Positive Influences

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Almost every story you see on ESPN or read in the newspaper or on the internet about college athletes focuses on their transgressions.  There is glory in bringing these kids down a few notches and reporting when they mess up.  And fans devour the information.  Read the next story online when a collegiate athlete gets into trouble, and then read the comments; people love to tear into these kids.  Some of it is deserved, some not.

Rarely will you find any extensive coverage on anything positive these kids do.  Living in a college town, I see it first hand.  And participating as a volunteer in the local Miracle Sports program I see how much so many of these kids care and give their time to help the athletes get the most from their experience.

The positive influence from the college athletes shines no brighter than during the Seminole Showdown.  This is a unique opportunity for the Miracle athletes to play against world-class athletes, and all you see is smiles on both sides of the ball.  Last night, our athletes took on a group of Seminole Football players.  Having the likes of Dustin Hopkins, EJ Manuel, Lonnie Pryor, Anthony Porterfield, and others playing against our athletes was a thrill for them.  The players interacted wonderfully with the athletes, who have disabilities ranging from autism to cerebal palsy and more.

The next time ESPN or some other outlet reports on yet another college athlete messing up, think about the ones that give so selflessly of what little free time they have to make the day for a Miracle athlete or someone else.  The number of athletes making a positive impact on their community far outweighs the number that run into trouble.

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