Former Ohio State linebacker Andrew Sweat admits he had a hard time deciding between law school and a potential NFL career. But renewed concerns about the effects of concussions made law school a no-brainer.
"Concussion symptoms didn't want to risk it," Sweat, 23, tweeted after he skipped the Cleveland Browns' rookie mini-camp last week. "Health trumps football any day."
That's a complete reversal from Sweat's comments about a potential legal career last month: "I don't want to sit behind a desk," he told the Columbus Dispatch after he got accepted to five law schools. "I want to continue playing [football] as long as I can."
A "scary" incident last Friday, however, changed Sweat's mind for good.
Ex-OSU linebacker Andrew Sweat, a free agent with the Browns, was all set to show up at training camp last week. But he slipped and hit his head in the shower, causing concussion symptoms to return, he told The Plain Dealer.
Sweat had previously suffered three concussions during his Ohio State career. After consulting his parents -- his father Gary played football for Syracuse, and is also an attorney -- he decided the risk of continued injuries was "not worth it."
So instead of trying out for a spot on the Browns' roster and a possible NFL salary of at least $390,000 this year, Sweat will instead embark on a legal career which could sack him with debt. (Law students' debt averaged more than $100,000 in 2011, this blog reported in March.)
Some legal bloggers are having a field day poking fun at Sweat's decision. "Can somebody please tell this guy that all the people who are telling him that going to law school is the 'smart' choice are horribly irrational and economically uninformed?" legal blogger Elie Mystal wrote at Above The Law.
But Andrew Sweat isn't looking back. "Sometimes people get lost in the game of football," he told The Plain Dealer. "They don't think about injuries... I'm too well-rounded to have critical damage to my brain and body."
Sweat's toughest decision may be ahead of him. He'll soon have to decide whether to accept offers from law schools at Pittsburgh, Duquesne, West Virginia, Florida, or the University of Miami, the Dispatch reports. Sweat also received one rejection, from Ohio State's own law school.
- Ohio State linebacker Andrew Sweat picks law school over NFL, concussions (CBS Sports)
- Andrew Sweat Profile (The Ohio State University)
- New NFL Concussion Lawsuit Includes 100 Ex-Players (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Scalia Tells Young Lawyers Move to Cleveland, Work Less, Chill Out (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)