction needed to take advantage of the opportunity he has created. It’s a beautiful day – and remember, this hasn’t been easy for Mr. Edwards and his next paycheck is only guaranteed through the same type of hard work and diligence your child will need to maximize the value of that scholarship.

None of us are promised tomorrow. Carpe diem!


  1. well said – good for braylon! i am probably in the majority here in thinking edwards is a bit of an under acheiving thug who makes too much money. love hearing stories like this about professional athletes – congrats to him and others like him in any sports market. or any other market for that matter!

  2. Now ain’t that peculiar. Why do you think Edwards is a thug? Please tell me you’ve got more than the sideline blowup with Frye last year – please. As for underachieving, I doubt it. Wide receivers need lots of help to put up numbers. Have you seen LeCharles Bentley lately?

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