He's learning that lesson now. "I'd rather have somebody shoot me in the head than go back to prison," he says. That's education. His Oklahoma roommate, Jerry Parks, is the player who spent 82 days in jail for shooting a teammate. Parks quietly transferred to Houston this fall and started at free safety for the Cougars. Thompson thinks he can turn himself around like that. If the NCAA grants him an extra year of eligibility—he will need it, because he exhausted his last season of eligibility at Big Spring—he might play ball, study, graduate and become a law-abiding and productive citizen.
It would be nice if that happens. It would be nice if college football could save someone.